KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Rand Paul Gives GOP Glimmer Of Hope, But Chances Of Securing 50 Votes Still Dim

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hasn't shut the door on negotiations with Senate leadership, but other lawmakers, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), voice concerns which place more obstacles on the proposal's path to passage.

The Washington Post: Sen. Rand Paul Lays Out Demands On Health Care As Talks Continue
The embattled Republican effort to repeal the nation’s health-care law now centers on winning over a hard-line conservative, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who continues to engage with President Trump and Senate leaders, giving proponents of the latest GOP bill a glimmer of hope. While Paul remains wary of that proposal, he signaled Sunday that he is willing to consider a “narrow” version of the legislation, which would give states vast authority over money provided under the Affordable Care Act and waive many federal rules and regulations. (Costa, 9/24)

The Hill: Paul: Block Grants Can 'Set Up A Perpetual Food Fight' 
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has said he will vote against the GOP's latest ObamaCare repeal bill, said Sunday that converting health care funding into block grants to states sets up “a perpetual food fight.” “Well I’ve always been a yes for repeal but the bill, unfortunately the Graham-Cassidy, basically keeps most of the ObamaCare spending,” Paul told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referencing the legislation Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are pushing. (Shelbourne, 9/24)

Politico: Cruz Opposes Latest Obamacare Repeal Attempt
Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday said he doesn’t support the latest Obamacare repeal plan, dealing a fresh blow to Republicans’ last-ditch effort to kill Barack Obama’s signature health care law. After seven years of promises to repeal Obamacare, Republicans have six days to pass legislation with a party-line vote. But with Cruz’s opposition, at least five Republicans in the 52-member caucus have signaled that they either won’t vote for or are leaning against supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill. (Rayasam and McCaskill, 9/24)

The Hill: Cruz: ObamaCare Repeal Bill Doesn't Have My Support Yet
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sunday that he isn't yet ready to support the latest GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, increasing uncertainty that Republicans will be able to pass the legislation. "Right now they don't have my vote, and I don't think they have [Sen.] Mike Lee's [R-Utah] either," Cruz said at the Texas Tribune Festival. (Carney, 9/24)

CQ: Collins, Cruz Cast More Doubt On GOP Health Care Bill
Republicans face an uphill climb this week to overhaul the 2010 health care law before a crucial Saturday deadline, with two more senators suggesting Sunday that they oppose a last-ditch effort to follow through on a years-long promise. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said on CNN that it was "difficult to envision a scenario" where she would vote for the proposal Republicans are considering, while Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said at the Texas Tribune Festival that he does not currently support the plan. (McIntire, 9/24)

Boston Globe: Maine’s Susan Collins Weighs The Biggest Decision Of Her Career. No, It’s Not About Health Care
As the clock ticks down on September, all eyes are on Maine Senator Susan Collins, whose swing vote on the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in the coming days will have a major effect on whether the Republican legacy bill lives or dies. But it’s another, lesser-known decision Collins is weighing that could actually be the biggest of her career: whether to run for governor. (Pindell, 9/22)

Bloomberg: Here Are The Senators To Watch On Obamacare Repeal 
Senate Republican leaders are struggling to win support from holdouts in their party for what may be their last chance for a long time to pass a GOP-only repeal of Obamacare. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said Friday she’s leaning against the bill because among other things it undermines protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions, according to the Portland Press Herald. "The premiums would be so high they would be unaffordable," she said. (Litvan, 9/22)

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