KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

What Would New Bill Do? Get Rid Of Subsidies, Drastically Alter Medicaid And More

Media outlets take a look at what's being proposed — including a major rethinking of federal health care funding — in the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare 101: What Would The Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill Do?
The Graham-Cassidy proposal shares some features of earlier repeal legislation approved in the House and debated in the Senate, including scrapping the requirement that Americans have health coverage and placing new restrictions on federal funding for Planned Parenthood. ... But the new repeal bill is substantially more sweeping and goes far beyond just repealing the 2010 healthcare law, often called Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy proposal would completely restructure how the federal government provides healthcare assistance to some 80 million Americans and create a new system for distributing hundreds of billions of dollars of government aid. (Levey, 9/19)

The Wall Street Journal: Q&A: Explaining The Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill
The Graham-Cassidy bill would lump together the money spent on two ACA programs to expand health coverage: subsidies for private insurance and an expansion of the Medicaid program. That funding would be redistributed as block grants to states, who could use it to fashion their own health systems. All of the bill’s health spending would end in 2027 and need to be reauthorized by Congress. The bill also makes structural changes to Medicaid by capping how much federal money states can get. (Hackman, 9/19)

Kaiser Health News: Last-Ditch Effort By Republicans To Replace ACA: What You Need To Know
The Graham-Cassidy proposal would eliminate the federal insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, along with the subsidies and tax credits that help people with low and moderate incomes — and small businesses — pay for health insurance and associated health costs. It would eliminate penalties for individuals who fail to obtain health insurance and employers who fail to provide it. It would eliminate the tax on medical devices. (Rovner, 9/19)

Reuters: Factbox: Latest Obamacare Repeal Bill Would Block Grant Money To States, Gut Medicaid
Like previous repeal bills, the Graham-Cassidy proposal retroactively repeals the so-called individual mandate, the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance or else pay a fine. It also retroactively repeals the mandate that certain employers provide health insurance for their workers. Health policy experts say the individual mandate is needed to induce young, healthy people who may otherwise forgo coverage to buy insurance and offset the costs of sicker, more expensive patients. (Abutaleb, 9/19)

Bloomberg: Last-Ditch Repeal Plan Would Keep Obamacare’s Biggest Taxes
Senate Republican leaders’ renewed Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort -- in the form of the bill authored by senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy -- maintains the largest tax hikes imposed by the 2010 law, using them to fund block grants to states. The new repeal bill would keep levies on top earners -- a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income and a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax for individuals earning more than $200,000 or couples above $250,000. It would also preserve a tax on health insurers. Each of those levies would raise more than $100 billion in revenue over a decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. (Kapur, 9/19)

Stat: Under Graham-Cassidy Bill, Could Some States Keep Obamacare?
Republican senators are promising that a new health care plan circulating on Capitol Hill will give states wide flexibility to set up an insurance system as robust or as limited as they like. States that want to cut ties with Obamacare will have that authority; states that want to preserve Obamacare can do so, supporters say. But experts argue that, given the funding structure proposed in the new plan from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana — what may amount to the GOP’s last chance in the near future to replace the Affordable Care Act — even states willing to commit far more of their own budgets to the cause will struggle to establish anything close to Obamacare. (Mershon, 9/19)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.