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Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ Zombie Repeal-And-Replace Bill Rises Again

Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act are back, in a big way. And the “What the Health?” podcast is focused on Capitol Hill’s debate on the new bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.):

  • The impact of shifting billions in federal funding to states
  • Sizing up the implications for the four wavering Republican senators
  • The demise of bipartisan attempts to fix Obamacare
  • And does the measure pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?

The White House and congressional Republican leaders are lining up behind the Graham-Cassidy bill that in many ways would even more broadly remake the nation’s health system than the proposals that failed to pass in July.

It is still far from certain the Senate can muster the 50 votes necessary before a Sept. 30 budget deadline, which ends its ability to pass such sweeping legislation with a simple majority. But the push is on.

Meanwhile, the unexpected effort to repeal Obamacare has pushed to the back burner two other key health issues with late September deadlines.

Republicans and Democrats at the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have — for now — abandoned plans for a bipartisan bill to stabilize the individual health insurance market. Health insurers must make final decisions about whether to participate in the Affordable Care Act by Sept. 27. And Congress seems likely to let the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire on Sept. 30, at least temporarily.

In this week’s episode of “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times discuss all these issues. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Julie Rovner: Politico’s “Price’s private-jet travel breaks precedent,” by Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan.

Joanne Kenen: HuffPost’s “The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1,” by Mary-Claire King.

Margot Sanger-Katz: Stat News’ “Every time it’s a battle: In excruciating pain, sickle cell patients are shunted aside,” by Sharon Begley.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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