In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
The Affordable Care Act, which President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal, threw a number of life-savers to rural hospitals, which are vital but financially troubled centers. And its full repeal, without a comparable and viable replacement, could signal their death knell. (Shefali Luthra, 1/11)
About 6.5 million Americans paid an average of $470 for not having health insurance in 2015, a requirement under the Affordable Care Act, the IRS reports. (Phil Galewitz, 1/10)
President Barack Obama succeeded where many other presidents failed, but now the fate of the Affordable Care Act rests with President-elect Donald Trump. (Sarah Varney, 1/10)
An Obama administration veteran will take the helm of Cal INDEX as it combines with the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange, creating a database covering nearly 17 million patients. (Chad Terhune, 1/10)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Tuned Out?'" by Lisa Benson.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
REPEALING AND REPLACING AS A REAL-LIFE MATTER
A rural town and
Hospital on the margins …
Bracing for more change.
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
To meet that timetable would be nearly impossible for lawmakers who took years to pass the health law in the first place and have no detailed plan as of yet for replacement.
The New York Times: Trump Tells Congress To Repeal And Replace Health Care Law ‘Very Quickly’
President-elect Donald J. Trump demanded on Tuesday that Congress immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass another health law quickly. His remarks put Republicans in the nearly impossible position of having only weeks to replace a health law that took nearly two years to pass. “We have to get to business,” Mr. Trump told The New York Times in a telephone interview. “Obamacare has been a catastrophic event.” (Haberman and Pear, 1/10)
The Washington Post: Trump, Hill GOP Fret About Fallout From Repealing Obamacare So Quickly
After years of promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a growing number of Republicans are balking at the prospect of doing so quickly without a firm plan to replace it. As the Senate begins voting Wednesday on a path to eliminate the landmark health-care bill, some Republicans are worried about the political fallout and uncertainty of starting to roll back Obamacare without knowing how the process will end.President-elect Donald J. Trump was among the Republicans expressing concern Tuesday. (Snell, Sullivan and Goldstein, 1/10)
The Associated Press: Trump Pushes GOP Leaders For Fast Action On Health Care
The push for speed and coordination came as growing numbers of Republicans expressed concerns about GOP leadership's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement in hand, potentially leaving the 20 million people who gained coverage under the law in limbo. (1/10)
The Hill: Trump Says ObamaCare Replacement Should Come Quickly
“Long to me would be weeks,” Trump said of how long it should take to pass a replacement. “It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan.” (Shelbourne, 1/10)
Morning Consult: Trump Calls For Swift ACA Repeal, But Senate GOP Split On Timing
Congressional Republicans have set up a multi-step process to repeal the law, starting with a budget resolution which the Senate is set to vote on by Thursday morning. The House expects to follow suit and vote on the resolution by the end of the week. The budget resolution doesn’t actually repeal the health care law, but instructs four congressional committees to draft reconciliation legislation that would allow the Senate to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority of 51 votes. (McIntire, 1/10)
Bloomberg: Trump Seeks Swift Obamacare Repeal As GOP Splits Over Timing
Republicans in both chambers are showing growing uneasiness about the rush to deliver swiftly on one of Trump’s top campaign promises. (Dennis and Kapur, 1/10)
Politico: Trump’s Obamacare Remedy Spurs More Confusion
Republicans on Capitol Hill are in disarray about how to repeal Obamacare and President-elect Donald Trump’s call on Tuesday to enact a replacement “very quickly” did nothing to clear up the turmoil. Trump told The New York Times that he wants a repeal to happen within days and “the replace will be very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.” The statement took lawmakers on Capitol Hill by surprise. (Haberkorn and Cancryn, 1/10)
In other news on the president elect's relationship with the Republicans in Congress —
The Hill: Trump Medicare Promise Causes Heartburn For GOP
Time and again on the campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged to his supporters that he wouldn’t gut Medicare as president. Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, doubled down on that position over the weekend, insisting that his boss wouldn’t “meddle” with Medicare or Social Security. But a week before Trump’s inauguration, that campaign promise is already encountering fierce resistance from Republicans on Capitol Hill. For years, GOP lawmakers — led by Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) — have been sounding the alarm that a major overhaul to Medicare and other entitlements are needed to ensure they don’t go bankrupt. (Wong, 1/11)
Some within the Republicans' own party have been wary about moving so quickly on repeal without a plan to replace the health law.
The Associated Press: Ryan: GOP Will Work On Repealing, Replacing Health Law
Republicans will work on unraveling and replacing the health care law at the same time, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday as GOP leaders struggled to align their zeal to rapidly erase one of President Barack Obama's proudest achievements with Congress' legislative and political pitfalls. (1/10)
The Hill: Ryan: GOP's Goal Is To Replace, Repeal ObamaCare 'Concurrently'
“It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” Ryan told reporters after meeting with House Republicans behind closed doors. “We’re going to use every tool at our disposal through legislation, through regulation, to bring replace concurrent along with repeal, so that we can save people from this mess.” (Wong and Sullivan, 1/10)
Roll Call: Ryan Says Obamacare Repeal, Replacement Will Happen ‘Concurrently’
A growing number of lawmakers are uncomfortable with delaying a replacement plan further after a repeal vote. The interest in moving quickly on both fronts comes from a range of members, including moderates in The Tuesday Group and conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus. (McPherson, 1/10)
CQ Roll Call: GOP Leaders Vow To Replace Health Care Law Along With Repeal
Ryan, R-Wis., said he doesn’t know how many replacement provisions will be in the repeal bill, which has yet to be written and would be passed through the fast-track budget reconciliation process. "That's a question that really is more of a Senate question, as to what you can put in reconciliation, what you cannot put in reconciliation,” he said. But he added: “We will pass as much as we can through whatever vehicle we've got. And then we will pass all the other things through regular order outside reconciliation that show you the full scope of what a real replacement effort looks like." (Krawzak and McCrimmon, 1/10)
CQ Roll Call: Alexander Outlines His Health Care 'Rescue Plan'
Republicans should take steps by March 1 to start work on relaxing health care overhaul rules requiring insurers to offer broad benefits, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said Tuesday. Alexander (CQ Roll Call)Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, who oversees one of the four committees that will lead the effort to repeal and replace the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), described what he
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