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Kaiser Health News Original Stories

4. Los Angeles County Scores An E-Success In Managing Specialist Care

An electronic consulting and referral system adopted by the county’s safety net public health system in 2012 has reduced waiting times for appointments with specialists and eliminated the need for such appointments in a significant number of cases, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. (Anna Gorman, 3/8)

5. Political Cartoon: 'Growth Experience?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Growth Experience?'" by Gary Varvel, The Indianapolis Star.

Here's today's health policy haiku:


AHCA leaves
Many millions uninsured
Gridlock looks good now.

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Summaries Of The News:

Health Law

6. Conservatives Balk At GOP Plan: 'This Is Not The Obamacare Repeal Bill We’ve Been Waiting For'

The right wing of the party immediately panned the bill, calling it Obamacare-lite.

The New York Times: G.O.P. Health Bill Faces Revolt From Conservative Forces
After seven years of waiting longingly to annul President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, Republican leaders on Tuesday faced a sudden revolt from the right that threatened their proposal to remake the American health care system. The much-anticipated House plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act also drew skepticism from some of the party’s more moderate members, whose constituents have benefited from expanded coverage in recent years. (Steinhauer, 3/7)

The Washington Post: The Three GOP Factions That Could Doom Republicans’ Obamacare Replacement Bill
As they roll out their Obamacare replacement plan, Republicans are quickly finding out what Democrats learned eight years ago: Even if you win control of Congress and the White House, there are still plenty of obstacles to passing laws that, in principle, your whole party agrees with. Several factions within the Republican Party don't like some key details about this new health-care plan. In fact, there's enough opposition that these Republicans could derail the bill as it stands. It's something President Trump appeared to acknowledge when he offered up in a tweet Tuesday morning the opportunity for “review and negotiation.” (Phillips, 3/7)

The Washington Post: House GOP Proposal To Replace Obamacare Sparks Broad Backlash
The most imminent and serious threat to the plan crafted by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) was the growing backlash from conservative lawmakers and powerful outside groups who argue that the draft is nothing more than “Obamacare Lite,” a disparaging reference to the former president’s signature 2010 domestic achievement. The lawmakers do not represent a majority of Republicans in either chamber of Congress, but there could be enough of them to scuttle any health-care bill they oppose — and several said Tuesday they intend to use that leverage to force major changes to the measures. (DeBonis, Costa and Weigel, 3/7)

The Associated Press: Conservative Backlash Threatens To Sink New GOP Health Bill
But major obstacles loomed as key Republican lawmakers announced their opposition, and one conservative group after another torched the plan. The Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America, Americans for Prosperity and Tea Party Patriots variously derided the new bill as Obamacare Lite, Obamacare 2.0 and even RyanCare, in a dig at House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. (Werner and Fram, 3/7)

The Wall Street Journal: GOP’s Health Plan Draws Skepticism On Capitol Hill
Opposition from conservative lawmakers and activist groups could derail the party’s highly prized bid to replace the Affordable Care Act. That could challenge Mr. Trump to decide whether to enter the fray explicitly and become the negotiator-in-chief he had styled himself as on the campaign trail, and if so, when to deploy himself in that capacity. White House officials said they were unfazed by the blowback, and that negotiations could resolve lingering objections from lawmakers they assume are ultimately unwilling to torpedo their chance to repeal the law. (Radnofsky, son and Huges, 3/7)

Politico: Ryan Disappoints His Friends With Obamacare Replacement Bill
House Speaker Paul Ryan has long been the darling of conservative policy wonks. But on one of the biggest days of his political career, when House Republicans released their much-anticipated Obamacare replacement, many of Ryan's closest friends in conservative intelligentsia expressed disappointment — if not outright dismay — with the legislation bearing the speaker's imprimatur. (Johnson, 3/8)

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Health Plan Sparks Debate Over Obamacare Comparisons
House Republicans are facing swift criticism that their sweeping plan to repeal and overhaul large swaths of the Affordable Care Act is too similar to the law it would replace. “Obamacare 2.0,” tweeted Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. “This is Obamacare-lite,” said Jason Pye, public policy and legislative affairs director at FreedomWorks, a conservative group associated with the tea party movement. (Armour, 3/8)

CQ Roll Call: Conservatives Want To Know Budget Impact Of Obamacare Repeal
Conservative lawmakers worried about balancing the budget pushed back Tuesday against plans to mark up the health care repeal and replace reconciliation bill before the Congressional Budget Office can compute a score of the costs. "We don’t know how many people would use this new tax credit, we don’t know how much it will cost, and we don’t know if this bill will make health care more affordable for Americans,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a statement. “This is exactly the type of back-room dealing and rushed process that we criticized Democrats for, and it is not what we promised the American people.” (Shutt and Mejdric, 3/7)

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Overhaul Faces Resistance In Congress From Right And Left
“This is not the Obamacare repeal bill we’ve been waiting for,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who is leading the GOP opposition with Paul and the House Freedom Caucus. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also raised objections. “We promised the American people we would drain the swamp and end business as usual in Washington. This bill does not do that,” Lee said. “This is exactly the type of backroom dealing and rushed process that we criticized Democrats for, and it is not what we promised the American people.” (Mascaro, 3/7)

CQ Roll Call: GOP Leaders Facing Barrage Of Criticism On Health Care Proposal
But Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas on Tuesday pushed back against critics. They portrayed the legislation as a stark choice between either fulfilling the seven-year Republican pledge to repeal the law or not. “This is Obamacare gone. This is the first and most important step to giving relief to Americans from this terrible law,” Brady said. “As Republicans, we have a choice. We can act now or we can keep fiddling around and squander this opportunity to repeal Obamacare.” (Williams, 3/7)

The Hill: Right Revolts On ObamaCare Bill
“You have to get rid of ­ObamaCare completely,” said conservative Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) at a press conference with other Freedom Caucus members, along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who also object to the bill. Paul called the plan “dead on arrival.” (Sullivan, 3/7)

San Francisco Chronicle: GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan Already In Jeopardy 
Given the swift opposition to the bill and a glaring lack of a political groundswell in its support, the plan’s future remains an open question. If the legislation fails to gain traction, the struggle over fulfilling the bedrock promise of President Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act could consume the Republican agenda for weeks if not months, delaying action on tax reform and grinding the new administration’s legislative agenda to a halt. (Lochhead, 3/7)

Morning Consult: Conservatives Suggest They Won’t Fall In Line On ACA Overhaul
Less than 24 hours after legislation was introduced, the plan put forth by House leadership won the approval of the White House, but sparked the ire of conservative organizations, health wonks and lawmakers. Still, GOP leaders are pressing forward with markups scheduled for Wednesday in two House committees, despite not having scoring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which will calculate the bill’s costs and effects on health coverage. (McIntire and Reid, 3/7)

McClatchy: Obamacare Replacement Bill Appears Dead On Arrival
The Republican leadership’s plan was to fast-track their just-released proposal to repeal Obamacare. Republican leaders want to vote on it in the House of Repr

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