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From Kaiser Health News:

Kaiser Health News Original Stories

3. HMO Doctors Take Pains To Slash Opioid Prescriptions

A Kaiser Permanente pain management program in Southern California aims to help patients taper off addictive painkillers. Some doctors and patients see it as a godsend; others complain that patients have been cut off medications they need. (Sam Quinones, 3/13)

4. Political Cartoon: 'Hard Sell?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Hard Sell?'" by Hilary Price.

Here's today's health policy haiku:


Repeal and replace!
Let's not and say we did though.
Obamacare Lite.

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:

Capitol Hill Watch

5. Republicans Expecting Bad News From CBO's Coverage And Costs Analysis

The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its projections on the Republicans' new health care plan as early as Monday.

Roll Call: CBO Score Will Ring In Another Round Of House Fight
All eyes this week are off the floor as Capitol Hill awaits a Congressional Budget Office score for House Republicans’ health care plan and the House Budget Committee prepares to mark up the plan. While a CBO estimate on how much the plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law will cost and what effect it would have on those with insurance is expected as soon as Monday, the Budget Committee has scheduled its markup of the legislation for Wednesday morning. (Dick, 3/13)

The Associated Press: Republicans Brace For Downbeat CBO Analysis Of Health Bill
Republicans pushing a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s health care law are bracing for a Congressional Budget Office analysis widely expected to conclude that fewer Americans will have health coverage under the proposal, despite President Donald Trump’s promise of “insurance for everybody.” House Speaker Paul Ryan said he fully expects the CBO analysis, set to be released as early as Monday, to find less coverage since the GOP plan eliminates the government requirement to be insured. (Yen, 3/13)

Reuters: Agency's Analysis Of Republican Health Bill May Sharpen Resistance To Measure
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican healthcare plan's top backer in Congress, acknowledged on NBC's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday that the CBO projections would likely show a decline in insurance coverage because the legislation would drop an Obamacare provision mandating that Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine. "The one thing I'm certain will happen is CBO will say: 'Well, gosh. Not as many people will get coverage,'" Ryan said. "You know why? Because this isn't a government mandate." (3/13)

CNN Money: The Truth About The Uninsured Rate In America
The nation's uninsured rate has fallen to a historic low under Obamacare, but you'd never know that listening to Republican leaders speak.Bracing for a harsh assessment of their Obamacare repeal bill, House GOP leadership and the Trump administration are attacking the accuracy of the congressional agency tasked with reviewing it. (Luhby, 3/13)

6. Ryan Hedges On Question About Americans Losing Coverage: 'It’s Up To People'

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that because Republicans are doing away with the individual mandate, the plan could mean fewer people have insurance.

The Hill: Ryan: 'Can't Answer' How Many Will Lose Health Coverage Under GOP Plan
“I can't answer that question," Ryan told CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” when asked how many people will lose healthcare coverage. "It's up to people.” “Here's the premise of your question: Are you going to stop mandating people buy health insurance? People are going to do what they want to do with their lives because we believe in individual freedom in this country.” (Shelbourne, 3/12)

Politico: Ryan: Disaster If GOP Health Care Reform Fails
“I believe we can get 51 votes out of the Senate,” Ryan told host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Look, this is what the legislative process looks like. When you are going through a deliberative legislative process, not ramming and jamming things but going through all the committees, going through the entire process — people are going to try and negotiate.” Ryan downplayed the opposition to the House bill as typical “negotiations and compromises.” (McCaskill, 3/12)

7. Intra-Party Discord Continues To Threaten Republicans' Success

The right wing of the party is demanding changes be made to what they are calling "Obamacare Lite."

Politico: Conservatives Escalate Threats To Tank Obamacare Repeal
So much for President Donald Trump's charm offensive with conservatives. Conservative Hill leaders warned on Sunday that they won’t support the House GOP Obamacare alternative as it’s written, saying they’ll let the bill fail if they don’t get concessions. (Bade, 3/12)

The Washington Post: GOP Infighting Over Health Care, Other Issues Belies Victory
Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump had won the White House, House Speaker Paul Ryan triumphantly proclaimed the start of a new era of Republican leadership that would “hit the ground running.” Six weeks into Trump’s administration, Republicans are running — just in different directions. As congressional leaders move forward with efforts to undo former President Barack Obama’s health care law, conservative activists and GOP lawmakers are slamming the proposal as “Obamacare lite,” ‘’Obamacare 2.0” and “RINOcare” — RINO standing for Republicans In Name Only, a term of derision. (Lerer and Beaumont, 3/13)

Meanwhile, in the Senate —


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