In This Edition:

From Kaiser Health News:

Kaiser Health News Original Stories

4. Political Cartoon: 'Rock The Boat?'

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

Here's today's health policy haiku:

LEGISLATIVE DRAMA TRUMPED THE GOP’S HEALTH LAW REPLACEMENT PLAN

It was here … then gone.
A real “reality show”
No one expected.

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:

Health Law

5. A Secret Pact, A Novice President And A Group Of Hardliners: How The GOP Health Plan Failed

Take a look at what went on behind the scenes in Republicans' efforts to push through the American Health Care Act.

Politico: How A Secret Freedom Caucus Pact Brought Down Obamacare Repeal
Speaker Paul Ryan and House leaders had been toiling behind closed doors for weeks assembling their Obamacare repeal bill as suspicion on the far-right simmered to a boil. So on March 7, just hours after Ryan unveiled a plan that confirmed its worst fears, the House Freedom Caucus rushed to devise a counterstrategy. The few dozen true believers knew that pressure from House leaders and President Donald Trump to fall in line would be immense and they were intent on not getting boxed in. (Bade, Dawsey and Haberkorn, 3/26)

The Wall Street Journal: How Democrats Aided In The Demise Of The GOP’s Health Bill
President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the defeat of his bid to overturn the 2010 Affordable Care Act and enact Republican policy in its place. In some ways he may have been right. Supporters of the health law popularly known as Obamacare launched an all-out campaign for its survival, keeping Democrats unified in opposition to its repeal, and identifying and exploiting Republican divisions that ultimately forced GOP leaders to pull the bill at the eleventh hour Friday. (Radnofsky, 3/26)

Roll Call: How The GOP’s Health Care Law Went Down
It was a nail-biter of a day with a photo finish. The Republican Party’s seven-year effort to repeal the 2010 health care law ended with a thud Friday when the GOP decided not to even subject its do-or-die alternative to a vote. ... Here’s how it all went down Friday. (Akin, 3/24)

6. As Republicans' Shift Through The Rubble, They Find Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

Republicans, who had unified in their opposition of former President Barack Obama, now struggle with a civil war that could tear them apart.

The New York Times: Trump Becomes Ensnared In Fiery G.O.P. Civil War
President Trump ignites a lot of fights, but his failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the biggest defeat in his short time in the White House, was the result of something else: a long-running Republican civil war that humbled a generation of party leaders before he ever came to Washington. (Thrush and Haberman, 3/25)

Politico: Republicans Turn Fire On Each Other
White House officials insisted Sunday that the relationship between President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan is strong, even as Republican infighting over the failure to repeal Obamacare exploded into the open over the weekend. After Trump urged his Twitter followers Saturday to watch Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro — who opened her show last night with six-minute plea for Speaker Paul Ryan to step down — Washington was abuzz with speculation about a Trump-Ryan rift. (Cheney and Bresnahan, 3/26)

The New York Times: Paul Ryan Emerges From Health Care Defeat Badly Damaged
For two days in January, all seemed right in the Republican Party. Gathered in Philadelphia for their annual congressional retreat, less than a week after President Trump’s inauguration, lawmakers exulted in the possibilities of total government control, grinning through forums about an aggressive 200-day agenda that began with honoring a central campaign promise: repealing the Affordable Care Act. (Flegenheimer and Kaplan, 3/25)

Roll Call: Cloud Hangs Over Trump-Ryan Partnership After Health Care Bill Fails
The death of President Donald Trump’s first major legislative initiative raises major questions about his ability to keep the fractious Republican caucus together and work with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. GOP House members handed Trump another early-term setback Friday by killing the health care bill he demanded they take up when too many of them refused to support it. (Bennett, 3/27)

Bloomberg: Trump Praises Ryan On Health As Aides Privately Blame The Speaker 
In public, President Donald Trump is standing by House Speaker Paul Ryan over the failed Obamacare replacement bill. “I like Speaker Ryan; he worked very, very hard,” Trump said in the Oval Office after Ryan on Friday pulled the legislation from the House floor for lack of support. Instead, the president pinned the responsibility on Democrats. Behind the scenes, though, the president’s aides blame Ryan for the bill’s embarrassing defeat, which stymied a Republican goal for more than seven years, a senior administration official said. (Jacobs and Pettypiece, 3/24)

Bloomberg: In Ryan Health-Care Defeat, Lessons For Speaker In Age Of Trump 
For [Speaker Paul] Ryan, who has been speaker for 17 months, the question is whether he can take anything away from this episode to help him wrangle his divided conference, accustomed to obstructionism not action under eight years of Barack Obama. To have any hope for success on other Republicans goals such as tax overhaul, Ryan must also learn to work with an unpredictable president in Donald Trump, who insists he is standing by Ryan. (Edgerton, 3/26)

Politico: Republicans Wonder Whether Trump's Heart Was In Healthcare Fight
While President Donald Trump’s first major legislative push hurtled toward a major defeat, one of his top advisers, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, was photographed with his wife, Ivanka Trump, on a ski gondola in Aspen. Kushner may not have been the lead White House negotiator on the doomed healthcare bill. But the image of Trump’s top consigliere hitting the slopes at perhaps the most critical moment of his young presidency sent a message loud and clear: The White House wanted a win, but health care was not the dominant priority for Trump that it was for the Republican members of Congress who actually had to take a vote. (Karni, 3/25)