In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
The medical supply industry makes a particularly revelatory case study of the difficulties of untangling global trade. (Sarah Varney, 4/3)
Some older adults are living in the same senior communities as their parents, which streamlines caretaking in the end-of-life years. (Sharon Jayson, 4/3)
Exchange enrollees and insurers fret over a lawsuit that could end federal help with copays and deductibles. (Ana B. Ibarra, 3/31)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Straw Man Poll?'" by Nick Anderson.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
THE INTERSECTION OF MEDICINE AND NAFTA
Not just pacemakers …
But all kinds of devices
come from Mexico.
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:
President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to vow that efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act are still ongoing. Trump also brought Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) -- a sharp critic of the Republicans' health plan -- golfing to discuss health care.
USA Today: Trump Claims He Will Rally On Health Care
President Trump expressed confidence Sunday — both on social media and the golf course — that he and aides can somehow resurrect their attempt to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. Hours before hitting the links with one of his critics on health care — Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — Trump tweeted: "Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!" (Jackson, 4/2)
The Hill: Trump Vows ‘Repeal & Replace Of ObamaCare’ Is Not Dead
Trump added in a subsequent tweet that talks are ongoing. "Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck." (Balluck, 4/2)
The Associated Press: Trump Takes Up Health Care With Rand Paul, On Golf Course
President Donald Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday to talk health policy with the outspoken critic of the failed plan to repeal and replace so-called Obamacare. The outing to Trump National Golf Club came hours after Trump tweeted that talks on replacing the law have been going on and "will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck." (4/2)
Bloomberg: Trump Tees Off With Rand Paul To Show GOP ‘Love’ On Health Care
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney golfed with the president at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia. “We had a great day with the president. Played some golf and we talked about a little bit of health care,” Paul told reporters on the White House’s South Lawn after returning from the outing. “I continue to be very optimistic that we are getting closer and closer to an agreement on repealing Obamacare.” (Talev, 4/2)
Fox News: After Golf With Trump, Paul Says 'Very Optimistic' About Obamacare Repeal
Paul, an eye doctor and Tea Party favorite, has his own ObamaCare replacement plan, which he argues goes further than the Republican House leadership plan to fully repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, under which consumers are facing rising costs and fewer policy options. (Weber, 4/2)
The Hill: Rand Paul Had 'Great Time' Golfing With Trump, 'Getting Closer' On Healthcare
The Kentucky Republican clashed with the president over the Republicans' initial plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which Republican leaders ultimately pulled in defeat before there was a vote. Paul was among lawmakers adamant the bill would not have enough support in the House nor the Senate. Paul had knocked the plan as "ObamaCare Lite" and insisted that Conservatives in Congress would not have allowed it to pass. (Firozi, 4/2)
Long used as a political weapon against Democrats, health care now stands to cast a shadow on Republican lawmakers' 2018 campaigns. "We have the House, the Senate, the White House," said David Winston, a GOP strategist who advises congressional leaders. "People are going to expect points on the board." Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan's approval ratings among staffers drops to its lowest point.
The Associated Press: Health Care Defeat Means GOP Risks Blame In '18 Elections
The crash of the House Republican health care bill may well have transformed an issue the party has long used to bash Democrats into the GOP's own political nightmare. Since former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was enacted in 2010, Republicans have blamed Democrats for rising premiums and diminished choices of insurers and doctors in many markets. Repealing Obama's law has been a paramount GOP campaign promise that helped them grab control of the House that year, the Senate in 2014 and elected Donald Trump to the White House last November. (Fram, 4/1)
CQ Roll Call: Survey: GOP Staffers Reel In Aftermath Of Health Care Setback
Republican aides are reeling from the implosion of their attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey. Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers has dropped to its lowest level since he became speaker in 2015, plummeting from 85 percent three weeks after Election Day to 44 percent in March. Those are levels not seen — for either party’s congressional leaders — since the ouster of Ryan’s predecessor, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a year and a half ago. (Zeller, 4/3)
Morning Consult: Conservative Groups Offer Political Cover To HFC As Sniping Continues
A group of conservative organizations on Friday circled the wagons for the House Freedom Caucus in the face of attacks by President Donald Trump and other Republicans over the failure of the House GOP’s health care plan. On Friday morning, a week after the bill’s failure and day after some HFC members were name-checked by the president on Twitter, representatives from nine conservative groups held a conference call for reporters to offer the lawmakers political cover. (Yokley, 3/31)
And Politico talks with two moderates about the future of health care —
Politico: Sen. Susan Collins And Rep. Charlie Dent On What's Next For Health Care
Conservatives are feuding with the White House over health care. House Speaker Paul Ryan is warning President Trump against doing a deal with Democrats. If there's a path to health reform, it may run through moderate Republicans — and on this PULSE CHECK, you’re going to hear from two of the most prominent in Congress. (Diamond, 3/31)
More and more, insurers are questioning the benefits of sticking with a market that has been thrust into upheaval.
The Fiscal Times: Insurer’s Message To Trump: Fix Obamacare Or We’re Out
Anthem is the latest major insurer to voice its displeasure with the uncertainty and political gamesmanship roiling the Affordable Care Act markets, and is now sending signals that it may pull out of the system next year. (Pianin, 3/31)
In other news on the health law —
Politico Pro: Health Bill's Collapse Leaves Obamacare Tax Foes In A Fix
Obamacare repeal may be dead, but health industry interests aren’t giving an inch in their assault on the law’s many taxes. High profile targets like the excise tax on medical devices, the "Cadillac tax" on expensive health plans and the tax on insurance premiums — as well as a number of other measures that business found onerous — would have all been terminated or delayed for years under the repeal bill that collapsed in the House. (Demko, 3/31)
California Healthline: The Next Obamacare Battleground: Subsidies For Out-Of-Pocket Costs
When Republicans pulled their Affordable Care Act replacement bill, Lauren Lake’s primary reaction was relief. But like a lot of people who depend on state exchanges for coverage, the 51-year-old consultant also was wary. That’s because she knows the Trump administration could still undo an important part of the law she depends on to afford health care. (Ibarra, 3/31)