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KHN First Edition: March 27, 2017


First Edition

Monday, March 27, 2017
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations.

Kaiser Health News: House Leaders ‘Came Up Short’ In Effort To Kill Obamacare
Mary Agnes Carey reports: "Despite days of intense negotiations and last-minute concessions to win over wavering GOP conservatives and moderates, House Republican leaders Friday failed to secure enough support to pass their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill from consideration after he rushed to the White House to tell President Donald Trump that there weren’t the 216 votes necessary for passage. “We came really close today, but we came up short,” he told reporters at a hastily called news conference." (Carey, 3/27)

California Healthline: Californians Speak After GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Attempt Falls Flat
Relief, disappointment, unassuaged worry, political swagger, straightforward determination. From the state Capitol to the halls of academia, and from the interior to the coast, Californians reacted strongly on Friday to the dramatic news that the Affordable Care Act would be around “for the foreseeable future,” as House Speaker Paul Ryan conceded after being forced to withdraw the Republican repeal bill for lack of support within his own party. Here are some of the comments from policymakers, advocates and consumers around the state. (3/27)

Kaiser Health News: Want To Live Past 100? Centenarians Share Secrets Of Knee Bends And Nips Of Scotch
Sharon Jayson reports: "Gertrude Siegel is 101 and hears it all the time. “Everyone says ‘I want to be just like you.’ I tell them to get in line,” she said. John and Charlotte Henderson, 104 and 102, often field questions from wannabes eager to learn their secrets. “Living in moderation,” he said. “We never overdo anything. Eat well. Sleep well. Don’t overdrink. Don’t overeat. And exercise regularly.” (Jayson, 3/27)

The New York Times: In Major Defeat For Trump, Push To Repeal Health Law Fails
House Republican leaders, facing a revolt among conservatives and moderates in their ranks, pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act from consideration on the House floor Friday in a major defeat for President Trump on the first legislative showdown of his presidency. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, conceded. (Pear, Kaplan and Haberman, 3/24)

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 New York Times: Some Lawmakers Now Look To Bipartisanship On Health Care
The sudden death of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act has created an opening for voices from both parties to press for fixes to the acknowledged problems in President Barack Obama’s signature health law, as lawmakers and some senior White House officials appealed for bipartisanship. But the White House, still smarting from a disastrous defeat on Friday, appeared uncertain on the path forward. President Trump predicted that “Obamacare will explode” and offered no plan to stop it, but his was not the only voice from the White House. (Pear and Shear, 3/26)

The New York Times: Democrats, Buoyed By G.O.P. Health Defeat, See No Need To Offer Hand
President Trump, looking for a flicker of hope after his Republican majority fell to pieces last week, predicted that the opposition party would eventually give in: “I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan,” he said. But Democrats will not be lending a hand anytime soon. (Martin, 3/26)

Reuters: How Republicans Can Hobble Obamacare Even Without Repeal
Republicans may have failed to overthrow Obamacare this week, but there are plenty of ways they can chip away at it. The Trump administration has already begun using its regulatory authority to water down less prominent aspects of the 2010 healthcare law. (3/26)

The Wall Street Journal: With GOP Plan Dead, Trump Weighs Other Ways To Reshape Health Care
With the collapse of Republicans’ health plan in the House on Friday, the Trump administration is set to ramp up its efforts to alter the Affordable Care Act in one of the few ways it has left—by making changes to the law through waivers and rule changes. The initiative now rests with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has vowed to review every page of regulation and guidance related to the ACA. The steps he and the administration take next could have sweeping repercussions, accomplishing some of the same types of changes Republicans were unable to push through Congress. (Armour, 3/25)

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)

The New York Times: Dealt A Defeat, Republicans Set Their Sights On Major Tax Cuts
Picking themselves up after the bruising collapse of their health care plan, President Trump and Republicans in Congress will start this week on a legislative obstacle course that will be even more arduous: the first overhaul of the tax code in three decades. Mr. Trump’s inability to make good on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act has made the already daunting challenge of tax reform even more difficult. (Rappeport, 3/26)

The Associated Press: Failure On Health Bill Also Hurts Prospects For Tax Overhaul
House Republicans' failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law deals a serious blow to another big part of President Donald Trump's agenda: tax reform. Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., say they will soon turn their attention to the first major re-write of the tax code in more than 30 years. But they will have to do it without the momentum of victory on health care. (3/25)

The Associated Press: GOP Controls Federal Government But Struggles To Govern
The Republican Party of "no" for Democrat Barack Obama's eight years is having a hard time getting to "yes" in the early Donald Trump era. The unmitigated failure of the GOP bill to replace Obamacare underscored that Republicans are a party of upstart firebrands, old-guard conservatives and moderates in Democratic-leaning districts. Despite the GOP monopoly on Washington, they are pitted against one another and struggling for a way to govern. (3/27)

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)

The Associated Press: Blaming Conservatives, Trump Signals New Openness To Dems
President Donald Trump on Sunday attacked conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill to replace former President Barack Obama's health care law, as aides signaled a greater willingness to work with moderate Democrats on upcoming legislative battles from the budget and tax cuts to health care. (3/26)

The Washington Post: Trump Shifts Blame For Health-Care Collapse To Far Right
His attack — starting with a tweet that singled out the House Freedom Caucus as well as the influential Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America — marked a new turn in the increasingly troubled relationship between the White House and a divided GOP still adjusting to its unorthodox standard-bearer. (Sullivan, Wagner and Phillips, 3/26)

The Washington Post: Trump Goes After Freedom Caucus, But Its Leader Doesn’t Hit Back
Asked about the tweet on the Sunday news shows, two Freedom Caucus members appeared set on avoiding a confrontation with the president.“If they’re applauding, they shouldn’t,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the head of the Freedom Caucus, said of the Democrats on ABC’s “This Week.” “Because I can tell you, conversations over the last 48 hours are really about how we come together in the Republican Conference and get this over the finish line.” (Sullivan, 3/26)

The Wall Street Journal: House Conservatives Are Undeterred After Health-Bill Failure
The head of the most conservative Republican House faction sought to deflect blame Sunday for last week’s stunning collapse of a White House-backed health-care measure, saying the lawmakers hadn’t given up on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The chairman of the House group also signaled in an ABC interview that the bloc would make its voice a central part of other legislative debates, including an overhaul of the federal tax code. (Bender and Hughes, 3/26)

Politico: Trump’s Obamacare Stumble Empowers Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi is suddenly relevant again. The implosion of the all-Republican effort to lay waste to Obamacare showed that President Donald Trump might need the San Francisco Democrat to salvage the rest of his agenda. The self-professed master negotiator couldn’t get it done with his own party, despite a 44-seat House majority, and hinted afterward he might start to look across the aisle. (Caygle, 3/27)

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)

The Washington Post: With AHCA Defeat, Some Democrats See Chance To Push For Universal Coverage
At their first town meeting since the Republicans’ surprise surrender on the Affordable Care Act, progressives in blue America celebrated — then asked for more. Rhode Island’s two Democratic senators, joined by Rep. Jim Langevin, told several hundred happy constituents that the next step in health reform had to mean expanded coverage, provided by the government. “We have to look harder at a single-payer system,” said Langevin (D-R.I.), using a term for universal coverage. (Weigel, 3/26)

Politico: Sanders To Offer Single-Payer Health Care Plan
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday he planned to introduce a single-payer health care plan to Congress, inviting Republican leaders to negotiate the measure. “I'm going to introduce a Medicare-for-all single-payer program," Sanders told anchor Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union." The Vermont senator, who has repeatedly stated his support for such a plan in the past, said he hoped to garner bipartisan support for the plan. (Lima, 3/26)

The Associated Press: New Anxieties As Trump Says Obamacare Will 'Explode'
Americans who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act are feeling some relief at the failure of Republican efforts to repeal it, but they face new anxieties with President Donald Trump tweeting that "ObamaCare will explode." Premiums have risen and major insurers have backed out of the state markets where people can buy insurance online under Obama's signature health care law. But people who say it saved their lives or helped them start a business want lawmakers to fix these problems, not encourage them. (3/26)

The Associated Press: Now What? Options For Consumers As Health Law Drama Fades
As the political drama over health care legislation in Washington fades, the rest of the country faces a more immediate concern: Getting insurance for next year. The Republican health plan designed to replace the Obama-era health law known as the Affordable Care Act would not have taken full effect for a few years anyway — and now it's dead. (3/25)

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