In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Republicans are making a concerted push to unite around a bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy that would gut major provisions of the federal health law. (Julie Rovner, 9/19)
Employers report the sixth consecutive year of small increases, but workers at small firms feel the biggest pinch, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation survey. (Phil Galewitz, 9/19)
Too often enforcement of rules for dealing with crisis is lax, advocates for nursing home residents say. (Jordan Rau, 9/19)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Alibi Lullaby?'" by John Deering.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
GRAHAM-CASSIDY: WHAT DOES IT REALLY DO TO HEALTH COVERAGE?
What’s the Vegas line?
Not just on passage, but on
Who gains? Who loses?
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:
A group of bipartisan governors urges Congress to reject the last-ditch repeal-and-replace effort coming from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), but lawmakers are charging forward. It's still unclear if they have the votes, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she's considering the bill, touting the flexibility it gives to states.
The New York Times: Republican Leaders Defy Bipartisan Opposition To Health Law Repeal
Eleven governors, including five Republicans and a pivotal Alaskan independent, urged the Senate on Tuesday to reject a last-ditch push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. But Republican leaders pressed toward a showdown vote. And they choked off separate bipartisan efforts to shore up health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, hoping to give Republican senators no alternative but to vote for repeal. (Pear and Kaplan, 9/19)
Politico: Backlash Throws Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Effort Into Doubt
Opponents of the proposal co-authored by Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seized on its plan to overhaul Obamacare’s subsidized insurance and Medicaid expansion and replace those with block grants to the states — a mass restructuring they warned would sow chaos in insurance markets. They panned its new regulatory flexibilities as a backdoor route to undermining key patient protections — including safeguards for those with pre-existing conditions. And in the biggest blow, several Republican governors urged the GOP to abandon a plan that would force states to swallow potentially billions in funding cuts — and instead to focus on stabilizing Obamacare. (Cancryn, 9/19)
The Washington Post: New Health-Care Plan Stumbles Under Opposition From Governors
Among the signers were Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I), who holds some sway over Murkowski, a potentially decisive vote who opposed a previous Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Nevertheless, Murkowski said Tuesday afternoon that she was still weighing her options and explained how her position on the bill might ultimately differ from her opposition to the repeal effort that failed dramatically in July. “If it can be shown that Alaska is not going to be disadvantaged, you gain additional flexibility. Then I can go back to Alaskans, and I can say, ‘Okay, let’s walk through this together.’ That’s where it could be different,” she said. (Sullivan, Eilperin and Snell, 9/19)
The Associated Press: A Last, Last Chance: Republicans Strain For Obamacare Repeal
Republicans must act by Sept. 30 in the Senate or face the prospect of a Democratic filibuster. That blocking action is currently staved off by budget rules that will expire at the end of the month. The new legislation, by Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would undo the central pillars of former President Barack Obama’s health care law, and replace them with block grants to the states so they could make their own health care coverage rules. (Werner, 9/20)
Bloomberg: McConnell Won’t Promise Obamacare Repeal Vote As Foes Mobilize
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to promise a vote on Republicans’ last-ditch proposal to repeal Obamacare as Democrats and other opponents started ramping up a new campaign Tuesday to block it. "If we were going to go forward, we would have to act before Sept. 30," McConnell told reporters when asked if the GOP-only bill will come to the Senate floor before next week’s procedural deadline. "We are in the process of discussing all of this." (Litvan, 9/19)
The Hill: Trump, White House All In On ObamaCare Repeal Push
President Trump and Vice President Pence have been making calls to senators and governors in a furious effort to gain support for a last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill. The Trump administration is making clear it's all in on the repeal push, with Pence warning that the White House will not support efforts to "fix" or "prop up" ObamaCare. (Hellmann, 9/19)
The Wall Street Journal: Latest Push For A Health-Law Repeal Picks Up Speed In The Senate
The White House ... threw its muscle behind the legislation. Vice President Mike Pence flew back Tuesday to Washington from United Nations meetings in New York to publicly cheer on Republican senators, saying President Donald Trump and the administration are strongly behind the effort. (Armour, son and Radnofsky, 9/19)
The Hill: Graham Predicts ObamaCare Repeal Bill Will Get 50 Votes
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is predicting he will get enough votes on his bill to repeal ObamaCare and says House leadership has pledged they would also pass it. "I really believe we're going to get 50 Republican votes," Graham told reporters after a closed-door GOP caucus lunch on Tuesday. "I've never felt better about where we're at." (Carney, 9/19)
Politico: Republicans Rip Rand For Rejecting Obamacare Repeal
Rand Paul might soon go down as the Republican who saved Obamacare — and he couldn’t care less. "I'm actually happy to be out there as the leading advocate for repealing Obamacare, not keeping it," the Kentucky Republican said in an interview. Of his GOP colleagues, Paul added: "These people, they so totally do not get it." (Kim and Everett, 9/20)
McClatchy: Graham Is The Capitol's Star Of The Day -- But His Health Care Bill's Prospects Still Uncertain
Despite a hard sell from [Mike] Pence, endorsements from GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol and a steady mobilization of influential conservative thought leaders, a handful of Senate Republicans remain uncomfortable with the bill’s many unknowns. (Dumain, 9/19)
The Hill: GOP Faces Risks, Rewards In Rushing To Repeal Vote Without CBO Score
Senate Republicans are rushing toward a vote on an ObamaCare repeal bill without getting a full analysis from the Congressional Budget Office on how their legislation would affect coverage and premiums. It’s a risky move, as Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have both said they’d prefer to have a full score before casting their votes. (Sullivan, 9/19)
A look at where governors stand on the issue —
The Hill: Kasich, Sandoval, Alaska Governor Oppose New ObamaCare Repeal Bill
A bipartisan group of governors including Republicans John Kasich (Ohio) and Brian Sandoval (Nevada) is urging the Senate to reject the latest ObamaCare repeal effort. In a letter to Senate leaders, the governors urged lawmakers not to abandon bipartisan market stabilization talks led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). (Weixel, 9/19)
Cincinnati Enquirer: Kasich To GOP: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill Not The 'Right Way'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a message for Republicans in Congress who may take up a last-minute effort to repeal Obamacare: Don't. Republican senators are making one last push to overhaul Obamacare days before an end-of-September deadline, but it is not clear whether they have the votes to pass a bill. (Weiser and Collins, 9/19)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Joins Bipartisan Governors In Opposing Graham-Cassidy
Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday joined a bipartisan group of governors who formally declared opposi
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