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Kaiser Health News Original Stories

3. Political Cartoon: 'A Whole New Ball Game?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'A Whole New Ball Game?'" by Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Here's today's health policy haiku:


Repeal and replace.
Blind? Or just can't see the light?
Medicare for all!

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:

Administration News

4. House Launches Investigation Into HHS Secretary's Private Jet Use; Trump Says He's 'Not Happy' With Price

When asked if Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price would be fired over his use of a private jet that has cost taxpayers more than $400,000 since May, President Donald Trump said, "We'll see." Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee is requesting information on Price's travel.

Politico Pro: House Oversight Committee Launches Investigation Into Agency Travel Following Price Reports
Under Federal Travel Regulations, officials are advised to take the “most expeditious” means of transportation and “by no means should include personal use,” Chairman Trey Gowdy and ranking member Elijah Cummings write in a sample letter addressed to Price, who served more than a decade in the House before joining Trump's administration. Similar letters were sent to 23 other agencies and the White House. (Diamond, 9/27)

Politico: Trump Fuming Over Price's Charter Flights
Politico has revealed that Price has flown 26 times on private aircraft since last May at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a break with the practice of his predecessors, who generally took commercial flights. Some Trump advisers are urging Trump to get rid of Price, according to three people familiar with the conversations. “His conduct is pretty much indefensible,” one senior administration official said. “I don’t know how you defend it.” (Dawsey, Restuccia and Nelson, 9/27)

The Associated Press: Top Health Official’s Travel Angers Trump
President Donald Trump says he’s “not happy” with his top health official, putting Tom Price’s job in jeopardy after his costly charter flights triggered a congressional investigation of administration travel. Asked whether he’s planning on firing Price, Trump responded Wednesday: “We’ll see.” (Alonso-Zaldivar and Lucey, 9/28)

The Washington Post: Trump: ‘Not Happy’ About HHS Secretary Tom Price’s Taxpayer-Funded Travel On Private Jets
President Trump on Wednesday said he is "not happy" about revelations that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took numerous flights on government-funded private jets for work and personal trips. But the former congressman from Georgia is likely to keep his job, according to two people familiar with Trump's thinking. Responding to questions from reporters at the White House, Trump said he is “looking into” the situation and that “personally, I'm not happy about it, and I let him know it.” Trump spoke by phone with Price in recent days, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the personnel issue. (Nakamura and Gearan, 9/27)

The New York Times: Tom Price’s Spending Habits Catch Trump’s Attention: ‘I’m Not Happy About It’
According to a senior administration official familiar with Mr. Trump’s thinking, the president’s willingness to ferret out financial wrongdoing is not good news for Mr. Price, a physician and a former Georgia congressman who has been a vocal proponent of cost-cutting within his own agency. Mr. Trump, who is known to dislike appearances of financial waste, is said to be increasingly frustrated with a series of reports published by Politico about Mr. Price’s spending habits. (Rogers, 9/27)

NPR: Trump, 'Not Happy,' Joins Critics Of His Own Highflying Cabinet Officials
On Capitol Hill, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent letters instructing administration officials to supply details and documents from all trips on government-owned or chartered aircraft by nonelected political appointees. Letters went to the heads of 24 executive departments and independent agencies and to White House chief of staff John Kelly. (Overby, 9/27)

The Hill: Democrats Call For Price’s Resignation
Democratic lawmakers began calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to resign on Wednesday following a series of reports about his use of private jets at taxpayers’ expense. Five House Democrats joined together to demand Price’s resignation, hours after President Trump said he’s “not happy” with his health secretary’s pattern of costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to ride on private planes. (Marcos, 9/27)

Stat: On Heels Of Tom Price Private Jet Revelations, House Committee Launches Inquiry
As a Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed for the second time in three months this week, the man tapped to  lead the charge found himself at the center of another controversy. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, according to a series of reports from Politico, has racked up a tab of more than $400,000 in private jet travel, despite his predecessors’ longstanding practice of traveling on commercial airlines. (Facher, 9/27)

Bloomberg: Trouble Mounts For Trump’s Health Secretary After Private-Jet Trips
On Wednesday, the the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a letter asking Price for details on his use of “government-owned aircraft for personal travel or private non-commercial aircraft for official travel.” The letter, signed by the committee’s top Republican and Democrat, gives Price two weeks to provide the records. It also drags the former congressman into an inquiry by fellow Republicans, a relative rarity in Washington politics. HHS’s Office of Inspector General is also investigating the trips. (Edney, 9/27)

The Hill: Oversight Panel To Investigate Cabinet Officials Using Private Planes 
The House Oversight Committee will investigate the use of private jet travel by Cabinet officials. The committee on Wednesday sent letters to the White House and 24 federal agencies requesting information related to senior officials’ use of government-owned aircraft or private non-commercial aircraft for official and personal travel. (Weixel, 9/27)

The Hill: Poll: Majority View Price's Use Of Private Jet As 'Inappropriate' 
A majority of voters thinks it's inappropriate for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to use private jets for official business, a new poll released Wednesday shows.  Price has used a charter flight at least 26 times since May, totaling about $400,000, according to a series of Politico reports.  (Hellmann, 9/27)


5. Trump Promises Order To Allow Insurers To Sell Across State Lines -- But That Option Already Exists

Several states have tried it, and it's been a bust.

The Washington Post: Trump Plans Executive Action To Let Insurers Sell Health Plans Across State Lines
President Trump said Wednesday that he could take executive action next week to allow insurers to sell health plans across state lines and make it easier for individual consumers to buy coverage as a group, a policy approach long championed by conservatives. Trump’s comments, which came on the same day that insurers in about three dozen states had to finalize their federal contracts to offer 2018 coverage under the Affordable Care Act, did little to allay their concerns or those of state officials. (Eilperin and Winfield Cunningham, 9/27)

CNN Money: Trump Says He May Sign Executive Order On Health Care Next Week
A day after Congress' last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare failed, Trump said he may soon sign an executive order on health care that would affect millions of people. "I'll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things and buy their own health care, and that will be probably signed next week," he told reporters Wednesday. "It's being finished now. It's going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people. Millions of people." (Luhby, 9/27)