KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

80 House GOP Members Urge Boehner To Defund Obamacare

House Speaker John Boehner floated the idea of a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown in October. But conservatives in his caucus expressed opposition, insisting that funds be stripped from the health care law even if that forces a government shutdown.

The New York Times: Clock Is Ticking For Recess, And For A Deficit Deal
Given the lack of progress, those involved say Speaker John A. Boehner will need to play a crucial role in finding an agreement. House Republican leaders consulted with their rank and file via a conference call Thursday night to sound out their ideas to avoid a fiscal crisis as early as Oct. 1. Mr. Boehner pressed gingerly for a straight short-term extension of funds to avoid an immediate government shutdown in October, but faced immediate opposition from conservatives demanding that funds be stripped from the health care law. One thought is to use a short-term spending bill to keep the government running into November. … That way, with both a debt default and government shutdown looming, Republicans could apply maximum pressure on the White House to either agree to scuttle President Obama’s health care law or accept significant changes in programs like Medicare and Social Security (Weisman, 8/22).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: 80 House Republicans Urge Boehner To Block ‘Obamacare,’ Even If It Shuts Down The Government
More than a third of House Republicans urged their leader Thursday to trigger a government shutdown rather than fund the implementation of the health care overhaul they call “Obamacare.” A letter from 80 Republicans asked Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to resist any spending bills that would accommodate the new health care law, which is nearing a critical stage of signing up millions of Americans for health coverage (8/23).

Politico: 80 House GOPers Urge John Boehner To Defund Obamacare
A North Carolina Republican and 79 colleagues sent a letter Wednesday to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) urging them to defund Obamacare as part of a government funding bill. Rep. Mark Meadows, who has spearheaded the effort, said in the letter that he and his colleagues “urge” the House GOP leadership to “affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill” (Sherman, 8/22).

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Plans Spending Bill To Avoid Shutdown
Mr. Boehner met objections from several conservatives who want the spending bill to include a measure blocking funding for President Barack Obama's signature health-care law—a conservative demand that many lawmakers have heard at town hall meetings this summer (Boles and Hook, 8/22).

Reuters: Boehner Warns Against Shutting U.S. Government Over 'Obamacare'
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner warned rank-and-file Republicans in a conference call on Thursday against using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare, according to people on the call. On the call, Boehner reminded Republicans of the political backlash their party suffered when the government shut down in 1995-1996, according to one person on the call (Bohan and Younglai, 8/23).

Bloomberg: Boehner Tells Caucus House Will Keep Fighting Health Law
House Speaker John Boehner assured his Republican caucus last night that the House will continue its bid to stop implementation of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, while not addressing a push from some in his party to simply not fund the measure. Boehner also told lawmakers on a telephone conference call that deep, across-the-board government spending cuts, known as sequestration, will stay in place until Obama proposes a replacement package, according to a person who was on the line and wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about it (Tiron, 8/23).

Politico: Mike Lee: Shutdown Talk A 'False Narrative'
Pushing back against the Democratic line that his drive to defund Obamacare could lead to a government shutdown, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told supporters it was a “false narrative based on an absolute lie” and vowed to continue his efforts. “I need you to help communicate a message, a message to defeat a false narrative based on an absolute lie that has been perpetuated by the political ruling class elite in Washington, D.C., that’s been dutifully reported by an all-too-willing-to-comply media, and that lie that the effort to avoid funding Obamacare is an effort to shut down the government,” Lee said during a town hall meeting on Thursday night. "It's a darned lie and I reject it" (Bresnahan, 8/22).

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