KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Vote To Defund Health Law On Congress’ To-Do List Before August Break

The vote, which will mark the House of Representatives' 40th effort to undo all or part of the health law, is scheduled for Friday afternoon. This time around, the effort is causing friction within the Republican caucus. Meanwhile, budget issues are gaining attention in the Senate.  

The New York Times: At The 11th Hour, A Languid Congress
But the House's marquee moment before adjourning until Sept. 9 will come on Friday with its 40th vote to cripple President Obama's health care law. House members preparing their vacation plans have been assured that the last vote will be no later than 3 p.m. In the Senate, a glimmer of hope has appeared for a bipartisan deal to end the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration and shift some of those savings to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. But even optimistic negotiators do not suggest that an agreement between Senate Republicans and the White House is in reach before the break (Wesman, 7/29).

Politico: Tom Cole: Obamacare Shutdown 'Suicidal Political Tactic'
House Deputy Whip Tom Cole thinks shutting down the government to defund Obamacare is a "suicidal political tactic." … Cole said he has voted multiple times to repeal Obamacare and called defunding the health care law an "admirable goal," but said shutting down the government is the wrong way to do it (Arkin, 7/29).

Roll Call: Obamacare Defunding Fight Could Threaten Boehner Leverage, Message
The effort by conservatives in the House and Senate to threaten a government shutdown over Obamacare could force Speaker John A. Boehner into the arms of House Democrats. With 60 Republicans already pushing the Ohio Republican to defund Obamacare in any spending bill, the speaker may not be able to cobble together a House majority on a bill that President Barack Obama would sign without Democratic votes (Dennis and Fuller, 7/29).

NBC News: Cruz: Republicans Not Willing To 'Stand Up' To Defund Obamacare
The conservative plan to use the resolution that funds the government to cripple the president's health care law has a problem, according to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz: other Republicans. "The problem right now is we don't have Republicans willing to stand up and do this," Cruz said Monday on The Andrea Tantaros Show, a conservative radio program. "We need 41 Republicans in the Senate or 218 Republicans in the House, to stand together, to join me, to join Mike Lee, to join Marco Rubio, all of whom have said, we will not vote for a single continuing resolution that funds even a penny of ObamaCare" (Hunt, 7/3).

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