KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GOP Readies Plan Should SCOTUS Strike Down Health Law

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., who chairs the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, said Republicans will be ready with a replacement package if the health law is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Also in the news, CQ HealthBeat reports the insurance industry expects to see legislation in the Senate to exempt brokers' fees from the medical-loss ratio. Meanwhile, Sen. Jon Kyl, R- Ariz., wants to use war savings to pay for the Medicare "doc fix."  

The Associated Press: House GOP To Draft Bill Replacing Obama Health Law
House Republican leaders are drafting a bill to replace President Barack Obama's health care overhaul if the Supreme Court strikes it down this summer. Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Pitts, chairman of a health care panel, says the GOP leadership wants to seize the opportunity if Obama's signature legislation is ruled unconstitutional (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/25).

Politico: House GOP To Offer Health Reform 'Replace' Plan After SCOTUS Rules
A top House Republican on Wednesday said GOP lawmakers will put forward an alternative to the health care reform law after the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law. "We will be ready to respond to the Supreme Court decision, which is expected in June, with a replacement package," House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) told a small group of reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday. Pitts said he personally anticipates that the court could strike the mandate but is unlikely to strike the entire law (Haberkorn, 1/25).

The Hill: GOP Prepares Bill To Replace Obama's Supreme Court-Bound Health Care Law
House Republicans will be ready with a plan to replace President Obama’s healthcare law once the Supreme Court determines the law's fate this summer, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) told reporters Wednesday. Republicans have made good on their promise to try to repeal Obama’s healthcare law, but the "replace" part of their "repeal and replace" strategy has proved more difficult. Pitts said Republicans will be ready for the opening a Supreme Court ruling will provide — no matter what the justices decide (Baker, 1/25).

CQ HealthBeat: Insurance Industry Expects Senate Bill To Exempt Brokers' Fees From MLR
Health insurance industry sources said Wednesday they expect Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana to be the prime author of the Senate version of legislation that would exempt insurance agent and broker commissions from "medical loss ratio" calculations under the health care law. One official with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), which held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, said Landrieu would be joining with fellow Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia in sponsoring the bill. And a fourth, as-yet unnamed Republican is expected to be among the four original authors of the legislation, the source said (Reichard, 1/25).

Politico Pro: Kyl Pushes War Money For 'Doc Fix'
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is lobbying House Republicans one-on-one to use war savings to pay for repealing the Medicare physician formula, according to physician lobbyists. But conference committee Chairman Dave Camp, who opposes that pay-for, raised new questions Wednesday about whether the Overseas Contingency Operations funds fall within the panel's scope. That debate could extend into the group's second meeting next week (DoBias and Feder, 1/25).

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