KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Pelosi Opts To Stay House Democratic Leader; GOP Selects Woman To House Leadership Team

Meanwhile, some Republicans are pushing for creation of a new health committee in the House.

Los Angeles Times: Pelosi Decides To Remain House Democratic Leader
In 2007, she became speaker — and the first Californian to head the House — overseeing passage of the most far-reaching healthcare overhaul since the creation of Medicare, an economic stimulus program, and the revamping of financial regulations, often with little or no Republican support. But while she — and her Democratic majority — ruled the House, she became a favorite Republican campaign target as evidence of what's wrong with Washington (Simon, 11/14).

The Wall Street Journal: House GOP Elevates Woman To Key Post
House Republicans turned aside an effort by a group of conservative lawmakers to elevate their favored candidate to a top leadership position, choosing instead a female lawmaker who some in the party thought could help close the gap with women voters. The selection of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state comes after last week's presidential and Senate elections showed the party faces a challenge in reaching women (Bendavid and O’Connor, 11/14).

Medpage Today: Doc May Be Top Dem On House Health Panel
The lone Democratic physician with a vote in the House of Representatives is being mentioned as the likely minority leader for a powerful health subcommittee next year. Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D-Wash.), is next in seniority to lead Democrats on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee after the defeat of longtime congressman Pete Stark (D-Calif.). … Subcommittee chairs are decided upon by the committee's membership, and nothing is final yet. Yet McDermott does have seniority and has been active in health affairs both on Ways and Means and the full House, McDermott spokesman Kinsey Kiriakos told MedPage Today (Pittman, 11/14).

CQ HealthBeat: New Health Care Committee In House Sought By Three Republicans
Three House Republicans want to create a new committee that would have complete jurisdiction over health care issues, calling it the best opportunity for repealing the 2010 health care law. Reps. Doc Hastings of Washington, Reid Ribble of Wisconsin and Rob Woodall of Georgia plan to offer an amendment to create the committee at the Republican organizing conference Thursday. Because Democrats retained control of the Senate and the White House, the lawmakers say, Republicans must make the most of their control over the House (Ethridge, 11/14).

Politico Pro: Some House Members Want One Health Supercommittee
Several House Republicans are pushing for an entirely new committee to consolidate all health care matters under one roof, but the effort is likely to be stymied by GOP committee heads who don't want to cede jurisdictional territory. Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who circulated a letter with two colleagues Wednesday, says a new, centralized committee dealing solely with health care matters would make it easier to work on Medicare, Medicaid and oversight of the health care law's rollout — instead of leaving health care jurisdiction scattered among eight different committees and multiple subcommittees. Hastings also said that such a committee would enable Republicans to plan how to repeal the federal health law — in 2017 when President Barack Obama leaves office (Cunningham, 11/14).

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