KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

House Republicans Plan: Delay Individual Mandate For Five Years

The idea is to use the savings to reverse the annual SGR cut for Medicare doctors. Also, a group of Catholic employers in Oklahoma is suing about the health law's contraception coverage exception.

Reuters: GOP Takes Aim At Obamacare To Fund Medicare 
U.S. House Republicans said on Wednesday that they are pushing a plan to delay for five years the penalties for failing to buy health insurance under Obamacare, and to use the savings to spare doctors from a steep cut in Medicare payments. Delaying until 2019 the financial penalty for not signing up for health insurance would slow down Obamacare signups and save the government billions of dollars that would otherwise be paid out in taxpayer subsidies to enrollees, the Republicans say (Cornwell, 3/12).

The Associated Press: House Backs Bill To Sue President Over Laws
The vote was 233-181 in the Republican-led House as GOP lawmakers excoriated Obama for multiple changes to his 4-year-old health care law, steps he’s taken to allow young immigrants to remain in the United States and the administration’s resistance to defend the federal law banning gay marriage (Cassata, 3/12).

In other news -

The Associated Press: Catholic Groups Mounts Challenge To Health Care Law
A group of nearly 200 Catholic employers filed a new lawsuit in Oklahoma against the federal government Wednesday, hoping to stop parts of the federal health care law that force them to provide insurance that covers contraceptives. The recently formed Catholic Benefits Association, ... takes issue with a compromise in the Affordable Health Care Act offered by the Obama administration that attempted to create a buffer for religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and social service groups that oppose birth control. The law requires insurers or the health plan’s outside administrator to pay for birth control coverage and creates a way to reimburse them (McBride, 3/12).

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