KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Republicans Continue To Pound Obamacare, Threaten Budget Vote

News outlets covered the ongoing "defunding" controversy.

Politico: Cruz: We Don't Have The Votes Yet To Defund Obamacare
Sen. Ted Cruz [R-Texas] said on Sunday he doesn’t have the votes yet to pass a budget resolution to defund Obamacare. "We do not have the votes right now,” the Texas Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union," ... "The House of Representatives should pass a continuing resolution that funds the federal government in its entirety, every aspect of the federal government, except Obamacare,” Cruz said (Epstein, 8/25). 

The Hill: Dean: ‘God Help Us' If Cruz 'Becomes Anything More' Than Texas Senator
"God help us if he ever becomes anything more than a senator from Texas,” [former Vermont Gov. Howard] Dean said in comments on CNN. Dean, who ran for president himself in 2004, said Cruz “doesn’t know anything about healthcare” and faulted the Tea Party favorite for backing an effort to defund ObamaCare by threatening to not fund the government. "These are crazy ideas that are from the far right,” said Dean, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (Berman, 8/25). 

Fox News: Push To Defund Obamacare Big Test At Heritage And Rest Of Republicans
South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint unexpectedly quit Congress this winter, saying essentially that he could better advance the conservative cause as president of the Heritage Foundation think tank than in Congress. ... DeMint’s biggest challenges to date appears to lie in the weeks ahead when Congress returns in two weeks to vote on a temporary spending bill, which DeMint hopes will not include money for ObamaCare. ... “It’s an uphill battle unless the people in the country speak up,” DeMint acknowledged to Fox News on Friday, at about the midway point of Heritage Action for American’s nine-city Defund ObamaCare Town Hall Tour (Weber, 8/25).

McClatchy Newspapers: DeMint Tours US To Challenge Republicans On Obamacare
DeMint and Cruz are demanding that other Republican lawmakers try to block funding to implement Obamacare by providing no money for it in appropriations bills for the 2014 fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and by withholding funding as a condition for agreeing to raise the federal debt ceiling later in the fall. "No one I know wants to shut down the government," DeMint told McClatchy on Saturday. "All we’re talking about is withholding money that would be spent on implementing Obamacare. The law is unaffordable, unworkable, unfair and unpopular" (Rosen, 8/24).

CBS News: GOP: State-Level Reforms Are The "Antidote" To Obamacare
Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., criticized President Obama's health-care law for ushering in a "new normal" of burdensome regulations and higher health-care costs in the weekly Republican address on Saturday, touting Republican governors' efforts to promote "freedom and flexibility" as the antidote to the heavy-handed policies coming out of Washington. As the full implementation of Obamacare approaches, Pence said, "we are learning more about the burdens it will place on hardworking Americans" (Miller, 8/24).

NBC News: Obama: GOP Threat To Shut Down Government 'Not An Economic Plan'
President Barack Obama said Friday that Republican threats to shut down the government over his health care law don’t amount to an economic plan. On the second day of his education-focused bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania, the president castigated conservatives who have vowed to shut down the government when its funds run out on Sept. 30 unless “Obamacare” is defunded. “Most recently, there's been threats that we shut down the government unless we agree to roll back the health care reform that's about to provide millions of Americans with health care coverage for the first time,” the president said (O'Brien, 8/23).


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