KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GOP Continues Attacks On Health Law, Boehner Issues Critical Report

Republicans are launching new campaigns against the health reform law.

The Hill: "Employers could lose their ability to change health plans or negotiate better rates and benefits under new healthcare reform regulations, the top GOP staffer on the Ways and Means Committee's health panel said Wednesday. Dan Elling, the Republican staff director for the health subcommittee, raised the issue during a CQ-Roll Call policy forum." In referring to the "grandfathering" provision (which exempts employer from complying with the new law), he "pointed out that in order to stay grandfathered, employers won't be able to switch to a different plan even if it offers the same benefits as the existing plan at lower cost. That could empower insurers to raise rates, he said" (Pecquet, 6/22). 

GOP senators took to the floor Tuesday to hit Democrats on a myriad of issues and are attempting to unify their message on several issues, including health care, Roll Call reports. "Republicans said they did not specifically plan Tuesday as a day to kick off a broad offensive. Rather, aides and lawmakers said, they are taking advantage of opportunities provided by Democrats, ranging from lingering unhappiness with their health care bill to the majority's inability to pass a popular package of tax breaks and unemployment insurance extenders." (Stanton, 6/23).

Politico: "House Republican Leader John Boehner is marking the 90-day anniversary of health care reform with a 43-page report 'designed to chronicle ObamaCare's three-month journey from hype to harsh reality.' The document outlines problems that Republicans say have been exacerbated or created by the reform law and forms the basis of their argument that the law should be repealed and replaced" (Haberkorn, 6/23).

In the meantime, Ivan G. Seidenberg, the head of the Business Roundtable and a key Obama ally who backed the health reform legislation "accused the president and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday of creating an 'increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation,'" The Washington Post reports.

The Post writes that the "president has assiduously courted the nation's top executives since taking office last year, seeking their counsel on economic policy in the wake of the recession and issuing dozens of invitations to the White House. In return, the Roundtable has generally supported the president's policies; it was the only major business group to back Obama's successful push for an overhaul of the health-care system. In recent months, however, that relationship has begun to fray. First, Democrats included a provision in the health-care bill - over the Roundtable's objection - that reduced corporate subsidies for drug coverage to retirees, a move that could cost big companies millions of dollars" (Montgomery, 6/23).

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