KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

After Vote, GOP’s Real Work Begins

Although the House repeal vote was a big-ticket item that gained a lot of media attention, the real work in the Republican effort to undo the health law will involve hearings, testimony, funding cuts and targeted legislative attempts to change specific provisions. The GOP will also work on crafting an alternative health plan. So far, specifics have been scarce.

Politico: Health Care: Now Comes The Really Hard Part
The next steps - hearings, testimony from administration officials, funding cuts - lack the punch of a straight repeal vote, but Republicans said they will keep at it, hoping the end result is the same: stalling implementation of the $900 billion law. Republicans promise to hold a series of hearings and oversight investigations into the law, attempt to repeal individual provisions and craft an alternative health care plan. Some of the first issues they will tackle are the cost of the law, the mandate on larger employers to provide coverage and the impact of the legislation on the states (Haberkorn and Budoff Brown, 1/20).

McClatchy: Hard Part Begins For GOP: Replacing Health Care Law
After taking a largely symbolic stand on Wednesday, Republicans on Thursday will begin a new phase of their effort to overturn the sweeping 2010 health care law, pursuing a variety of strategies: court tests, funding cutoffs, and piecemeal changes. The GOP-led House of Representatives voted Wednesday 245 to 189 to repeal the law, but that effort's likely to go nowhere in a Senate still ruled by Democrats, and even if it passed there, repeal wouldn't survive a certain presidential veto. That's one reason why on Thursday the House plans another vote directing its committees to look for specific changes they can make to the health care law (Lightman, 1/19).

Politico: Focus Shifts To Second Part Of Republicans' 'Repeal And Replace' Vow
To dodge the "party of no" label Democrats stuck on them, Republicans ran in 2010 on a promise to "repeal and replace" the Democrats' health care law with something better. And now they've got to deliver on the "replace" part - even though their base has never embraced health care as one of its core issues (Nather, 1/20).

Bloomberg: U.S. House Republicans Set To Start Crafting Health-Overhaul Substitute
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will begin the process of drafting their own health-care measure today, now that the chamber has voted to repeal the overhaul President Barack Obama pushed into law last year. The House will take up a resolution formally authorizing four committees to begin work on the legislation. Republicans, who won control of the House in November's elections, have yet to offer specific proposals or a timeline for presenting their health-care bill (Lerer and Armstrong, 1/20).

The Associated Press: GOP's Health Care Repeal: Now For The Hard Part
Out with mandates, the requirements in the law to carry health insurance coverage. In with special purchasing pools for people whose medical conditions render them uninsurable. Out with cuts to Medicare Advantage, the private alternative to the traditional health program for seniors and disabled people. In with limits to jury awards in medical malpractice cases and stricter restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions (1/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Could Talk Of A Middle Ground On Health Care Lead To Action?
Beyond Wednesday's repeal vote in the House and a somewhat more civil tone to the debate lies a new challenge for Republicans and Democrats when it comes to the health care law. Is it possible the two sides are interested in stretching that civility even further and finding some middle ground for changes in the law as Republican committees begin digging into it? (Norman, 1/19).

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