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But in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., strikes a less optimistic tone, saying "we're not there yet."
Politico: House Leaders: Obamacare Repeal Will Pass This Month
Take it to the bank, GOP leaders are all but declaring: The House will vote to repeal and replace by the end of this month. Their confidence, coming after months of dead ends and false starts, is fueled by the belief that President Donald Trump has their back — even if some conservatives currently don't. (Bade, Cheney and Bresnahan, 3/3)
The Washington Post: House Leaders Forge Ahead With Health Bills, Hoping To Bulldoze Internal Strife
Key House committees are set to take up legislation to repeal and begin replacing the Affordable Care Act next week, with Republican leaders intent on overcoming internal GOP debates to quickly deliver on a central campaign promise. Those intraparty struggles were highlighted Thursday when a Republican senator joined Democrats in calling for more transparency in the legislation’s drafting and suggested that House leaders were keeping details under wraps to sideline conservatives. (DeBonis, 3/2)
The Washington Post: Paul Ryan’s Feeling Confident About Repeal-And-Replace. McConnell Not So Much.
With each passing day, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan gets more confident that his troops are falling in line and that they will soon pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act. “I am perfectly confident that when it’s all said and done, we are going to unify,” Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday. “Because we all — every Republican — ran on repealing and replacing [the ACA]. And we are going to keep our promises.” Yet over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is much more circumspect. “The goal is for the administration, the House and the Senate to be in the same place,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “We’re not there yet.” (Kane, 3/2)
The Washington Post: Conservative Groups And Lawmakers Demanding ‘Full Repeal’ Could Derail Obamacare Rollback
An array of conservative lawmakers, organizations and activists are demanding a swifter and more aggressive remake of the Affordable Care Act than many Republicans are comfortable with, raising questions about whether President Trump and the GOP are headed toward gridlock as they try to fulfill their promise to repeal the health-care law. Three conservative senators known for bucking GOP leadership during Barack Obama’s presidency — Ted Cruz (Tex.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) — are raising the possibility of doing the same under Trump. (Weigel, Sullivan and DeBonis, 3/2)
Roll Call: House GOP Moving Toward Health Care Markup Despite Unresolved Concerns
House Republicans hope to start marking up a bill to repeal and partially replace the 2010 health care law next week, despite a litany of concerns about the plan. But proceeding with the legislative process is one way members say they can break through the impasse. Lawmakers with concerns about the plan range from conservatives, who view the refundable tax credits that are designed to help people purchase coverage in the private market as the creation of a new entitlement program, to moderates from states that have expanded Medicaid, who worry the plan won’t provide enough funding needed to sustain coverage provided through that program. (McPherson, 3/2)
Bloomberg: House Panels To Take Up Obamacare Replacement Measure Next Week
U.S. House committees plan to begin considering legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare next week, Republicans said Thursday after a closed-door meeting. Speaker Paul Ryan told lawmakers that the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee will begin debating the measure, which has so far been kept under wraps, with the goal of sending a bill to the Senate within three weeks, according to several Republicans who attended the meeting. (Greifeld, 3/2)
The Hill: Cornyn: Senate Will Take Up House ObamaCare Repeal Bill
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on Thursday that Senate Republicans will take up a forthcoming House ObamaCare repeal bill rather than formulate an alternative bill. The Senate's No. 2 Republican said that it was "correct" that the way forward for the upper chamber was to wait and see the House bill, then take up that legislation. "No, we're working with the House. The goal is for the House to pass a bill that we can then take up and pass here in the Senate," Cornyn added, when asked if Senate Republicans were working on their own plan. (Carney, 3/2)
Meanwhile, with all the jargon flying around over repeal and replace, The Associated Press answers some questions on the GOP's plan —
The Associated Press: GOP Health Bill: Less Government; But What About Coverage?
Health insurance tax credits, mandates, taxation of employer coverage, essential benefits. Mind-numbing health care jargon is flying around again as Republicans move to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. It’s time to start paying attention. The GOP plan emerging in the House would mean less government, and many fear that will translate to less coverage and a step backward as a nation. Still, there would be new options for middle-class people who buy their own policies but don’t now qualify for help under the ACA. Some popular provisions such as allowing young adults to stay on a parental plan remain untouched. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/3)
Morning Consult: High-Risk Pools Another Sticking Point Among Republicans
Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday expressed opposition to House GOP leaders’ plan to cover people with pre-existing conditions, highlighting another division that Republicans must overcome to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Kentucky Republican said it doesn’t make “logical sense” to allocate federal funds to help states run high-risk pools, which would be used to cover people who would be priced out of the marketplace if Obamacare is repealed. While dollar amounts haven’t been decided on, a leaked draft bill would divide $100 billion among the states over a decade to go to high-risk pools and other health care needs. (Reid, 3/1)
The Hill: Tying ObamaCare Repeal To Planned Parenthood Worries Some In GOP
Some congressional Republicans think tying the defunding of Planned Parenthood to an ObamaCare repeal bill could jeopardize the healthcare law rollback that they’ve been working on for eight years...Republicans have fought for years to cut off Planned Parenthood's funding because it provides abortions. Now with Republican majorities in Congress and a Republican president, the party faces its best chance to do it. Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier this year that Planned Parenthood would be defunded in the same bill as the ObamaCare repeal. (Hellmann, 3/3) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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