Health Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with their respective parties on Capitol Hill, setting up dueling messages on the Affordable Care Act.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare will happen this year, but a transition away from the law on the exchanges will occur over a multi-year period.
  • A growing number of Senate Republicans say they would prefer to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act simultaneously, although they haven’t said they would vote against repeal if it came up on the floor.
  • Senate Democrats are calling for an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into the stock trading of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, ahead of any confirmation hearings.

What’s Ahead

  • The Senate will continue debate on a budget resolution that sets up the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The marathon session of voting on amendments, known as “vote-a-rama,” is also expected and will likely include several health votes.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell will make remarks on the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act on Monday at the National Press Club.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks on the Affordable Care Act 12:30 p.m.
No events scheduled
Brookings Institution event on research and development 10 a.m.
Cato Institute discussion on the 115th Congress’ agenda 12 p.m.
AEI panel discussion on fixing health care 8 a.m.


Morning Consult Health Top Reads

1) Why Obamacare is unlikely to die a swift death
Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post

2) After Obama, Some Health Reforms May Prove Lasting
Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear, The New York Times

3) Outlook for 2017: Healthcare re-reform
Harris Meyer, Modern Healthcare

4) GOP Senators Stress Need for ACA Replacement Sooner Rather Than Later
Mary Ellen McIntire, Morning Consult

5) The Cost of Full Repeal of the Affordable Care Act
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

6) Republicans finally have the power to repeal Obamacare, but they’re still not sure how
Noam N. Levey, The Los Angeles Times

7) GOP’s Health-Law Attack Spurs Messaging Battle
Peter Nicholas et al., The Wall Street Journal

8) GOP airs Obamacare divisions in Pence meeting
Jennifer Haberkorn and Burgess Everett, Politico

9) GOP won’t promise ObamaCare fix will cover all
Peter Sullivan, The Hill

10) Growing GOP Doubts Jeopardize Swift Obamacare Repeal in Senate
Steven T. Dennis and Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg News


Health Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday afternoon after GOP leaders and the White House failed to cobble together enough support from the conservative and moderate wings of their party. In an astounding moment, the Wisconsin Republican conceded that Obamacare, which Republicans have campaigned on repealing since its inception, would remain the law of the land for the “foreseeable future.”

Health Brief: GOP Announces Changes to Health Care Bill

House GOP leaders made tweaks to their Obamacare replacement legislation aimed at bolstering Republican support, but many skeptical conservatives remain opposed to the plan. The changes include giving states more flexibility with their Medicaid programs, phasing out Obamacare taxes sooner and increasing tax credits to help older Americans afford health insurance.

Health Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement plan got a boost Friday when leaders of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in the House GOP, announced their support after the White House agreed to an amendment package that would give states the choice to block grant Medicaid rather than receive a per capita cap, and maintain work requirements for some program enrollees.

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