OVERNIGHT HEALTH: WH credits ObamaCare for slow growth in healthcare spending

The White House on Monday said ObamaCare was partly responsible for slowing the growth of healthcare spending, even while the agency tasked with implementing the law said the impact was “minimal.”

“For years, healthcare costs in America skyrocketed, with brutal consequences for our country,” President Obama’s healthcare adviser, Jeanne Lambrew, wrote in a blog post.

“The Affordable Care Act, for the first time in decades, has helped to stop that trend,” she said.

The White House claim came Monday afternoon in conjunction with a report issued by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that found healthcare spending over the last four years has grown at the slowest pace ever recorded.

Healthcare spending in the U.S. grew at 3.7 percent in 2012 to $2.8 trillion, the CMS found. That’s in line with the previous three years of growth, which came in between 3.6 and 3.8 percent annually.

Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

BREAKING: In major shift, Medicare seeks to ban harmful prescribers. Read more at ProPublica.

GOP infighting: Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) blasted Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks Senate Homeland Security chairman backs bump-stock ban after Las Vegas shootings MORE (R-Wis.) over Johnson’s lawsuit against the Obama administration, calling it an "unfortunate political stunt" that will drive talent away from Capitol Hill. Johnson unveiled the details of his lawsuit over the federal contributions that lawmakers and their staffs get for health insurance at a Monday press conference, but Sensenbrenner stole some of his fellow senator's thunder by releasing his statement on Sunday. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

N/A: The White House said Monday that it was still unable to provide the demographic data it describes as a "key element" to evaluating the overall success of ObamaCare. White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted on Monday that "at this point" the administration did not have information about the makeup of early enrollees in the president's signature legislative program. But the White House spokesman also pledged to make the data "available as soon as possible." Justin Sink at The Hill reports.

GOP gains: Republicans lead Democrats among undecided likely voters when it comes to healthcare issues, according to a new poll. Healthcare news aggregator The Morning Consult found that the GOP has an 8-point advantage on the topic of healthcare going into 2014. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

State by State:

California extends ObamaCare premium payment deadline, from The Los Angeles Times.

Kentucky Republicans aim to reel in governor’s power in wake of ObamaCare, from The Washington Post.

Reading List:

Why I’m suing over ObamaCare exemptions for Congress, by Sen. Ron Johnson.

ObamaCare paves the way to single payer, by Noam Scheiber at The New Republic.

What you may have missed at HealthWatch:

Rules meets Wednesday to prep ObamaCare bills.

House GOP sets vote on ObamaCare security bill.


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Jonathan Easley / jeasley@thehill.com / 202-407-8014 / @joneasley

Elise Viebeck / eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck