OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Another ObamaCare-driven government shutdown looks unlikely

Prospects for completing a giant spending bill and avoiding another government shutdown appeared to improve Tuesday, as a top negotiator said a repeat of October’s ObamaCare-driven shutdown could be avoided.
 
Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa), who chairs a subcommittee overseeing health, labor and education spending, told reporters that the $1 trillion omnibus is nearing completion, and that both sides should be able to agree on an ObamaCare compromise.

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While the GOP has signaled it wants to avoid a shutdown in this fight, funding for the healthcare law remains a deeply divisive issue within the party, and it's unclear how it will be massaged in the omnibus. The Hill’s Erik Wasson reports.

UI vs. ObamaCare Round I: Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) objected to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE's (R-Ky.) attempt to ensure Republicans could offer amendments to a bill that would temporarily extend unemployment insurance.

McConnell wanted to offer at least two amendments that he said would help pay for the three-month extension: delaying ObamaCare's individual insurance mandate for one year and restoring a $6 billion cut in military retiree benefits. The Hill’s Ramsey Cox reports.

UI vs. ObamaCare Round II: Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneAviation panel recommends Trump roll back safety rules Overnight Regulation: House moves to block methane rule | Senators wrestle with allowing driverless trucks | EPA delays toxic waste rule Overnight Tech: Senate looks at self-driving trucks | Facebook to keep ads off fake news | House panel calls Equifax CEO to testify MORE (R-S.D.) said Tuesday he would propose an amendment that would replace a Senate plan to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months with new tax breaks and an ObamaCare exemption aimed at creating an incentive to hire the unemployed.



Thune's proposal is one of what could become several GOP proposals to alter the unemployment bill, which advanced in the Senate earlier today with the help of six Republican votes. That bill would extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months, and many Republicans are likely to propose finding cuts to pay for that $6.4 billion cost. Pete Kasperowicz at The Hill reports.

 

State by State:

200,000 Alabamians may be eligible for ObamaCare subsidies, The Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Hiccups persist in California health insurance exchange, according to The Los Angeles Times.

More than half of Hawaii’s uninsured may qualify for Medicaid, the Pacific Business News reports.

New Jersey Democrats push for Medicaid expansion, according to The Concord Monitor.

 

Reading List:

Democrats don’t really want to fix ObamaCare, writes Byron York at The Washington Examiner.

Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic looks at who is to blame if consumers can’t continue seeing their doctors.

 

What you may have missed at HealthWatch:

The White House says ObamaCare will make a comeback similar to that of the Colts-Chiefs game.

The RNC hits Dems over ‘Lie of the Year.’