OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Republicans unveil O-Care alternative

Three senior Senate Republicans on Monday proposed an alternative to ObamaCare that would replace “job-crushing” federal mandates with a voluntary system led by the states.

ADVERTISEMENT
The legislative blueprint from Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would eliminate all of the healthcare law’s federal rules, including the unpopular requirement to purchase insurance under the threat of penalty.
 
But the GOP proposal, known as the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act, would also weaken one of ObamaCare’s most popular provisions, by giving insurers an opening to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
 
Aides said they didn’t expect Obama to sign such a bill into law, even if Republicans control the House and Senate in 2014. But they said the public appetite for an ObamaCare alternative is bound to grow over time. Read more from Jonathan Easley at The Hill.

White House reacts to abortion bill: The White House expressed strong opposition Monday to a Republican bill that would eliminate tax credits for private health plans that cover abortion, among other provisions. Set to receive a vote this week, the measure from House Republicans is intended to broaden and make permanent a longstanding ban on taxpayer funding for abortion. The wide-ranging legislation is expected to come to the floor on Wednesday and will mark the first abortion-related move by the House in 2014.

Healthwatch has more on the White House statement.

'Surge' in young enrollments: The White House on Monday dismissed concerns by retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who in a radio interview on Monday said he didn't think enough young, healthy consumers would purchase ObamaCare policies.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said he hadn't seen the interview, but said that despite the "shaky rollout" of the ObamaCare website, the government was seeing "a significant surge in the percentage of young Americans under 35 enrolling."

"Those numbers are consistent with what we saw in Massachusetts," Carney said. The Hill has more details from the press conference.

Mixed polls: Surveys released Monday showed a mixed bag for the healthcare law. While negative perceptions of ObamaCare appear to be weakening, according to an Associated Press/GFK poll, finance website Bankrate found that fewer than half know they must carry health insurance by March 31 or pay a fine. Another 62 percent in the latter survey believed that the deadline would ultimately be pushed back.

Read more about the two polls at Healthwatch.

State by state

Va. House members say no to Medicaid expansion

Waivers pave way for Medicaid expansion in some states

Analysis finds disparities in success of states' exchange signups [free registration required]


Reading list

ObamaCare tricky for parents of kids on Medicaid

Survey: 'ObamaCare' won't change business conditions

ObamaCare increases incomes of poorest, study finds


What you might have missed at Healthwatch

Kaine, Warner sign on to Cantor pediatric research bill


Comments / complaints / suggestions?


Please let us know:

Jonathan Easley/ jeasley@thehill.com / @joneasley


Elise Viebeck/ eviebeck@thehill.com / @eliseviebeck 

More in Healthcare

On healthcare costs, the sheep are worried about the wrong wolf

Read more »