By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - 04/18/13 10:50 PM EDT
Two powerful conservative groups broke with House GOP leaders Thursday to oppose a bill that would increase funding for part of President Obama's healthcare law. The Heritage Foundation and the fiscally conservative Club for Growth both said they oppose the bill, which passed out of a House committee yesterday.
The bill would take $4 billion out of the reform law's prevention and public health fund and use the money to bolster high-risk pools for the uninsured. House Republicans say it's a way to help people in need, because the high-risk pools have stopped accepting new patients. But some conservative activists aren't on board.
The Club for Growth said the high-risk pools were too expensive even for Obama. The group urged lawmakers to defeat the GOP bill and said the vote would count as a "key vote" in the Club for Growth's scorecards.
"Fiscal conservatives should be squarely focused on repealing ObamaCare, not strengthening it by supporting the parts that are politically attractive," the group said.
Healthwatch has the story on conservative opposition.
Why is this happening? House Republicans have voted repeatedly to eliminate spending in the Affordable Care Act, including the prevention fund. This proposal is different because it would reinvest the savings back into a separate ObamaCare program — an unusual move for a caucus that has been so committed to defunding the whole law. So, why is this bill on the table?
Healthwatch has some answers.
BPC looks at Medicare reform: The Bipartisan Policy Center released new recommendations Thursday for overhauling Medicare's benefit structure. The think tank called for a new option called "Medicare Networks" — an integrated system seniors could choose instead of traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage. Seniors would get a discount on their premiums if they choose a Medicare Network, and providers in a network would share in the savings they yield for Medicare. The full BPC report is here.
Train wreck: Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) shot back Thursday at Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) after Baucus said he's afraid the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will turn into a "huge train wreck." If it's a train wreck, Pompeo said, Baucus is the conductor.
"You drafted it, you twisted arms to get it passed, and, until now, you have lauded it as a model for all the world," Pompeo wrote in a letter to Baucus. "Your attempts to pass the buck to President Obama’s team will not work, nor will they absolve you of responsibility for the harm that you have brought via this law."
Baucus, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act. Most of its major provisions were crafted in his committee, and the Finance draft was consistently treated as the primary bill even as other Senate and House committees worked on their own proposals.
Healthwatch has more.
The Susan B. Anthony List and the Pennsylvania Family Institute will host a briefing and screening of a documentary film about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with the deaths of seven babies and one mother. Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) are the event's honorary co-hosts.
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