OVERNIGHT HEALTH: CR delaying ObamaCare draws support

The plan drew immediate support from Heritage Action and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the architect of the original defunding strategy, suggesting that even the most stringent ObamaCare critics could find it acceptable in the coming weeks. 

The Graves bill differs from leadership's in several ways. For one, it would fund the government for one year instead of the three months proposed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). In hard numbers, Cantor's plan would keep the government on a top-line level of $986 billion as dictated by the 2013 sequester. The Graves bill would use the $967 billion level called for by the 2014 sequester, which called for deeper cuts.

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On Wednesday, Cantor and his team delayed a vote on their stopgap measure and the defund-ObamaCare resolution that would set their overall strategy in motion. The strong initial support for Graves's plan suggests that leaders will struggle to gather enough support to eventually implement their plan. Republicans can afford only 16 defections on any bill that is solidly opposed by Democrats.

Read more about the Graves bill at Healthwatch. 

Delay strategy takes shape: While Graves's bill proved popular on Thursday, other lawmakers are still putting together an alternate strategy that calls for delaying the healthcare reform law — all of it — by one year. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) is spearheading an effort to demand an ObamaCare delay as a condition for raising the country's debt limit, rather than seeking to defund it through a spending bill.

Fleming said Thursday that his strategy would delay the entire law, including provisions that have already taken effect.

"We would delay everything, even taxes. You would get refunds if you made tax payments, you'd get that refunded to you," he said.

The government is expected to hit the debt limit in mid-October, and people can begin signing up for ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges on Oct. 1. 

So, what would happen to people who already signed up if the law is delayed? Their coverage wouldn't kick in as scheduled, Fleming said.

"They would probably option into it, and I don't know whether they send a check or not, or get a bill, but even if they did, they would have the money refunded," Fleming said. "Because again, their coverage doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1, so that gives us three months to get all that resolved."

Another GOP governor embraces Medicaid: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will likely become the latest Republican governor to embrace ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, the news site Lancaster Online reported Thursday. Pennsylvania would be the 27th state to adopt the expansion. It would cover roughly 680,000 people in the state, according to Lancaster Online.

Healthwatch has the story.

Lessons from Part D: The American Acton Forum, the think tank led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, released a new analysis Thursday of the experience implementing Medicare Part D. The lessons, according to the AAF: Competition works.

“Rather than dismissing the role of competition in Part D’s success, it would be better to learn from the program’s experience and apply these lessons in the context of other government programs. In short, Part D's success should make it a model for future programs and future reforms," Holtz-Eakin wrote.

The analysis is available here.


State by state

Sebelius bargains with governors to shore up health law

Report: Detroit may pay retirees to buy insurance through exchanges

Goldwater Institute sues over Ariz. Medicaid law


Lobbying registrations

Health Policy Source / Missouri Hospital Association

Health Policy Source / Elsevier

Health Policy Source / North Carolina Hospital Association


Reading list

Unions' misgivings on health law burst into view

ObamaCare insurance co-ops at the starting gate

US measles tally already among worst in 15 years


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Fla. officials under fire for impeding ObamaCare 'navigators'

Research foundation announces new healthcare agenda

Poll: GOP would be blamed for shutdown

Senator: Trio of likely 2016 GOP candidates gaming ObamaCare

McConnell pushes ObamaCare delay on energy bill

Government shutdown inches closer as GOP leaders delay vote in House

AFL-CIO demands ObamaCare changes


Comments / complaints / suggestions?


Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351 / @sam_baker

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