Overnight Healthcare: McConnell warns Senate not to block repeal debate | Insurers knock Cruz proposal | WH tries to discredit CBO | Lawmakers propose $1.1B NIH funding boost

Overnight Healthcare: McConnell warns Senate not to block repeal debate | Insurers knock Cruz proposal | WH tries to discredit CBO | Lawmakers propose $1.1B NIH funding boost
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The main health insurer trade group is warning Senate Republicans against including a controversial conservative amendment in their healthcare bill, saying the move would destabilize the market and harm coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) warns in a position paper that the proposal from Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzRussia raises problems for GOP candidates Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate O'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Utah) would cause people with pre-existing conditions to "potentially lose access to comprehensive coverage and/or have plans that were far more expensive, as premiums in the Exchange market would rise much faster than under existing market conditions."

The lawmakers' proposal would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations if they also sold one plan that does. Conservatives argue this idea would allow younger and healthier people to buy cheaper plans.

Read more here.


McConnell warns Senate: Don't block ObamaCare repeal debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting MORE (R-Ky.) is warning his colleagues to not block the chamber from taking up a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as leadership struggles to shore up support for the legislation.

"I'm sure members will have other good ideas ... and I hope they will offer them. ... But if the Senate is prevented from even proceeding to the bill, none of us will have an opportunity -- not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone," McConnell said from the Senate floor Wednesday.

McConnell's comments come as at least 10 GOP senators have publicly voiced opposition to the current version of the healthcare legislation.

Read more here.  


McConnell's health gambit ripples in Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in a dicey spot in more ways than one when it comes to the Senate's healthcare bill.

If the Kentucky Republican fails in his effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, his reputation as a master tactician of the Senate will take a hit, with lawmakers second-guessing his decisions on drawing up a bill largely behind closed doors.

It would also deal a serious blow to the GOP effort to end ObamaCare and would mean Republicans have wasted the first seven months of the new Trump administration with little to show for it. Questions about the rest of their agenda would grow.

Back in Kentucky, McConnell would also face some politically tricky questions.

Read more here.


Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcCain: Trump plays into 'Putin's hands' by attacking Montenegro, questioning NATO obligations The Nation editor: Reaction by most of the media to Trump-Putin press conference 'is like mob violence' Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace MORE says bill 'does not repeal ObamaCare'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a new op-ed blasts the Senate GOP's healthcare bill, saying it doesn't repeal ObamaCare.

In the piece published Wednesday on Breitbart News, Paul criticized ObamaCare and targeted those in the GOP who he said are not upholding their commitment to repeal the former president's signature healthcare legislation.

Paul -- a vocal critic of the healthcare bill -- said he's not able to support the Senate GOP's proposal in its current form.

"I miss the old days, when Republicans stood for repealing Obamacare. Republicans across the country and every member of my caucus campaigned on repeal -- often declaring they would tear out Obamacare 'root and branch!'" Paul wrote in the op-ed.

"What happened?" he asked.

Read more here.


Trump raises the pressure

President Trump said he'll be "very angry" if Senate Republicans aren't able to pass a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, as GOP leaders get ready to unveil their updated legislation.

Trump said Republicans have been promising for years that they'd repeal ObamaCare, and now with Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, he said he's "waiting" to sign a repeal bill. If Senate Republicans aren't able to pass their bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, he said that'd be "very bad."

"Well, I don't even want to talk about it, because I think it would be very bad. I will be very angry about it and a lot of people will be very upset," Trump said during an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network's Pat Robertson.

Read more here.


White House analysis of health bill seeks to discredit CBO

The White House on Wednesday released its own internal analysis of the Senate's ObamaCare repeal and replace bill in an attempt to push back against the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) findings.

In a statement, the White House said the CBO estimates about the Better Care Reconciliation Act's (BCRA) Medicaid impact "should be discounted because of the large errors made by the agency in estimating the toll of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."

The analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) could provide cover for congressional Republicans who may be hesitant to vote for a bill that CBO said would cut $772 billion from Medicaid and result in 22 million people losing their insurance coverage.

Read more here.


Ten House Democrats propose plan to fix ObamaCare

Ten House Democrats are proposing a plan to stabilize the ObamaCare markets and reduce premiums.

The plan, released Wednesday by the House Democrats' Affordable and Accessible Health Care Task Force, comes as Republicans pressure Democrats to come up with their own plan to "fix" the Affordable Care Act.

"Although we've made all of this progress, we as Members of Congress have to acknowledge that too many Americans still struggle with costs, especially people in the individual market," said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), co-chair of the task force.

"We are proposing real, concrete solutions that will stabilize and improve the individual market, making Obamacare work better for everyone, and getting us closer to universal coverage for all Americans."

Read more here.


Lawmakers propose $1.1B boost to NIH, defying Trump budget

The House subcommittee controlling the purse strings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Wednesday proposed a $1.1 billion boost for the agency, defying the Trump administration's push for cuts.

The White House had proposed slashing the nation's medical research agency by $5.8 billion.

But it was clear from the get-go that Congress wouldn't support cutting NIH's budget, with members of both parties in opposition.

In late May, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said he didn't think Congress would be on board with the cuts, saying "I don't think it's a wise choice."

Democrats and Republicans alike have banded together to support NIH in recent years.

Read more here.


What we're reading

Public wants Republicans to work with Democrats on healthcare (Axios)

Sessions said to unveil healthcare fraud crackdown this week (Bloomberg)

Here's how the ObamaCare marketplaces are doing, state by state (Bloomberg)


State by state

Arkansas waiver would drop 60,000 from Medicaid and place work requirements on the rest (Modern Healthcare)

DNC targets Louisiana, Cassidy on Medicaid expansion (Roll Call)

Medi-Cal patients sue California, claiming widespread discrimination (Los Angeles Times)