Overnight Healthcare

OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: Mounting opposition to Medicare deal

Conservatives in the House are assailing a $210 billion legislative fix for Medicare, warning the deal Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is negotiating with Democrats could undermine the push for a balanced budget.

Some hard-liners in the GOP conference on Tuesday said they were infuriated to learn that Boehner had been talking for weeks with Democratic leaders about a plan to eliminate the automatic cuts to Medicare providers.

{mosads}”[Boehner] didn’t come to us and say, ‘How do we fix the ‘doc fix’ working with Mitch McConnell?’ He went to Nancy Pelosi,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said Tuesday.

Some conservatives have also voiced support for the plan, such as Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), the co-chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he is worried about offsetting the costs of the bill.

“They’re doing some savings, they’re doing some changes. You do like the idea of that long-term,” Jordan said. “But I am very concerned, obviously, about the long-term costs, the quote unpaid-for part.”

The criticism doesn’t end with conservatives. Some liberal Democrats, as well as the AARP, are taking issue with the plan because it asks some seniors to pay more under Medicare.

… BUT CONSERVATIVES LIKE RECONCILIATION: The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said Tuesday he’s likely to support the newly unveiled budget because of its language to repeal ObamaCare.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who describes himself as one of Congress’s most conservative members, told reporters he believes many of his hard-line conservative colleagues will support the House Budget Committee’s proposal because of its use of a budget tool, reconciliation, to repeal ObamaCare.

“I think reconciliation language will be a motivating reason for I think many of us do lean toward supporting the budget,” Jordan said during a panel of conservatives. Read more here.  

GOP BUDGET WOULD KEEP OBAMACARE SAVINGS: The 43-page proposal offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) would eliminate all mandates, taxes, regulations and subsidies under the healthcare law, which the committee says would save $2 trillion.

The blueprint mirrors the previous House budget by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Price’s predecessor – including a plan to pocket any savings from ObamaCare.

Ryan had preserved Obama’s Medicare cuts in two consecutive budget proposals that repealed the rest of the Affordable Care Act. That approach differed from his former running mate, Mitt Romney, who pledged to repeal the Medicare cuts and restore the $716 billion in spending in 2012.

That position put him and Ryan in a difficult spot, as it essentially increased entitlement spending by the same amount. Read more here

PREMIUM HIKES WERE MODEST LAST YEAR: The price of the cheapest ObamaCare plan increased an average of 2.9 percent nationally, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

Premium increases varied greatly by region. Customers in the Northeast saw an increase of 1.8 percent compared to a high of 5.4 percent in the South. 

Premiums still cost the most in the Northeast, however, at an average of $284 per month. Read more here

Wednesday’s schedule

Patrick Conway, chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will deliver remarks at the National Summit on Health Care Price, Cost and Transparency.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will speak at a health panel hosted by The Atlantic.

The Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus will hold a briefing on precision medicine, focusing on ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer.

Dr Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization, will hold a press conference at the World Conference on Tobacco.

State by state

Oregon lawmakers approve $7.3 billion measure to fund Medicaid

Healthcare ruling could be a blow to Maine, NH  

Illinois abortion clinics face demand for more inspections 

What we’re reading

GOP charging hospitals with Medicaid expansion’s future  

Rural hospitals face increasing pressure

The precarious success of Obamacare

What you might have missed from The Hill

House GOP budget again repeals ObamaCare

Second health insurer reports data breach 

Study: Measles outbreak fueled by vaccine refusal 

Please send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com. Follow on Twitter: @thehill@sarahnferris@PeterSullivan4 

Tags Boehner doc fix John Boehner John Fleming Medicare Mitch McConnell ObamaCare Paul Ryan

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