health-care

Alexander Juggles Bipartisan Health Care Deal With GOP Repeal Effort
His decision could undermine a reputation the Tennessee Republican has spent years cultivating

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has been trying to assemble support for a measure to stabilize the health insurance industry, but could run into interference because of GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For Sen. Lamar Alexander, two roads are diverging in a yellow wood.

The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is facing a difficult quandary on health care that Democrats say could undermine a bipartisan reputation he has spent years cultivating and simultaneously determine the fate of the nation’s insurance system.

McConnell In Difficult Spot With Latest Health Care Push
Senate majority leader tasked with shepherding bill he had no role in writing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in an unfamiliar position of pushing a health care repeal bill that he had little role in crafting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is counting on an 11th-hour attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law and change directions on a disappointing year for Republicans.

Having put health care on the back burner after lacking the votes this summer, McConnell has thrown his weight behind a proposal from GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Ryan Says House Would Vote on Graham-Cassidy If Senate Passes It
'It is our best last chance to get repeal and replace done,' speaker says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says the House will vote on a health care measure to provide block grant funding to the states if the Senate passes it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday that the House would bring up a health care measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy for a vote if it were to pass the Senate.

“It would be our intention to bring the matter through,” Ryan said at a news conference from a Harley Davidson facility in Wisconsin, where he was promoting GOP plans to overhaul the tax code.

Bernie Sanders, the Man With Single-Payer Clout
Vermont independent continues to direct the future of national Democratic Party

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders bashed special interest groups when introducing the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The seismic shift in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to transform the U.S. health care system into a single-payer program indicates the reach the Vermont independent has within the Democratic Party.

At the same time that his onetime presidential foe Hillary Clinton is reminding people of the party’s devastating loss last fall, Sanders is trying to define its future. His bill to enroll every American in Medicare drew 16 co-sponsors, 16 more than when he first introduced similar legislation in 2013.

Opioid Epidemic Continues to Ravage the Midwest
Despite congressional action, counties find it hard to keep up

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin points to difficulties facing rural populations in getting access to opioid addiction treatment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Despite action by Congress to address the opioid addiction epidemic, hard-hit areas of the country like this one in the Midwest are finding it difficult to keep up with the fallout from the unfolding situation.

In July, here in Wisconsin’s Jackson County, for instance, 34 children who were taken out of their homes, many a result of a parent’s opioid addiction, remained in foster care. 

White House Nudge for Long-Shot Repeal Bill
Trump Hill boss seeks boost on Graham-Cassidy legislation

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, signaled Tuesday that the administration is interested in a long-shot health care repeal bill. (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

Updated at 2:28 p.m. The White House gave a subtle nudge to a long-shot bill from two Republican senators that would overhaul the 2010 health care law as a Sept. 30 deadline to take up the measure quickly approaches.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have been working on legislation that would incorporate much of the Senate GOP leadership-crafted health care measure that failed to pass the chamber earlier this year.

Governors Ask Congress to Help Stabilize Health Care Market
Chief executives add voice to congressional debate

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is among the state chief executives calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan measure to stabilize the individual health insurance markets. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Governors are calling for multiyear funding for cost-sharing payments and for federal assistance to launch reinsurance programs as part of a bipartisan measure to stabilize the individual insurance market.

The conversation among governors and senators in a Sept. 7 hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee echoed what insurance commissioners told the same panel earlier in the week about how to bring stability to the individual insurance market before the fifth open enrollment period.

Trump to Jilted GOP: Inaction Led to Deal With Dems
President: Senate rules means Republicans will ‘never’ pass bills alone

President Trump with elected officials from North Dakota during a tax road show event Wednesday in Bismarck, including Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, far right. Trump spent much of this week cutting deals with and courting Democrats. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday delivered a message to congressional Republicans, essentially telling them their inaction led him to cut a deal with Democrats this week.

Amid GOP members’ collective frustration-venting in public this week about Trump’s decision to cut a deal with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, Trump used a series of tweets to explain his choice — and give his fellow Republicans some instructions for the fall legislative session.

Closed-Door Process Might Threaten Tax Timeline in Senate
Lack of consensus on budget could push back tax overhaul deadline

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among the Republicans calling for more information about the tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The closed-door process under which Republican congressional leaders and the Trump administration are crafting an overhaul of the United States tax code could impede the Senate’s timeline for the effort.

Lawmakers say they have yet to receive key details, making it difficult to craft a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that will ultimately serve as the vehicle to advance the tax bill.

Senate Pins Health Care Hopes On Bipartisan Bill
Repeal efforts on 2010 law ebb as other measures pop up

Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexanderwants to move quickly on legislation to stabilize the health insurance markets, but other attempts to address health care might get in the way. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A last-ditch attempt by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law appears unlikely to get off the ground, as lawmakers from both parties pin all their hopes for a health care fix on a long-shot bipartisan bill to stabilize the insurance markets.

While there’s an effort underway within the GOP conference to try to hold another vote on a bill to overhaul former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, optimism is low among several Republican lawmakers and aides that it will be successful.