California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Conservatives Support Discharge Petition That Would Repeal Overhaul

On Wednesday, the leaders of 74 advocacy groups sent an open letter to Congress calling for House members to support a discharge petition that would force a vote on a bill (HR 4972) to repeal the new national health reform law, CQ HealthBeat reports.

As of Wednesday, the petition -- sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) -- had 123 signatures. The repeal measure has 93 co-sponsors.

Likelihood of Repeal Doubtful

The letter acknowledges that a vote on repeal is unlikely, given the House's Democratic majority. However, the petition allows Republicans another opportunity to criticize the reform law.

The letter's signatories, organized by Heritage Action for America, include the Club for Growth, the National Taxpayers Union and Gun Owners of America (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 7/14).

Opinion Piece Considers Legal Challenges to Reform

In a CongressDaily opinion piece, journalist Julie Rovner reviews the latest legal challenge to the reform law's mandate requiring U.S. residents to purchase insurance coverage or pay a financial penalty.

Rovner writes that the new challenge, filed by Missouri's Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and three state residents, includes original arguments, such as the contention that the law would cause the state to increase taxes and the claim that it treats Medicare Advantage beneficiaries differently based on their geographic location.

Rovner writes that "what's really too bad about" the legal challenges to reform is that "the public isn't getting to see these cases argued in court, since federal courts still don't allow television or even recording equipment inside."

The legal arguments made in favor of and in opposition to the law "might actually be doing a better job of exploring and explaining the philosophical differences underlying the law than lawmakers managed in the year they had to debate it," she writes. "It would be nice if more people could watch," Rovner concludes (Rovner, CongressDaily, 7/15). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.