Senior GOP Members Urge Party Leaders To Halt ACA Defunding Plans
A group of senior Republicans -- frustrated over a budget impasse that on Tuesday shut down the federal government -- are pushing for their party to abandon efforts to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act and instead pursue a broader continuing resolution that would increase the debt ceiling, the Wall Street Journal reports.
During a lunch meeting between the lawmakers and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), sources present at the meeting said that Boehner appeared open to the strategy, saying he could be able to combine the CR and debt ceiling issues to set up negotiations on a broader budget deal with the White House and Senate Democrats.
However, Boehner suggested that the proposal likely would be opposed by conservative Republicans, who continue to push for a repeal or delay of the ACA, which means any such proposal would need at least some support from Democrats (Hook/O'Connor, Wall Street Journal, 10/3).
Bipartisan Support for Medical Device Tax Repeal
Meanwhile, a "small but increasingly vocal" bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing for a continuing resolution that would repeal the ACA's medical device tax and end the government shutdown, the Wall Street Journal reports (Peterson, Wall Street Journal, 10/3). The group -- led by Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) -- revealed the proposal at a news conference on Thursday, just one day after presenting the plan to Boehner.
Under the proposal, the federal government would maintain current funding levels for the next six months, including sequestration cuts. The proposal also would repeal the ACA's 2.3% medical device tax and offset the resulting lost revenue by stabilizing contributions to single-employer pension plans.
Dent said the proposal -- which is supported by about 40 Republicans and Democrats -- represents a compromise between both parties, with Republicans getting the medical device tax repeal and Democrats getting an offset (Attias, CQ Roll Call, 10/3).
However, the proposal immediately was rejected by Democratic leaders, while Dent acknowledged that it is unlikely to gain the support of conservative Republicans (Lillis/Becker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/3).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.