GOP Considers Tying Debt-Limit Deal To Repeal Of Part Of Health Law

House Republicans are considering linking their support for raising the national debt to a repeal of the health law's risk corridors, which helps mitigate risk for insurers. In other news, lawmakers continue to weigh proposals to change how Medicare pays doctors and the House health appropriations subcommittee gets many new Republican faces.

Roll Call: GOP Discusses Tying Debt Limit To Obamacare
House Republicans may again tie a debt ceiling increase to a repeal of a section of President Barack Obama's health care law, but the plan remains murky after a three-day retreat here. At an afternoon panel moderated by GOP leaders and former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin, members expressed support for tying a one-year increase to the nation's borrowing limit to a repeal of the health law's so called risk corridors, a provision that mitigates risk for insurance companies (Newhauser, 1/31).

The Hill: House Republicans Eye Repeal Of ObamaCare 'Bailout' In Debt-Limit Bill
House Republicans are considering attaching a provision that would prevent a "bailout" of insurance companies under ObamaCare to a one-year increase in the debt limit. The Republican conference met behind closed doors Friday on the final day of their annual retreat to hash out a plan for raising the debt limit, which the Treasury Department says must happen within a month to avoid a first-ever default. The House Republican leadership has not settled on a plan, but an idea that gained support during the meeting, according to a person in the room, was to repeal the so-called "risk corridors" provision in the healthcare law, which Republicans have labeled a potential bailout of insurance companies (Berman, 1/31).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Way Medicare Pays Doctors May Change
Expectations are high this year that Congress will finally reach an agreement to overhaul the way Medicare pays doctors for services, scrapping a method that's been the target of criticism for more than a decade. If that happens, experts say, Medicare beneficiaries will see changes in how health care is provided, with an increased emphasis on coordinated care and preventive services (Kulash, 2/2).

CQ HealthBeat: House Newcomers Dominate Roster Of House GOP Health Appropriators
The roster announced this week of Republican members of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee on the whole consists of relative newcomers to Congress. Only one GOP member of the House panel that oversees funding for some of the nation’s key medical agencies has been in Congress long enough to have witnessed a Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill hit the floor as a stand-alone measure (Young, 1/31).

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