KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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As Election Nears, Polls Tighten And GOP Plans For Senate Control Take Shape

Also in the news, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is locked in a tight challenge for her Senate seat, is sticking to her support for the health law despite attack ads.

Fox News: Poll: Race For Congress Tightens, Confidence In Obama Low
Enthusiasm in the midterm elections remains in the Republicans’ favor -- but the spread has significantly narrowed, according to a new Fox News national poll. Among likely voters, 45 percent of Republicans are “extremely” interested compared to 41 percent of Democrats. Two weeks ago, the GOP was up 15 points on that question. ...Still, voters say the economy is the most important issue facing the country (43 percent). Less than one in five say the top issue is illegal immigration (17 percent), health care (16 percent) or foreign policy (15 percent). And majorities disapprove of Obama’s performance on each of these issues: 56 percent disapprove on the economy, 60 percent on immigration, 57 percent on health care and 57 percent disapprove of how he’s handling foreign policy. (Blanton, 10/28)

Politico: Conservatives Ready To Give Leaders Hell
Conservatives in Congress are drawing up their wish list for a Republican Senate, including “pure” bills, like a full repeal of Obamacare, border security and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline — unlikely to win over many Democrats and sure to torment GOP leaders looking to prove they can govern. (French and Palmor, 10/29)

Aside from mid-term election politics, some senators are also focusing on the Obama administration's new Veterans Affairs secretary -

Politico: GOP Unhappy With New VA Chief
Republican senators are having some buyer’s remorse when it comes to new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, who was confirmed unanimously this summer. Three GOP senators publicly blasted McDonald on Tuesday for not moving to dismiss Phoenix VA Health Care System Director Sharon Helman, who, along with two other staffers, was put on paid leave in May when revelations about patient backlogs, records falsification and long wait times for appointments swamped former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. (Everett, 10/28)

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