KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Takes On Debt Issues During Campaign Stop

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign released a new Web video focusing on the president's record on women's health issues. 

The Des Moines Register/USA Today: Romney Discuses Debt During Iowa Stop
Romney's ideas for cutting the $15.67 trillion national debt -- don't raise taxes, reform entitlement programs, limit spending -- were met with strong applause from the crowd of more than 300 people. An additional 100 people stood in an overflow area. On his first trip to Iowa since the caucuses when he was initially declared the winner, Romney didn't offer new proposals, but the way he framed his argument was fresh and probably telegraphs a strategy to chip away at Obama's credibility on his pledge to cut the deficit in half (Jacobs, 5/15).

Boston Globe: Romney Says Obama Sees Free Enterprise As A Villain
With analogies stretching from pioneering homesteaders to sophisticated cellphones, Mitt Romney cast President Obama as an enemy of capitalism while calling himself the defender of fiscal responsibility Tuesday at Drake University... Romney vowed again to repeal Obama’s health care law and said he would reform Medicare and Social Security, without delving into specific strategies (Borchers, 5/16).

The Associated Press: Romney Pins 'Prairie Fire Of Debt' On Obama
In Des Moines, Romney described Obama's approach as that of an "old-school liberal" who ballooned the debt he pledged to curb, and broke with the budget-cutting record of the previous Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton. Romney argued that Obama inflated the deficit with programs such as the 2009 economic stimulus and 2010 health care measure after promising to cut it sharply during his first presidential campaign (Beaumont, 5/15).

The Associated Press: Fact Check: Romney Oversimplifies Debt 'Inferno'
Nowhere in Tuesday's speech was there a new idea of how Romney would accomplish the promised deficit reduction. He spoke generally of reforming Social Security and Medicare, eliminating duplicative government programs, and transferring some functions to the states or the private sector, adding that he would "streamline everything that's left." The closest he has come to laying out a specific spending plan has been in his endorsement of the budget blueprint passed this year by House Republicans, which also fails to produce his promised deficit reductions (Woodward and Raum, 5/16).

The Hill: Obama Campaign Focuses On Women's Health In Latest Web Video
The Obama campaign released a new Web video Tuesday highlighting President Obama's record on women's health issues. The video comes just a day after Obama gave the commencement address at the all-female Barnard College and taped an appearance for "The View." The battle for female voters this year is fierce, and Democrats consistently harness healthcare issues to make their pitch. The latest Web ad quotes Obama saying during the 2008 campaign that "change is a president who will stand up for choice (Baker, 5/15).

And news on the Minnesota Senate race -

Minnesota Public Radio: Hegseth Seeks Medicare, Social Security Overhauls
Delegates to the state Republican convention will endorse a candidate for U.S. Senate later this week. ... Today, Army National Guard Capt. Pete Hegseth explains what he would do to reduce the nation's red ink. ... Hegseth applauds Wisconsin's Republican Rep. Paul Ryan for budget proposals which, among other things, would give senior citizens grants to buy health insurance rather than cover all their health care through the current single-payer Medicare system (Zdechlik, 5/16).

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