KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Have Attitudes On Health Law Shifted In N.H.?

Despite a beating two years ago for Democrats aligned with the health law, former President Bill Clinton and the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire rallied around the overhaul at a campaign appearance. Meanwhile, a conservative seniors group emerges to offer a competing view with that of AARP.

The Boston Globe: In NH, Bill Clinton Talks Up Obamacare
Is Obamacare now becoming an asset for Democrats? Two years ago, President Obama's health care overhaul looked like an albatross around the necks of Democratic candidates — nowhere more so than in the swing state of New Hampshire, where conservative opposition to the law helped propel the GOP to sweeping victories in 2010. Now, Democrats seem to be betting the tide has turned. At an Obama rally on the campus of the University of New Hampshire Wednesday afternoon, both former president Bill Clinton and New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan pointedly embraced the law (Wirzbicki, 10/3).

Politico: AARP Faces Conservative Competition
Looking to counter what they see as AARP's liberal slant, a new organization aims to rally conservative senior citizens. The National Association of Conservative Seniors says it will provide seniors "membership benefits while working together to protect conservative American values" — benefits that include "financial planning services, health and wellness offers, Medicare insurance plans and competitive pricing on auto insurance and roadside assistance," according to a release (Gavin, 10/3).

Also in the news -

NBC/Center For Public Integrity: Health Insurance Industry, Which Praised Obamacare, Gives To Kill It
The health insurance industry presented itself as a key ally of President Barack Obama's health care law while at the same time making hefty contributions to members of Congress who are trying to get rid of it, according to contribution records. Between January of 2007 and August of 2012, the political action committees of the 11 largest health insurance companies and their primary trade group gave $10.2 million to federal politicians, with nearly two-thirds of the total going to Republicans who oppose the law or support its repeal, according to the Center for Public Integrity's analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. The 11 top companies, according to the Fortune 500list, controlled 35 percent of the industry in 2011, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The top industry trade group is America's Health Insurance Plans. Much of the money rolled in as health insurance industry leaders lauded the Democrats' reform efforts (O’Brian, 10/4).

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