KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Details His Deficit-Reduction Plans

Media outlets also report on how the abortion issue might impact GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, fact checks and news from Iowa about Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum also are in the headlines.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Romney's Plan To Cut The Deficit
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday released more details on his plan to reduce government spending and tackle the federal debt ahead of a Washington speech on fiscal policy on Friday. At the top of his to-do list: Repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, "which would save $95 billion in 2016," he wrote in a piece for USA Today. But that is only part of the story. Romney aides, pointing to a Congressional Budget Office score of a House-passed health care repeal bill, said the $95 billion figure referred to how much federal spending would be cut through repeal, not how much the repeal would reduce the deficit (Weisman, 11/3).

The Washington Post: Romney Lays Out Fiscal Policy In N.H., While Perry And Others Campaign Across Ohio
Here in New Hampshire, where Romney enjoys a big lead in the polls, he presented his prescription for the country's growing debt. He said he would cut federal spending by about $500 billion during his first term by eliminating programs and services he doesn't like (he cited President Obama's health care overhaul) and those he does like but doesn't think the country can afford (he cited Amtrak). Romney also pledged to turn responsibility for costly entitlement programs like Medicaid over to state governments, to "let states draft programs in a way they think best to care for their own poor" (Rucker and Bacon, 11/3).

CNN: New Obama Campaign Memo Hits Romney Spending Cuts Plan
Ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's speech on plans to cut the government budget, a new memo from the Obama re-election campaign accuses the Republican of "echoing the Tea Party agenda and undermining bipartisan efforts to seek common ground."... The memo ties Romney's plan to House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's arguably controversial views. Ryan proposed a plan to drastically refashion Medicare in ways that might not play well with older voters, and Democrats plan to make Ryan's proposals a major campaign issue (Yellin, 11/4).

Politico: Mitt Romney Won't Be Hurt On Abortion, Richard Land Says
A prominent evangelical leader says Gov. Mitt Romney won't have much trouble getting the Christian and evangelical vote if he's the Republican nominee despite some concern about his support for abortion rights in the past. "There are lingering concerns about whether he's really committed to the pro-life cause," Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Politico on Thursday. "I'm not questioning it because I've had the opportunity to hear him personally explain it" (Haberkorn, 11/3).

National Journal: Five Myths About 'Romney Care' — Pictures
For all the fuss among the Republican presidential rivals over "Romneycare," the Massachusetts health care reform that Mitt Romney spearheaded when he was governor, the candidates haven't talked much about how the changes actually played out. Back in Massachusetts, though, the experiment has yielded real-world lessons and, in some ways, defied expectations (11/4).

The Associated Press: Fact Check: Obamacare Myths Persist In GOP Race, Among Them The Notion It Can Meet Quick Death
To hear some Republican presidential candidates tell it, the president's pen is a magic wand that can make "Obamacare" vanish in one day and sweep in cheaper health care, economic growth and lots of jobs in businesses freed from the health care law's heavy hand. But there is no such fairy dust in Washington (Woodward, 11/4).

Modern Healthcare: Candidate Cain Has Big Plans For A Certain Date
Calling the law "fundamentally flawed," the former chairman and CEO of the Godfather's Pizza chain said one of the Affordable Care Act's unintended consequences has been an increase in health care costs. He said he would replace the seminal health care act with market-driven, patient-centered reforms, although he didn't provide details of what those reforms would be. And, while Cain said Medicare should be restructured, he didn't give specifics (Zigmond, 11/3).

Des Moines Register: Rick Santorum And Michele Bachmann Pitch Their Candidacies To GOPers In Adel
Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann decried overreach by the federal government during a Dallas County GOP dinner here Thursday night. ... Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, made a more direct attack on incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama, excoriating the federal health care law passed in 2010 that she refers to as "Obamacare" and blasting government spending since 2009.  The law places "dictatorial power" in the hands of the president, Bachmann said, provides federal funding for abortion and could ultimately limit access to care (Noble, 11/3).

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