KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

AP Examines Whether Health Law Debate Is Muted If Romney Is GOP Nominee

In other campaign news, James Carville says a loss at the Supreme Court will help Democrats politically.

The Associated Press: Analysis: Health Ruling Looms Small In Obama Race
The Supreme Court's much-anticipated ruling on health care, expected in late June, may have one surprising outcome: a modest impact on President Barack Obama's re-election bid, even though he is intimately associated with the challenged law. That wouldn't be the case if anyone other than Mitt Romney was Obama's likeliest Republican challenger this fall. Romney, however, is singularly ill-positioned to capitalize on the issue because he championed a similar health care law as Massachusetts governor in 2006 (Babington, 3/28).

Politico: James Carville: Court Loss 'Best Thing' For Democrats
Overturning President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law would be a political boost for Democrats, veteran Democratic strategist James Carville said Tuesday. "I think that this will be the best thing that ever happen to the Democratic party because health care costs are gonna escalate unbelievably," Carville told CNN's Wolf Blitzer of a possible Supreme Court decision to strike down the law. "I honestly believe this, this is not spin" (Dixon, 3/28).

No matter what the court outcome, the president is changing the rhetoric.

The Associated Press: Spin Meter: President Embraces 'Obamacare'
Now that President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has lifted an unofficial ban on using the opposition's term for his health care law, Democratic activists have been chanting "We love Obamacare" in front of the Supreme Court. ... But no presidential campaign makes such a move lightly. Obama's campaign is trying to use the weight of his opponents' rhetoric against them. Like martial arts or wrestling, except with words (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/28).

Meanwhile, Romney in California explains a bit about his plans for health care.

The Associated Press: Romney, On Leno, Cracks Wise -- Just A Little
Romney suggested he would keep popular provisions of the national health care law that protect children and would maintain some protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. "People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they've been insured before — they're going to be able to continue to have insurance," he said during a lengthy exchange on the subject (Hunt, 3/27).

In related news -

Boston Globe: President Obama Leads Mitt Romney In Latest Poll
Despite Republicans’ claim that their mission to repeal Obamacare is a reflection of the public will, only 34 percent of likely voters in (a new) Suffolk poll said they believe the (health) law should be wiped off the books. About a third did say the law should be modified (Borchers, 3/27).

The Associated Press: Dems, GOP Woo Unmarried Women Voters
The scramble for support from women generally and single women specifically accounts for the competing narratives spun by Republicans, who are focused on the economy, and Democrats targeting social issues, so far this year. Democrats have been trumpeting a "Republican war against women," a phrase coined because of GOP objections to birth control access. They have used the slogan against GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and it was the theme of a fund raising swing out West earlier this year for 11 female Democratic Senate candidates (Kellman, 3/27). Philadelphia Inquirer: Misleading On Health Insurance Premiums
Both the Republican National Committee and the Obama administration are making misleading claims about health insurance premium costs. An RNC ad falsely implies that the federal health care law is responsible for all of the $1,300 average increase in family coverage premiums last year. But at the same time, the Obama administration makes the misleading claim that families "could save up to $2,300" on health care costs per year in the future by buying insurance through exchanges called for by the law (Robertson, 3/27).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.