KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Takes Heat Over Debate Health Care Claims

News outlets continue to examine statements made in the presidential debate.

Los Angeles Times: Obama, Romney Campaigns Accuse Each Other Of Distortions
The campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney traded sharp accusations Sunday of lies and distortions as the race headed into its final month roiled by last week’s debate. The Romney camp unveiled a new TV ad accusing Obama of “not telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s tax plan" (Puzzanghera, 10/7).

CBS News: Axelrod: Romney Campaign "Not Rooted In Facts"
As Mitt Romney sees positive ramifications - in some polls and media analysis - from his debate performance, the Obama campaign is harshly criticizing the GOP nominee for being "dishonest." On "Face the Nation," top Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said Romney gave a convincing "performance" solid enough for an actor, "serially rewriting history." ... He also said the president was "a little take aback" by the "brazenness" of Romney's statements, in which he believed the GOP nominee "walked away from so many" of his earlier positions (Caldwell, 10/7).

The Associated Press: Romney Shows Softer Side; Obama Raising More Cash
Obama's campaign is also running a new TV ad called "Dishonest," which carries on the post-debate theme that Romney grossly misrepresented his own positions as well as Obama's on taxes. Online videos were posted by the campaign with the mantra, "Romney won't tell the truth," about Medicare, energy, taxes and more (Feller and Peoples, 10/7). 

The New York Times: Romney Claims of Bipartisanship as Governor Face Challenge
[T]he record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; ... Mr. Romney won lawmakers’ consent to streamline a tangled health and human services bureaucracy, but the savings amounted to but $7 million a year. ... Mr. Romney proved to have a taste for vetoes ... rejecting a subsidy to Medicaid payments so nursing homes could provide kosher meals to Jewish residents. (Wines, 10/5).

NPR's Shots blog: Romney Health Care Debate Claim Gets Corrected By His Own Staff
Romney's claim was this, part of what turned out to be a highly detailed discussion of health care: "No. 1, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan." ... That's already true in Massachusetts under the law Romney signed as governor. But Romney's current plan for the nation, should he be elected president, wouldn't necessarily guarantee that same protection. ... This isn't the first time a Romney statement has had to be walked back by his staff when it comes to health care. In recent weeks he's misstated or switched positions on abortion and on Medicaid (Rovner, 10/6).

Politico: Romney’s Pre-Existing Condition Plan: A Tweak And A Handoff To The States
Romney doesn’t favor a big federal initiative to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions. He would make a tweak to broaden an existing law that helps people to move from job to job without losing their health insurance. And he’d put the rest of the coverage job in the states’ hands, giving them unspecified “resources” to come up with their own solutions — or not.  ... Under Obama’s health care law, insurers already must cover children with pre-existing conditions. Adults will be covered in 2014 — the same year the individual mandate takes effect to pull in healthy adults (Kenen, 10/5).

Tampa Bay Times Politifact: Mitt Romney Says His Health Care Paln Covers Pre-Existing Conditions
What [Romney] didn’t say at the debate -- but which his website states and advisers confirmed after the debate -- is that people would be protected from denial only if they have been continuously insured. The health care law, though, offers protections whether people have current coverage or not, so it offers more robust protection. ... Romney did not mention the qualifier that people have to stay insured to get the protection. ... We rate his statement Mostly False (Bowers and Holan, 10/5).

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