KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Care Concerns Play Big Among Swing State Voters

'Obamacare' continues to grab headlines as President Barack Obama embraces it and Republicans launch a critical Ohio ad campaign.

The Wall Street Journal: On One Ohio Street, Voters Weary Of Election Promises
But the decisions bring little hope. Many fear neither Mr. Romney nor President Barack Obama can end their worries over growing health-care costs, stagnating incomes and the feeble job market (King, 10/26).

The New York Times: Campaigns Find That For Many Latinas, Issues Are Personal And Financial
A poll by the Pew Research Center conducted Sept. 7 to Oct. 4 found that most Latino men and women are not so far apart on the issues: They give nearly equal importance to health care, jobs and education, and nearly half say the country is headed in the right direction. Both sexes tend to vote Democratic (Santos, 10/25).

NPR: President Embraces 'Obamacare'; What Would Romney Do?
It's hard to find an issue on which President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney disagree more than health care. The 2010 Affordable Care Act is considered President Obama's signature legislative achievement, as well as something Romney has vowed to repeal (Rovner, 10/26).

The Hill: RNC Launches New 'ObamaCare' Ad In Ohio
Republicans launched a new attack on President Obama's healthcare law Thursday as they try to close the gap in the pivotal swing state of Ohio. The new Republican National Committee ad slams the law as a massive tax increase. It shows Obama pledging not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year followed by ... media clips — mostly from conservative pundits — saying the law contains many tax increases. The new ad is airing in Ohio, where polls still narrowly favor Obama. Mitt Romney has a much harder path to victory if he can't peel away Ohio's 18 electoral votes, and both campaigns are pouring time and resources into the state as the race enters its final two weeks (Baker, 10/25).

If Romney wins, his HHS transition team is taking shape -  

PoliticoPro: Barker, Troy Have Key Roles In Romney Transition
Mike Leavitt has turned to two of his former HHS deputies for some of the most important health care roles in Mitt Romney's transition planning efforts — ensuring that his circle of advisers from the George W. Bush administration would have the biggest impact on the early policies of a Romney administration. Thomas Barker, who was general counsel at HHS at the end of Leavitt's term as secretary of HHS in the Bush administration, is leading the health team, according to several people familiar with the effort. And Tevi Troy, who was a chief policy adviser to Leavitt, has a broader role, leading the transition effort for domestic policy posts…The focus in the health transition right now is on finding the people to fill the key roles within HHS, including the secretary as well as leaders of the FDA and CMS, according to people familiar with the effort taking place at the transition team's "C Street" office (Haberkorn, 10/25).

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