KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Dems Express Regrets, Grievances Over Health Law Push

Some prominent Democrats wish for a political do-over as they criticize the White House for focusing on the health law instead of the economy during President Barack Obama's first term.

The Hill: Democrats Expressing Buyers' Remorse On Obama's Health Care Law
An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama's healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it. The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November's elections. "I think we would all have been better off — President Obama politically, Democrats in Congress politically, and the nation would have been better off — if we had dealt first with the financial system and the other related economic issues and then come back to healthcare," said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who is retiring at the end of this Congress (Pecquet and Baker, 4/19).

Market Watch: Pair Of Top Democrats Lament Obama's Health-Care Push
With polls showing President Obama in a tight race vs. Mitt Romney, several prominent Democrats are lamenting the White House push to pass health-care reform three years ago. In the past few days, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Virginia Sen. James Webb have both said the bitter battle over the health-care law severely wounded Democrats. Frank, a staunch liberal, and Webb, a moderate, are both retiring at the end of the year (Bartash, 4/19).

In related news -

The Hill: Report: Former Democratic Senator's Wife Pressed To Resign Insurance Co. Board Over Political Spending On Health Law Foes
The wife of former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) is under pressure to resign from the board of insurance giant WellPoint after the insurance lobby America's Health Insurance Plans transferred $86 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce while the chamber was actively opposing President Obama's healthcare reform law in 2010. A coalition of activist investor groups is launching a campaign calling for the heads of Susan Bayh and another WellPoint board member, The Washington Post reports. The groups allege that the board failed to oversee "high risk political spending" in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections that saw Democrats lose 66 seats in the House and another six in the Senate (Pecquet, 4/19).

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