KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Candidates Expand Campaign-Trail Message Beyond The Health Law

Increasingly, it appears that Republican candidates are focusing their assaults on more than just the Affordable Care Act. News outlets examine how the overhaul is playing on the campaign trail.  

The Washington Post: GOP Candidates Show Signs Of Retreat On Full Obamacare Repeal As Midterms Approach
Republican candidates have begun to retreat in recent weeks from their all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act in favor of a more piecemeal approach, suggesting they would preserve some aspects of the law while jettisoning others. The changing tactics signal that the health-care law -- while still unpopular with voters overall -- may no longer be the lone rallying cry for Republicans seeking to defeat Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. The moves also come as senior House Republicans have decided to postpone a floor vote on their own health-reform proposal (Eilperin and Robert Costa, 5/30).

CNN: Wait -- Obamacare Isn't An Issue?
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, might not be the Republican Party's key to electoral victory as once thought. Patterns are emerging that Republicans and like-minded groups are broadening their scope and not homing in on a singular anti-Obamacare message. In March, Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, told CNN's Candy Crowley that Obamacare is "complete poison" and advised Republican candidates they "have to hit your main target which is Obamacare" in order to win (Caldwell, 5/30).

The Washington Post: Can Republicans Expand Their Reach In Blue States? Oregon Senate Race Provides A Test.
To Republicans, the Senate race in this solidly Democratic state presents an alluring opportunity. Oregon’s health insurance exchange has been one of the country’s most troubled. President Obama’s approval rating has fallen below 50 percent. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a liberal Democrat first elected on Obama’s coattails in 2008, is not terribly well known. And in Monica Wehby, Republicans have a fresh-faced, female challenger who they believe matches the moment: a pediatric neurosurgeon and political outsider who rails against the Affordable Care Act but is relatively moderate on social issues (Rucker, 6/1).

The Baltimore Sun:  Hate The Health Exchange, Love The Insurance
Frustrated with her inability to get health insurance, Bonnita Spikes entered the political fray when she was featured in gubernatorial candidate Douglas F. Gansler's April radio ad lambasting Maryland's problem-fraught health exchange. But as irritated as she was with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland, she's been much happier with the treatment she's received after she finally enrolled. Now Spikes has lent her voice to a publicity campaign praising the health reform effort. Shortly after she appeared in Gansler's ad, a navigator from the Area Agency on Aging in Prince George's County helped Spikes sign up for Medicaid coverage. And now the retired nurse, who suffers from a terminal illness, calls her new health coverage lifesaving. She is such a fan of Obamacare that when her old friend and health advocate Vincent DeMarco sent out an email in search of people who had successfully enrolled in insurance, she contacted him right away (Walker, 5/31).  

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