KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

President To Invoke ‘Romneycare’ To Defend Health Law

President Barack Obama heads to the same room in Boston where the Massachusetts health law was signed to call for bipartisanship to help the Affordable Care Act succeed.

The Associated Press: Obama To Cite Massachusetts Health Care Law's Slow Start
President Barack Obama is citing the Massachusetts health care system’s slow start to keep expectations low for early sign-ups for his own overhaul. And he’s pointing to the bipartisan effort to get the program launched in Massachusetts to encourage his opponents to stop rooting for his law’s failure. The president planned to speak about the embattled law Wednesday from Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, where Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney was joined by the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy to sign the state's 2006 health care overhaul bill (Pickler, 10/30).

The Boston Globe: Besieged President Obama Heads To Boston
The Massachusetts law shares the mandate that most people obtain insurance; subsidies for low-income individuals and families to purchase coverage; and an online marketplace featuring plans, offered by private insurance companies, that individuals and small businesses can purchase at group rates (Rowland, 10/30).

Politico: Romneycare Returns
But for all the Boston ballyhoo, the two laws simply aren’t the same — a fact acknowledged by some in the White House — and there’s no chance that national Republicans will beat their swords into stethoscopes to help diagnose and solve problems in the implementation of Obamacare. Still, Obama’s needs greater cooperation from Republican governors and state legislatures to make the law work, and his public appeal for bipartisanship could stoke constituents to pressure elected Republicans to get on board (Cheney and Allen, 10/30).

The New York Times: In Boston, Obama Will Point To A Health Law’s Success
“The bottom line is it ramped up to success,” Jonathan Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said of the state program. Mr. Gruber, who advised both Mr. Romney, the Massachusetts governor at the time, and Mr. Obama on the health care laws, spoke to reporters on Tuesday evening during a White House conference call. “We’ve covered two-thirds of our uninsured citizens. We’ve lowered premiums in the individual market. And we have a widely popular law, with about two-thirds public support for our law,” (Shear, 10/30).  

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