KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Democrat, GOP Candidates Say Rivals Would Throw Granny Off Cliff

The battle over Medicare figures large in House and Senate races across the country, with candidates and their allies trading charges over who would inflict the most damage to seniors.

The Associated Press: Spin Meter: Political Ads Stir Health Care Horror
Republicans and Democrats seem to be converging on a not-so-subtle message for their political ads on health care this election year: The other side is going to throw granny off a cliff! Expect health care ads to feature heavy doses of what each party alleges that the other party plans to do to wreck Medicare (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/28).

The Hill: Medicare Fight Hits House, Senate Races
The battle over Social Security and Medicare has been resurrected in House and Senate races across the country, with candidates and their allies stretching the truth as they squabble with opponents about who would inflict the most damage on the nation's seniors. The scrap has worked its way into candidate debates, mailers and television ads — and prompted one senator's unsuccessful quest to have an attack ad pulled off the air (Lederman, 5/28).

Politico: GOP To Target Obamacare, Gas Prices
House Republicans this summer will take more swipes at President Barack Obama’s health care law, try to slash more regulations and take votes to highlight sky-high gas prices during the travel-heavy season. In a memo being sent to House Republican lawmakers Friday morning, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also makes official a series of votes this summer on the Bush-era tax rates – a political vote meant as a contrast with Democrats, who are seeking to hike rates on high-income earners when they expire at year-end (Sherman, 5/25).

The New York Times: Redistricting Poses New Challenge For Incumbent
(Rep. Kathy Hochul) who rode a wave of anger over a Republican plan to cut Medicare a year ago must convince a primarily Republican electorate that she can represent it and offer an independent voice, regardless of party label. ... National Republicans, still smarting over the way she transformed a little-noticed House race into a closely watched referendum on the Medicare plan, have made her a top target this fall (Hernandez, 5/27).

The Associated Press: Bitter Primaries Undercut GOP Hopes In 3 States
Don't go looking for compliments and congeniality in the Republican primary to decide (Sen. Bill) Nelson's election-year challenger. It's one of the meanest races in the country. … The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently spent $2 million on an ad criticizing Nelson for his support for Obama's health care law. "Obamacare will be a nightmare for seniors," the ad says. "Did Bill Nelson consider the consequences when he cast the deciding vote for Obamacare?" (Cassata, 5/29).

Los Angeles Times: $55 Million For Conservative Campaigns — But Where Did It Come From?
During the 2010 midterm election, the (Center to Protect Patient Rights) sent more than $55 million to 26 GOP-allied groups, tax filings show, funding opaque outfits such as American Future Fund, 60 Plus and Americans for Job Security that were behind a coordinated campaign against Democratic congressional candidates. The money from the center provided a sizable share of the war chest for those attacks, which included mailers in California, robo-calls in Florida and TV ads that inundated a pocket of northeastern Iowa. The organizations it financed poured at least $46 million into election-related communications in the 2010 cycle, among other expenditures (Gold and Tanfani, 5/27).

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