KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

A Look At How Health Policy Positions Can Be Politically Sold, Accurate Or Not

Marketing experts tackle health policy messaging, as the president campaigns for an ally and news organizations fact-check political claims.

The New York Times: Wooing Swing Voters, Both Parties Wary Of Overemphasizing Health Care
Leaders in both parties acknowledge that the ruling has thrown a wrench into their campaigns for control of the House and the Senate. House Republicans have scheduled another vote next week to try to repeal the law ... But even as they highlight that mobilization, leaders of both parties say overemphasizing the health care issue could turn off weary swing voters who, they fear, just want to put the issue aside. ... The message is muddy for both parties, in part because neither is sure whether 2012 will turn solely on the economy or echo the dynamics of 2010, when the health care law was a driving force (Weisman, 7/3).

NPR: Ohio Senator Vulnerable For Health Law Support
President Obama hits the campaign trail Thursday with a bus tour in Ohio. ... Up for re-election there is Democrat Sherrod Brown, who is being challenged by the state's Republican treasurer, Josh Mandel. Mandel is highlighting Brown's staunch support of the new health care law — with a big assist from outside groups (Welna, 7/5).

Kaiser Health News: Marketing Mavens Offer Advice On Handling Health Law Messaging
We contacted people knowledgeable about marketing. We asked them about what advice they would offer President Barack Obama’s campaign in terms of how to use the court’s ruling as he seeks to sell the law to the public. We also asked how they would suggest presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign could spin the message to its advantage (Barr, Fleming, Kulkarni, Torres and Schwartz, 7/5). 

Claims about the health law don't always hold up to scrutiny -

The Hill: Planned Parenthood: Romney Proxy Wrong On Health Law, Cancer
On CNN, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina had mentioned her struggle with cancer and said the Affordable Care Act "would have been very deleterious" to her health. Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAC) called the comments "irresponsible and completely false." ... The law requires insurance companies to cover mammograms every year, without charging a copay or deductible, for women 40 and older (Viebeck, 7/3).

The Washington Post: 4 Pinocchios For Romney’s Claim On An Obama Health Care Pledge
The campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is trying to nail President Obama for making an iffy promise during the 2008 campaign — that premiums will be $2,500 lower under his health care plan. Instead, the Romney campaign argues in an effort to create a viral Facebook post, the swing has gone $4,893 the other way. The Romney graphic is false on several levels (Kessler, 7/3).

MinnPost:  Michele Bachmann Mangles Facts On Health Care Tax
The health care bill imposes no new tax specifically targeted at the sale of homes. The law does have several new taxes in it — very progressive taxes mostly that will hit primarily wealthy individuals and families. ... At today's levels of income distribution, 97 percent of Americans would be unaffected by the tax (Black, 7/3).

Finally, one news outlet looks back at previous health policy battles -

St. Louis Beacon:  Health Care Has Dogged Missouri Pols Since Truman
When Congress passed the Medicare bill in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson flew with a passle of supportive lawmakers to Missouri so he could sign the bill at a table with former president Harry S Truman. ... Given that Truman had been the first president to endorse a national health-insurance plan, it was appropriate that Johnson gave the 80-year-old former president the first Medicare card that day. But Medicare's national coverage for older Americans represented only part of what "Give 'em hell, Harry" had tried, and failed, to do (Koenig, 7/3).

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