KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney’s Promise To Repeal ‘Obamacare’ Makes It Into Candidates’ Foreign Policy Debate

GOP challenger Mitt Romney said he would pay for military spending increases by repealing the 2010 health law and scaling back other health programs.

The Hill: Romney: Pay For Defense Spending With 'ObamaCare' Repeal
President Obama's healthcare law found a way into Monday night's foreign policy debate. Republican candidate Mitt Romney raised the issue of the healthcare reform law when asked how he will pay for a sharp increase in military spending. He said he would repeal it and dramatically scale back other healthcare programs. "To the extent humanly possible, we get that out," he said of the health law. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said repealing the health reform law would not produce savings that could be used to pay for other spending because it contains savings that cut the deficit (Baker, 10/22).

Politico Pro: Fact Check: Romney's ACA Repeal Plan
Mitt Romney said Monday night that he'd get rid of big spending initiatives to help pay for a bigger military — starting with "Obamacare." Just one problem with that: Repealing "Obamacare" wouldn't reduce the deficit. It would increase it. At least, that's the judgment of the Congressional Budget Office — which gives the official word on what costs money and what saves money. According to its most recent estimate, released in July, a repeal of the health care law would increase the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years (Nather, 10/22).

The New York Times: Check Point: Looking Closely At Statements From Candidates On Foreign Policy
Who knew that fact-checking the sole foreign policy debate of the presidential campaign would include the ranking of Massachusetts schools and how best to administer Medicaid? Repeatedly, the two candidates swerved to the economic issues that have dominated the campaign (Shane, Cooper, Gordon, Oppel and LaFraniere, 10/23).

Obama offered strong words on scheduled spending cuts to discretionary programs and military spending - 

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Says Scheduled Cuts 'Will Not Happen'
President Barack Obama said Monday that scheduled cuts to spending on the military and other government programs "will not happen," marking perhaps his most definitive comments on the subject. … The scheduled spending cuts are the result of a 2011 deal Mr. Obama reached with Congress to raise the government's borrowing limit. The agreement stipulated that roughly $1.2 trillion in budget cuts would start taking effect in January 2013 unless a congressional "supercommittee" agreed to a deficit-reduction plan of the same size. The cuts were designed to be so objectionable that it would force the committee to reach an agreement. But the committee failed, so the cuts are set to take place next year (Paletta, 10/22).

Meanwhile, both candidates continue to focus on Florida's swing voters -

Los Angeles Times: Obama, Romney Aim For Swing Vote In Final Debate In Florida
Republicans remain worried that Obama's extensive get-out-the-vote operation could carry him, and Democrats are concerned that heightened enthusiasm for Romney could give him an edge. As many as 1 in 10 Florida voters may be up for grabs, and Fernando Valladrez is among them. … Valladrez voted for Obama in 2008 but says he agrees with Romney on social issues, such as abortion and whether Catholic hospitals should pay for employee insurance coverage for contraceptives, though he doesn't like Romney's position on immigration (West and Semuels, 10/22).

And a rock-and-roller throws his support behind Obama and other candidates that would keep the health law in place -

The Hill: Pearl Jam Guitarist Urges Voters To Keep Obama Health Law
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready is urging voters only to back candidates who support President Obama's healthcare law. McCready released a YouTube video and an online petition in favor of the Affordable Care Act on Monday. He cited his experience with Crohn's disease, a pre-existing condition, in praising the divisive law. "I've been denied coverage two times in my life, and it was after I'd been in a big, successful rock band," McCready said (Viebeck, 10/22).

ABC: Pearl Jam Guitarist Makes Plea For Obamacare
Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for the '90s grunge band "Pearl Jam," tells a personal story of his own pre-existing medical condition during a video where he urges  voters to cast their ballot for President Obama on Nov. 6. McCready suffers from Crohn's disease, a chronic illness of the gastrointestinal tract. In a video released today on Pearl Jam's official YouTube channel and entitled "Life is a Pre-existing Condition," he speaks about his personal struggles with insurance companies and how the Affordable Care Act has affected him (Blaine, 10/22).

Finally, a new poll finds support for the law's contraception mandate -

The Hill: Poll Finds Broad Support For Contraception Access
Vast majorities of Americans support access to contraception, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The survey found widespread support for the thrust of President Obama's contraception mandate, which a recent Gallup poll indicated is a winning issue with female voters. American adults also overwhelmingly believe that lawmakers who oppose abortion should support contraception, according to Monday's poll. Seventy percent of those surveyed said insurance companies should provide contraception without charging a copay or deductible — as they'll have to under the White House's new mandate (Baker, 10/22).

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