KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Divide Opens Among GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Obamacare is dividing the GOP in the race for that party's 2016 presidential nomination and playing a pivotal role in a House special election in Alabama.

The Associated Press: Health Law Separates Potential GOP 2016 Contenders
A clear divide over the health care law separates the emerging field of potential GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential race, previewing the battles ahead as they try to rebuild their party and seize the White House. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says he will fight "with every breath" to stop President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, even if that means shutting down parts of the federal government. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush calls "quite dicey" politically for Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says flatly that a shutdown is "a dumb idea" (Beaumont, 9/21).

Minnesota Public Radio: Obamacare Stars As Villain In Alabama Special Election 
To understand just how deep the GOP resistance to Obamacare runs -- and why some Republicans would risk a federal government shutdown to defund it -- look no further than the special House election in Alabama. You've probably never heard of the race because it's received virtually no attention outside Alabama. But it's a useful barometer for gauging the ferocity of opposition to the Affordable Care Act among the party faithful (Wollner, 9/22).

Dallas Morning News: Texas Republicans Work Against Obamacare But Pledge To Help Enrollees
Aides to Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling's office recently said that he would gladly help any constituent having trouble enrolling in a health plan under the Affordable Care Act. "Providing outstanding constituent service is a top priority," an aide said, and that includes "their dealings with all federal agencies" (9/22).

Also, Americans' views on the health law vary based on party affiliation and on which provisions of the law you're talking about --

Kaiser Health News/The Seattle Times: Views On Obamacare Closely Track Party Preference In Washington State
If you want to know whether people in Washington state like or loathe Obamacare, you could just ask them which political party they prefer. That's because 80 percent of Democrats surveyed approve of health care reform while 80 percent of Republicans don't, according to an Elway Poll of Washington voters conducted on behalf of The Seattle Times. Independent voters are the wild card, with 41 percent in favor and 46 percent against the overhaul, formally known as the Affordable Care Act (Stiffler, 9/23).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgians Dislike Health Law But Favor Key Provisions
Most Georgians don’t favor Obamacare. But they do seem to like several important parts of it. That seeming dichotomy is one of the more intriguing findings of a statewide survey on the Affordable Care Act conducted last week for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Among those polled, 57 percent said they have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act, and only 31 percent think of it favorably. Yet nearly three-fourths support allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance to age 26, and two-thirds favor requiring insurers to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (Markiewicz, 9/22).

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