KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

2014’s Health Law Tactics:GOP Midterm Hopes, Democrats Re-Selling Law

The health law will be a major factor in 2014's midterm elections, with Republicans -- including some candidates who are doctors -- hoping to use its rocky rollout to their advantage in holding the House and re-taking the Senate. In the meantime, the White House and President Barack Obama look to use feel-good health care stories, celebrities and even moms to sell the overhaul.

The Wall Street Journal: Republicans Pin Hopes On Midterm Elections
Mr. Obama's fading popularity and the rocky debut of his sweeping health care law have given Republicans a big jolt of optimism that they can build on their 31-seat House majority and retake the Senate (King, 1/1). 

ABC News: 2014 Could Be Kind Or Cruel To Democrats And Republicans
New years offer good opportunities for fresh starts. And after a rough -- and unproductive -- 2013, both Democrats and Republicans desperately need 2014 to be the dawn of a new era. With a midterm election on the horizon, control of Congress is at stake in 2014. The next year could also present opportunities for prospective presidential candidates to distinguish themselves in Washington or against Washington. The implementation of President Obama's health care law begins in earnest in 2014 and several issues, including the debt limit and immigration reform, will demand Washington's attention (Phillip, 1/2).

The Boston Globe: Physician-Candidates Running Against Health Care Law
One candidate's website shows her wearing blue scrubs as she reviews X-rays. Another shows a candidate with a stethoscope over his white coat. A third displays a photo of the doctor’s bag he uses for house calls. There is no mistaking what these candidates for Congress are trying to convey: Trust me. I’m a doctor (Bierman, 1/2). 

The Washington Post: Obama's OFA Begins Effort To Showcase Personal Health Care Testimonials
With millions of Americans starting to receive health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, President Obama's political organization is starting a new campaign to highlight the personal stories of people benefiting under the new law (Rucker, 1/1). 

CBS News: White House Solicits Feel-Good Obamacare Stories
Now that the Obamacare marketplaces are open for business, the Obama administration is aiming to improve perceptions about the controversial law with its success stories. A new page on allows visitors to submit their own Obamacare stories, along with their name, email address and zip code. "Whether you've got new insurance that started on January 1, know someone who does, or simply want to help get the word out about the importance of getting covered, we want to hear from you," the site reads (Condon, 1/1).

The Associated Press: Racy Ads, Celebrity Endorsements, Pressure From Mom: Efforts To Sign Up Uninsured Youth Increasing
The so-called "young invincibles" are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements. The president is even (gasp) asking their mothers to help convince them to sign up for insurance (1/1).

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