KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Hints At Plan For Pre-existing Conditions, Lack Of Health Coverage

During a meeting with the Columbus Dispatch, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney offered a comment about people who lack insurance which is being characterized by some news outlets as "controversial." Romney plans to repeal the health law but says uninsured people could still visit an emergency room and that people with preexisting conditions could keep their insurance. On this point, however, he has yet to provide specifics, news outlets report.

NPR: Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance
Another day, another editorial board, another controversial remark for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, it was abortion. On Thursday, health care. … But Romney was talking about something slightly different in Ohio: the idea that the U.S. doesn't have people who become ill or die because they don't have insurance. That, however, is belied by a large and growing body of academic studies, starting with a landmark study from the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine in 2002 that found 18,000 people died in the year 2000 because they lacked health insurance (Rovner, 10/11).

Los Angeles Times: Romney Offers Clue On Coverage For Pre-existing Conditions
Romney has never said what he would do with people who did not have continuous coverage, but he offered a new clue in an interview that was published Thursday. "Romney, in a meeting with The Dispatch's editorial board, said those who currently don't carry insurance would have a chance to make a 'choice' to be covered without fear of being denied," according to the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. But, according to the paper, he did not elaborate on how these people would gain coverage (Mehta, 10/11).

The Hill: Romney Defends Plan To Repeal Obama Health Care Law
Repealing President Obama's health care law would not keep people from getting insurance or quality care, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday. In an interview with the editorial board of the Columbus Dispatch, Romney defended his plans to repeal the health care law, saying the uninsured could still visit an emergency room and that people with preexisting conditions could keep their insurance. "We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack,'" Romney said. "No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital," he said…The comment drew criticism from the Obama campaign, which said it showed Romney did not understand the struggles of middle-class families that lack insurance (Viebeck, 10/11).

President Barack Obama delivered a high-energy campaign speech amidst his preparation for the next debate --  

The New York Times: After Fiery Florida Rally, Obama Focuses On Debate Work
Mr. Obama, when he wants, is light years more effective on the stump than he is in a debate hall. At the University of Miami, the president was energized, displaying the fire that he did not show during the debate. He worked the audience, making people laugh and cheer. And he directed zinger after zinger at Mr. Romney. Mr. Romney, the president charged, "is trying to go through an extreme makeover."  … He chuckled. "Suddenly, he loves the middle class. Can't stop talking about them. He loves Medicare, loves teachers. He even loves the most important parts of Obamacare," he said, referring to the health care overhaul (Cooper and Gabriel, 10/11).

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