KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius Talks The Health Law Talk In Virginia — A Battleground State

As the campaign for women's votes spreads, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius meets with women in Richmond, Va., to discuss how the health law helps them. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood attacked GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as he visited Texas, where support of the organization is a hot issue.  

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Secretary Sebelius Appeals To Women In Battleground Of Virginia With Health Care Message
President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services secretary brought a defense of the administration's health reforms to the electoral battleground of Virginia Tuesday with a direct appeal to women. In a stage-lighted living room chat with a half dozen women, Kathleen Sebelius heard stories Tuesday of how Obama's embattled Affordable Care Act had benefitted middle class women and children, an indirect complement to the Democrats' focus on women (6/5).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Sebelius Talks Health Care In Richmond
Kathleen Sebelius, surrounded by a half dozen women in a West Avenue living room, listened to them share their personal health care stories — from mothers worrying about insurance for their children, to a nurse struggling to cover her medication costs. … Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who filed a challenge to the law the day that President Barack Obama signed the bill in March 2010, said in a statement Tuesday that Sebelius should "explain why they have put a cadre of unelected bureaucrats like her in charge of determining what is and what isn't sufficient health insurance for each and every American" (Meola, 6/6).

Los Angeles Times: Women Push To Make History Again In Election
Women's votes are particularly sought-after this year. … On Tuesday, Senate Democrats tried to advance paycheck equity legislation, which would prohibit private companies from retaliating against workers who share pay and salary information. … The outcome of the day's vote produced another entry in the Democratic narrative that Republicans are engaged in a "war on women." First there was the Republican-led attack on President Obama's new contraceptive rules under the healthcare law. Then there was the all-male panel that was convened to discuss the issue by House Republicans and the GOP-led vote in the Senate against the contraceptive regulations (Mascaro, 6/5).

The Hill: Planned Parenthood: Romney Would Slash Women's Health Funds
Planned Parenthood attacked presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney on women's health issues Tuesday as he visited Texas, a state embroiled in a court battle with the group. Texas's dispute began when conservative officials barred public health funds for all of the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, whether they provide abortions or not.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richard said Tuesday that the move foreshadows what Romney would do in the White House (Viebeck, 6/5).

Texas Tribune: A Closer Look At UT-TT Poll On Planned Parenthood
As the fight between Texas and Planned Parenthood continues this week in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, public opinion of the reproductive health organization and abortion provider remains fiercely split along partisan lines, according to a recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. The poll also showed favorability splits for Planned Parenthood based on race and gender (Tan, 6/6).

The New York Times: Abortion Qualms On Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded
Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic, have said the same thing on their Web sites. Such descriptions have become kindling in the fiery debate over abortion and contraception (Belluck, 6/5).

In related news -

Des Moines Register: Dave Loebsack Beats Fellow Democrat Joe Seng
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack fended off fellow Democrat Joe Seng in the 2nd District. … Seng said he decided to run against Loeback because Seng took offense to elements of the federal health care law that required religious institutions to offer insurance plans that provide birth control (Jacobs, 6/5).

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