KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney, Obama To Talk Economy In Ohio

President Obama and Mitt Romney are campaigning in Ohio today and it's likely Romney will continue his attacks on the health law. Meanwhile, Democrats wonder how they can make political gains by better explaining the law.

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Dueling Speeches, Big Day: Obama, Romney In Ohio
Obama will probably pound on the second-term economic vision he began laying out months ago. ... Romney will talk about cutting regulation and spending, overhauling the tax system, doing away with Obama's health care overhaul and supporting a major oil pipeline (Kuhnhenn and Peoples, 6/14).

The Associated Press: Battleground Ohio: Romney Hopes To Ride 2010 Wave
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern says Democrats suffered in 2010 because they did a poor job of explaining Obama's health care law in the face of fierce opposition from a newly ascendant tea party movement. Democrats are doing a better job now, he said, and he's pleased with Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown's solid-looking re-election campaign. Scott Jennings, Romney's state director, says voters overwhelmingly oppose the health law, no matter how well it is explained (Babington, 6/13).

Kaiser Health News: Romney Outlines How He Would 'Replace Obamacare'
Romney Outlines How He Would 'Replace Obamacare'
Mitt Romney, who is expected to be the Republican nominee for president, doesn’t usually talk about health care in his campaign stump speeches. But Tuesday, at Con-Air Industries in Orlando, Florida, he blasted the 2010 federal health law and outlined what he would do if elected president. Here is a transcript of the health care portion of the speech (6/13).

In other news, abortion and Medicare politics are examined in the fallout from this week's Arizona congressional special election --

The Associated Press: Dems, GOP Claim National Meaning In House Election
Based on recent precedent, Democrat Ron Barber's special election triumph in a Republican-heavy Arizona congressional district portends little or nothing about the outcome of this fall's battle for control of the House. That didn't stop either party from posting rival claims: Democrats cast the race as a referendum on Republican proposals for Social Security and Medicare. Republicans stressed that Barber's victory came after he emphasized his differences with President Barack Obama on health care and other issues (Espo, 6/13).

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Scrambles After Aide To Giffords Wins Special Vote
Late Tuesday night, Democratic leaders issued a memo saying the Barber win holds "important lessons" for other elections. ... Republicans countered that the outcome was heavily influenced by Ms. Giffords' popularity after she survived a bullet wound to her head during a mass-shooting last year. Mr. Barber was also injured in the shooting (Audi, 6/13).

The Hill: Abortion-Rights Group Applauds Ron Barber Win In Arizona
NARAL Pro-Choice America praised Ron Barber, the Democrat elected Tuesday to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), for the "pro-choice values" he will bring to Congress. Barber beat his Republican opponent by six points (Viebeck, 6/13).

And some are questioning the Catholic bishops' political role in this election season -

Los Angeles Times: Are Catholic Bishops Abandoning Nonpartisanship In Contraception Battle?
Now, some Catholics are beginning to wonder out loud whether the bishops have abandoned their historic nonpartisanship -- or, at least, are at risk of being seen that way -- as they press forward with a vigorous campaign against contraception provisions in President Obama's health care plan (Landsberg, 6/13).

The Associated Press: Bishops Press Religious-Freedom Fight With Gov't
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops on Wednesday promised steadfast opposition to President Barack Obama's mandate that birth control be covered by health insurance, saying it is one of many threats to religious freedom in government. Bishops insisted repeatedly that they had no partisan agenda (Zoll, 6/13).

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