KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Presidential Candidates Use Tough Ads To Court Single Women Voters

The competition for these votes has led President Obama's campaign ads to highlight GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's positions on issues such Planned Parenthood funding as well as other women's health and contraception issues.

The New York Times: In Weak Economy, An Opening To Court Votes Of Single Women
But the Obama campaign, needing their support to offset traditional Republican strength among married women, is lavishing attention on them. Mr. Obama and his allies are highlighting issues like Mr. Romney's support for cutting federal funds to Planned Parenthood, which they say resonate with single women and that help draw a contrast between the two sides. A new Obama ad calling Mr. Romney "out of touch" with average women on health and contraception issues began running last weekend in battleground states (Dewan, 8/7).

CNN: Romney Outdated On Women's Issues, Obama Ad Says
Obama's campaign cites Romney's support of a GOP-backed Senate amendment in March, which attempted to confront an Obama administration ruling requiring religiously-affiliated institutions to cover contraception in health care plans for female employees. Republicans, including Romney, argued the administration's policy violated religious freedom. The new spot, "Important," also features clips of Romney vowing to "cut off funding for Planned Parenthood" and saying he was "going to get rid of" the organization. The latter statement came from an interview the Republican candidate gave in March. After taking heat for saying he would "get rid of" the group, his campaign later clarified that he would support ending federal funding to Planned Parenthood, not the institution, itself (Killough, 8/6).

Also, a new pro-Obama ad casts Romney's business background in a very negative light by highlighting what happened to an employee when the plant where he worked was shut down --

Politico: Priorities Ad Ties Romney To Lost Health Insurance, Cancer Death
The Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action is unveiling perhaps the harshest, most personal ad of the 2012 presidential race, featuring a former worker at a Bain-owned company talking about the death of his wife after their family lost health insurance. The commercial casts Mitt Romney's business background in a severely negative light, but it's not a typical slash-and-burn attack ad. Instead, it features former GST Steel employee Joe Soptic speaking to the camera about what happened when the plant where he worked shut down (Burns, 8/7).

And, some fact-checking regarding state senate races and the health law --

Kansas Health Institute News: Campaign Literature Labeled 'Misleading'
A national organization that polices the accuracy of charges made in political campaigns has said mailed materials being used in the coordinated effort to oust some incumbent Republican state senators in Kansas are misleading. is a nonprofit project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The group examined direct-mail pieces that accused some incumbent senators of scuttling efforts to pass a state constitutional amendment opposing the federal health reform law commonly known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare (McLean, 8/6).

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