KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Santorum Wins The South, But Romney Focuses On Obama

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum solidified his claim to be the favored candidate of the party's conservative base with his wins in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday night, while rival Mitt Romney stepped up his attacks on President Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal: Wins In South For Santorum
Rick Santorum won the Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, solidifying his claim to be the favored candidate of the party's conservative base and the main challenger to front-runner Mitt Romney (O’Connor and Murray, 3/14).

The Associated Press: Romney Increasingly Hits Obama, Ignores GOP Rivals
Mitt Romney isn't waiting to lock down the GOP presidential nomination to begin focusing his campaign chiefly on President Barack Obama... The former Massachusetts governor is doing his best to pretend Santorum and his fellow rivals Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul hardly exist. Romney ignored them Tuesday at his two public events, in Missouri, which holds caucuses Saturday. Instead he ripped into Obama on health care, gasoline prices, foreign policy, the deficit and other issues (Babington, 3/14).

News outlets also examine Romney's statements, policy positions -

Politico: Mitt May Find Avoiding Medicare Isn't That Simple
It's one thing to say you're not going to enroll in Medicare. But it's hard to actually escape it. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign said on Monday — the Republican presidential candidate's 65th birthday — that he doesn't plan to enroll in the Medicare program (Haberkorn, 3/14). 

The Hill: Think Tank's Book Says Romney Not To Blame For Obama Health Law
It's unfair to call Mitt Romney the architect of President Obama's healthcare law because of how thoroughly the Republican presidential candidate's reforms were altered under his Democratic successor, a new book argues (Pecquet, 3/13).

CNN: When Romney Says 'Get Rid Of' Planned Parenthood He Means…
Mitt Romney reiterated his pledge to defund Planned Parenthood Tuesday, telling a local television reporter in a St. Louis suburb he would "get rid of" the women's health organization if he were president. In context, Romney's remark appeared to refer to revoking federal funding for the group, which many conservatives oppose because it provides abortions. As president, Romney wouldn't be in position to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood because it isn't a government entity. But his Democratic critics were still quick to pounce with context or not (3/13).

Also in the news, the AFL-CIO endorses Obama, with a new strategy to combat super PACs -

The Associated Press/Washington Post: AFL-CIO Endorses Obama, Puts Focus On Voter Turnout Rather Than Campaign Cash
Labor unions, saying they can't hope to compete with the new breed of conservative fundraising groups, plan to spend less money this year on specific candidates and political party organizations and more on door-to-door canvassing, phone banks and registration drives to help President Barack Obama and other Democrats. … The shift in spending comes as AFL-CIO leaders officially endorsed Obama for a second term Tuesday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised Obama for passing the $800 billion stimulus package, pushing a health care overhaul and insisting on Wall Street reforms (3/14).

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