KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Political Ads Stake Out Presidential Candidates’ Philosophies On Government

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's campaign will air a new ad aimed at seniors who are on Medicare and will continue efforts to connect with the women's vote. 

The New York Times: Political Memo: In One Corner, A Champion Of Government. In The Other, Its Foe.
An Obama campaign video shows the president's national political director, Katherine Archuleta, tearfully crediting Mr. Obama with having saved her daughter's life. She portrays the president as a hero of government whose health care law assures her daughter, a cancer survivor, insurance coverage forever. A video by a political committee backing Mr. Romney follows a nearly identical tack: evocative music and a tearful description of Mr. Romney as "the man who helped save my daughter." But the testimonial, from a former partner at Bain Capital, depicts Mr. Romney as a hero of business who once shut down his firm to aid search efforts until the partner’s missing teenager was found (Harwood, 5/22).

The Associated Press: Obama Airing Ads On Veterans, Seniors
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is airing two new ads, one focusing on his work with veterans returning home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and another aimed at seniors dependent on Medicare. ... The ad on Medicare notes that Obama was raised by his grandparents and cites his administration's efforts to root out health care fraud (5/23).

CNN: Obama Campaign Highlights Medicare And Veterans In Two New TV Ads
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is out with two new TV ads Wednesday that tout what they say are the president's commitment to preserving Medicare and his pledge to honor the country's veterans. The campaign says the commercials are part of their previously announced ad buy of $25 million to run spots this month in many crucial battleground states (5/23).

The Associated Press: Ad Aimed At Women Takes On Obama's Economic Record
Some headlines that flash by in the ad probably need an asterisk or two. One says, "Survey: Health insurance costs surge in 2011," while the narrator blames the new health care law for making premiums more expensive. Actually, Kaiser Family Foundation analysts who prepared the survey in question said the health care law was only responsible for between 1 and 2 percentage points of a 9 percent increase (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/22).

In addition, a poll examines shifting opinions on abortion rights -

Politico: Poll: Record Low Are 'Pro Choice'
The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as "pro-choice" is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday. A record-low 41 percent now identify as "pro-choice," down from 47 percent last July and one percentage point down from the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009. As recently as 2006, 51 percent of Americans described themselves as "pro-choice" (Mak, 5/23).

Meanwhile, a report about the North Dakota Senate race -

The Associated Press: Competitive Senate Race Shaping Up In North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp, a former state attorney general with ties to the energy industry and a one-time candidate for governor, is perhaps the state's only Democrat who can prevent the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad from flipping to the GOP in November. ... Republicans say Heitkamp's tough talk on Obama is an election-year conversion and predict her past support for his health care overhaul and candidacy in 2008 will be her undoing. The latest Crossroads ad, for instance, targets her support of Obama's health care plan (Wetzel and Jackson, 5/23).

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