KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Says He’ll Dismantle Health Law Day 1 At The White House — Will That Help Him Win Over The Right?

On the Democratic side, Vice President Joe Biden takes on Romney, while news outlets offer fact checks and reports of health policy sparring on the congressional campaign trail.   

The Washington Post: Romney's Ambitious Agenda For First Day In Office Wouldn't Be Easy To Achieve
It’s Jan. 20, 2013. This is the agenda for President Romney's first day in office: … Allow states to escape parts of the health-care law (if it still exists). … A big list for day one (or two or three) is something of a campaign tradition, a way to underline your priorities and show where your predecessor went astray (Fahrenthold, 4/11).

Politico Pro: 4 Ways Romney Can Win The Right On Reform
Conservatives may be willing to forgive Gov. Mitt Romney for enacting the Massachusetts health care reform law, but some still need convincing that he's serious about repealing President Barack Obama's law if he becomes president. Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the race Tuesday made it all but official that the nominee of the Republican Party will be the man whose health care reform law directly inspired Obama's. So several prominent conservatives say Romney needs to continue to make his case that he'll do all he can to repeal, or at least disrupt, the law they call "Obamacare" (Haberkorn, 4/12).

The Associated Press: As Race Shifts, Biden Gets Task Of Scuffing Romney
Want a peek inside the Democratic playbook as the presidential race shifts fully into general election mode? Just listen to Joe Biden. In the past few weeks, the Democratic vice president has branded presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney "consistently wrong," ''uninformed" on foreign policy, someone aiming to "end Medicare as we know it" and an advocate of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class (Bakst, 4/11).

The Washington Post: The Fact Checker: 'Obamacare' Or The GOP: Which Would Throw Granny Off A Cliff?
This ad parodies a previous video from The Agenda Project, which ran a similar spot suggesting that Republicans were trying to end Medicare and privatize it with a proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Our colleagues at ran a film-noir parody covering both of these commercials (Hicks, 4/11).

The Hill: Kentucky Democrat Challenges McConnell Over Health Law Claims
Democratic Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth offered a rare and detailed point-by-point rebuttal to a newspaper column Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) penned for the congressman's hometown newspaper. The March 22 op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal blames Democrats' healthcare reform law for increasing premiums for the "average family" by $2,100, among other claims. Yarmuth, who voted for the law, offers detailed criticism of McConnell's figures and conclusions and goes on to say Republican "distortions and misinformation" about the law have put people and businesses at a disadvantage (Pecquet, 4/11).

Democratic leaders talk health care to high school students and senior citizens -

Des Moines Register: What The No. 2 Democrat In Congress Taught An Iowa High School Class Today
"What we've said is the same thing Gov. Romney said in Massachusetts. We've got to have everybody participate," [Steny] Hoyer told reporters after class was dismissed. He said everyone in the country needs affordable access to health care, and that need won't go away if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law (Jacobs, 4/11).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Health Secretary Makes Pitch For Affordable Care Act
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was in Milwaukee on Wednesday to draw attention to provisions in health care reform that benefit a key constituency: The 49 million people, including 650,000 in Wisconsin, covered by Medicare. The event, held at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St., shows one of the challenges facing the Obama administration: Two years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, the administration is holding events to explain relatively basic and minor provisions in the law (Boulton, 4/11).

And, the Washington Post details the 2012 campaign's "great moral debate" -

The Washington Post: 'Buffet Rule' Vs. Ryan Plan: Who Should Chip In More
The great moral debate of the 2012 campaign is turning out to be as inspiring as drunks arguing over a bar tab. The basic argument is this: "Who's not paying their fair share?" Democrats have pointed the finger at millionaires, and this week, President Obama is pushing, again, for the "Buffett Rule". ... Republicans have turned to people who use Medicare and Medicaid. A new proposal from GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), praised by presidential- nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, would shrink the government spending on these programs (Fahrenthold and Nakamura, 4/11).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.