KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama, Romney And Their Supporters Debate Government Role In Health Care

News outlets cover health care issues in the 2012 campaign as it heats up.

Chicago Tribune: Clinton Plugs Emanuel, Obama Initiatives
[Bill] Clinton defended the Affordable Care Act that Obama signed into law in 2010, which is now the subject of debate among U.S. Supreme Court justices who are weighing the constitutionality of the legislation's requirement that all people have health insurance (Meyer, 5/6).

Kaiser Health News: Obama On The Stump: Don't Turn Back The Clock On Health Reform (Video)
In a pair of speeches on Saturday, President Obama fired up Democratic party faithful in Ohio and Virginia. He spoke about his plans for -- and record on -- Medicare, health insurance and birth control (5/7).

Des Moines Register: Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli Says He'll Campaign For Romney – When He's Asked
Cuccinelli said he doesn’t think the Massachusetts health-care plan has worked. "I think it was constitutional, unlike what the president did," he said. He said if the Supreme Court doesn't overturn Obamacare, Romney has committed to repealing it. "And I take him at his word and believe him," Cuccinelli said (Obradovich, 5/5).

NPR: Romney's 1994 Senate Loss Left Lasting Marks
Then came an epic October debate ... "I have supported the Roe v. Wade [decision]. I am pro-choice," [Sen. Ted] Kennedy said. "My opponent is multiple choice." Romney replied with an answer that has dogged him ever since: "My mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that, or be a multiple choice, thank you very much." Later as governor, Romney changed his position — he now calls himself pro-life (Shapiro, 5/7).

Los Angeles Times: Fractious Florida Weighs Heavily On Presidential Campaigns
Romney is also trying to cut Obama's support among Jewish voters, about 5% of the electorate, by highlighting the administration's rocky relations with Israel. Obama, in turn, is wooing independents, including suburban women turned off by Romney's attacks on Planned Parenthood and his decision to side with conservatives in the debate over healthcare coverage for contraceptive services (West, 5/7).

The New York Times: Independent Senate Run In Maine Puts Parties In A Pinch
His opponents will have fodder: [Former Gov. Peter] King left the state with a budget deficit before he headed off with his wife in an R.V., accepted a $102 million loan guarantee financed by a federal stimulus program to pay for a wind-power project and supports President Obama's health care law, in addition to not saying which party he would support to lead the Senate (Weisman, 5/6).

The Associated Press/Arizona Republic: Democrats Accuse Kelly Of Changing Stance On Key Issues
Democrats are slamming 8th Congressional District Republican candidate Jesse Kelly for what they say are major changes in his stance on privatizing Social Security and Medicare designed to woo seniors turned off by his previous positions. Kelly's spokesman John Ellinwood on Friday called the candidate's most recent statements a "clarification," saying Kelly just wanted to assure seniors that he supports honoring the government's commitment (Christie, 5/4).

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