KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republicans Aim At Senate Seats Using Health Law Stances

The GOP is showing signs it intends to go even further to use the health law to win or retain Senate seats this election cycle.

The Wall Street Journal: Shifting Senate Landscape Draws New Faces
Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado is in an enviable position, with a safe House seat and bright prospects for joining his party's leadership. So when GOP officials last year asked him to give it all up to run for the Senate, he declined. … But signs of Mr. Udall's political vulnerability grew. Like other Democrats, he drew blame for the troubled rollout of the health-care law. Criticism grew when his office questioned the number of notices the state said people received saying their policies were being canceled because they didn't comply with the standards of the new law (Hook and O’Connor, 3/2).

The New York Times: Giving Early Taste Of G.O.P. Tactics, Texans Make A Stand Against Obama
And an ad for Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, titled “The Truth” accuses Mr. Obama of obfuscating on a variety of issues, including the attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi and the president’s signature health care law. … “Senator John Cornyn stands up to President Obama every day, pushes back,” concludes a narrator. “John Cornyn’s for us, for Texas.” Accusing the president of lying in an ad, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on political discourse, is “a very strong attack”(Parker, 3/2). 

Meanwhile, as political context -

CBS News: Drawing The Line On Obamacare
There's debate now not just over Obamacare, but on how much to even talk about it in the first place. For instance, Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., cautions Republicans not to make it the only item in their campaigns. The Democrats are looking to shift the topic to wages and the economy. But Obamacare continues to be a hinge point of 2014 whether they like it or not, and here's how: When voters make choices some things are "nice-to-have" and some things are "must-have," which usually means a candidate has to agree on some items before you'll even consider them (Salvanto, 3/1).

Reuters: U.S. House Republican Unity Tested On Obamacare Alternative
A month after Republicans rallied around offering an alternative to President Barack Obama's healthcare law in an election-year move to broaden their appeal to voters, divisions are surfacing over the issue in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner has not committed to voting this year on legislation to replace Obama's landmark Affordable Care Act (Cowan, 2/28).

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