KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius Says No To Kansas Senate Run

Despite recent appeals from Democrats for outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to run against Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., she has declined. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that political attack ads are now trying to offer positive alternatives.

The New York Times: Sebelius Says She’s Not Interested In Senate Run
Kathleen Sebelius, the soon-to-be former secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, said through a spokeswoman on Thursday that she was not interested in running for the Senate in Kansas, despite recent entreaties from Democrats (Peters, 4/17).

CBS News: Kathleen Sebelius In The Senate? Not Likely
When Kathleen Sebelius steps down from her post as Health and Human Services secretary in a few weeks, she may best be remembered for presiding over the disastrous rollout. But in addition to running a major federal agency for five years, Sebelius has an impressive record as a state leader in Kansas. Given that history, it's understandable that she may have toyed with the idea of running against Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, as the New York Times reported this week (Condon, 4/18).

The New York Times: Political Attack Ads, Often Negative, Try Instead To Accentuate The Positive
An ad by the group supporting Representative Steve Southerland II, Republican of Florida, focuses on his record of fighting President Obama’s health care law before it concludes, “Thank Steve Southerland for fighting to keep our health care decisions in our hands.” The shift is the product of several factors -- the renewed hope that positive commercials can break through the advertising clutter; lessons of the 2012 presidential race, when Mitt Romney and outside Republican groups largely failed to offer an alternate message to an onslaught of negative spots; and the increasing prevalence of stock footage made public by campaigns that makes producing positive ads easier (Parker, 4/17).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: N.C. Sen. Hagan’s First Ad Takes On GOP’s Thom Tillis
Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election campaign launched its first ad of the cycle on Thursday, targeting remarks by leading GOP candidate Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, about the Affordable Care Act as well as his handling of a sex scandal involving staffers in 2012. The 60-second radio spot, which will air statewide, quotes Mr. Tillis calling the health care law “a great idea.” It also says that Mr. Tillis supported creating a state health exchange in North Carolina. The ad’s voice-over asks: “So Thom Tillis thinks he can attack Kay Hagan over something he called a great idea? Watch close. Seems Thom Tillis wants it both ways” (Ballhaus, 4/17)

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