During First Debate, Iowa Senate Candidates Ernst And Braley Clash On The Health Law
News outlets offer updates on how the Affordable Care Act is playing in Iowa, Arkansas and Minnesota races.
The Associated Press: Braley And Ernst Clash In First Iowa Senate Debate
[Democrat Bruce] Braley and [Republican Joni] Ernst clashed on issues such as jobs, health care, environmental policies and abortion, but mainly stuck to established talking points. Both touted their records and sought to tie the other to special interest groups. … The two disagreed on health care. Braley said President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, has provided health care to Iowa residents that need it. Ernst said the program should be repealed because it has taken “personal health care decisions out of our hands” (9/28).
The Wall Street Journal: Iowa GOP Candidate For Senate Adjusts Her Message
The dynamic generally has been different among Democrats, many of whom didn't face primaries this year and the demands of their party's activist base. Still, many Democrats are breaking from their party to oppose an immigration-law overhaul and demand changes to the Affordable Care Act and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In Iowa, which President Barack Obama won twice, the strategy appears to be working for Mrs. Ernst. She has absorbed months of attacks that she is too conservative for the state, yet held a six-point lead in a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, which put her ahead of Mr. Braley 44% to 38% (Williamson, 9/28).
The Associated Press: It's Pryor V. Cotton V. Obama In Arkansas Race
In a Senate race as pivotal as any in the country, Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is running against Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running against President Barack Obama. ... Cotton is one of the many Republicans to inject Obama forcefully into his campaign in a year the GOP is battling for control of the Senate. Yet the Democrats' multimillion-dollar program to turn out new, midterm election voters in key states will be tested in Arkansas as much as anywhere, ... Georgia Bowen, making calls at the Democratic phone bank in Little Rock, is an enthusiastic supporter of the health care law that Republicans first tagged — scathingly — with Obama's name. "When they're calling it 'Obamacare' they're trying to insert race into something where race doesn't belong," said the former teacher (Espo, 9/26).
Pioneer Press: McFadden Plan Would Leave Health Insurance Efforts To States
President Barack Obama's national health insurance system should be replaced by a state-based model aimed at lowering costs and improving quality and access, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Friday. McFadden expanded upon earlier comments he's made about health care with a 12-point plan that he said would give consumers more information and choice. "I fundamentally believe that health care should not be done at the federal level," McFadden said. "I think if it continues to be run and administered at a federal level it will ultimately look like the VA, and that's not acceptable." The campaign of Al Franken, the Democratic incumbent McFadden is trying to unseat, dismissed the proposal as "an ill-considered grouping of ideas that would hurt Minnesotans” (Belden, 9/26).
The Associated Press: McFadden Lays Out Plan To Replace Health Care Law
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden wants to take a scissors to President Barack Obama's health care law. Now he has a plan to replace it. McFadden outlined his vision on Friday for how to cut health care costs and undo the law, a rallying cry among Republican candidates nationwide. The businessman seeking to replace Sen. Al Franken said he wants to keep some of the law's popular provisions, such as a ban on denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, but said health care should be handled by states — not the federal government. McFadden has made Franken's vote for the president's health care law a centerpiece of his campaign, but Democrats have repeatedly criticized McFadden — and Republicans nationwide — for not articulating an alternative (Potter, 9/26).
Minnesota Public Radio: McFadden Offers Affordable Care Act Alternative
Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Friday that he would scrap the Affordable Care Act and let each state enact its own health care program. But McFadden said he would retain some of the most popular elements of Obamacare, including the provision that bans lifetime caps on benefits. He would also require insurance companies to sell coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and allow parents to keep their adult children on their plans up to age 26. ... A campaign spokesperson for DFL Sen. Al Franken said McFadden’s plan would result in higher insurance rates for women and for sick people and would leave insurance companies with more control over people’s lives (Zdechlik, 9/26).
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: McFadden: Repeal Affordable Care Act In Favor Of State-Based Exchanges
U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden on Friday laid out a proposal to do away with the Affordable Care Act in favor of optional state exchanges with the opportunity to buy insurance across borders. The proposal is part of a six-page detailed outline by McFadden, a Republican businessman who is challenging U.S. Sen. Al Franken. McFadden has long advocated for repealing the ACA (Simons, 9/26).
In other political news -
Politico: Sen. Ted Cruz Captivates Values Voter Summit
The Values Voter conference offered an early glimpse of what’s sure to be a spirited battle for the allegiance of Christian conservatives in 2016. ... There were tea party activists in attendance at the summit, but the emphasis was less on small government and more on strict social conservatism. The event drew attendees who oppose same-sex marriage, abortion rights and marijuana legislation; ... Tony Perkins, who heads the Family Research Council and its lobbying arm — the latter is the main sponsor of the event — immediately pointed to Cruz when asked which speakers stood out (Glueck, 9/26).
The Washington Post: Ted Cruz: Democrats Are An 'Extreme, Radical Party'
Heading into a possible 2016 presidential run, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was already a favorite with that key GOP demographic. His performance Friday showed why. In a fiery speech that pulled the crowd to its feet, the first White House contender to take the stage spoke against abortion and same-sex marriage, ... “We’re 39 days from a pivotal election. If you want to defend the First Amendment and religious liberty, vote Harry Reid out,” he said, calling for the elimination of everything from Common Core standards to the Affordable Care Act (Payne, 9/26).