Congressional Races Taking Shape Around Health Reform Positions
The Associated Press: Some Democrats are maintaining an independent voice on the issue of health reform. "Aware that their stock has taken the same tumble as home values, Congress' most vulnerable Democrats are declaring their independence from their party's agenda in Facebook profiles, television advertisements, news interviews and campaign websites leading up to the Nov. 2 election. That's when Republicans hope to retake control of the House they lost four years ago." The list of candidates in this category includes "Democratic Reps. Betsy Markey and John Salazar in Colorado, Zack Space in Ohio, Jason Altmire in Pennsylvania, Glenn Nye in Virginia and Joe Donnelly in Indiana." Several of them - though not all - are bucking the party trend in touting the new health law as a positive (Silva, 9/26).
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making an issue of health care in his battle to keep his seat. "Reid and the Nevada Democratic Party have begun attacking GOP opponent Sharron Angle on the issue, which has sharply divided voters here and nationwide. In his latest campaign ad released last Friday, Reid slams Angle for her stance. The TV spot points to the former Reno assemblywoman's 2003 vote against a bill to mandate insurance coverage for colonoscopies, which can detect cancer. Angle and Sparks Assemblyman Don Gustavson, another fiscal conservative, both voted 'no' on SB183, which passed 39-2." Democrats in Nevada are also critical of Angle for her stance against forcing insurers to cover autism in that state (Myers, 9/27).
South Bend (Ind.) Tribune: Many other congressional races have taken shape because of the health overhaul. In Indiana, "[i]f it weren't for health care reform, Jackie Walorski might not even be running for Congress. Walorski has said the health care issue is what finally led her to decide last year to run against U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District. Donnelly, a Democrat, voted in support of the legislation in March, and Walorski, a Republican state representative, has declared that she will vote to repeal the new law if elected in November" (Allen, 9/27).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The same is true for Republican Ron Johnson in a race with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., for Feingold's Senate seat. Feingold is standing behind his vote for the health overhaul while Johnson says "he entered the race solely because of his anger over the health care bill. In his appearances and speeches, Johnson rarely misses a chance to call the law 'the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime'" (Walker, 9/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.