KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Orrin Hatch To Face Primary Battle: Health Care Record On GOP Voters’ Minds

News outlets covered the crucial contest in Utah.

The Wall Street Journal: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch Forced Into Primary Fight
Beating back a challenge from tea party activists, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah easily qualified for the Republican primary ballot in his quest for a seventh Senate term Saturday, but he fell just short of winning the GOP nomination outright. ... Mr. Hatch's vote total Saturday marked a stark contrast with the fate of his erstwhile Utah Republican colleague, former Sen. Robert Bennett. ... The senator [Hatch] also trained his fire on FreedomWorks, the small-government, conservative organization that organized opposition to the senator (Bendavid, 4/21).

Bloomberg Businessweek: Hatch Forced Into GOP Primary Contest in Utah
The 78-year-old Hatch, a six-term senator, was targeted by the group FreedomWorks, which favors smaller government and has helped foster the Tea Party movement. ... Hatch also is opposed because of his work with the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts to create a children’s health program that expanded Medicaid. FreedomWorks has spent more than $691,000 on television advertising, grassroots outreach and glossy brochures seeking to defeat Hatch (Ratnam and Litvan, 4/21).

CBS News: Orrin Hatch To Face Run-Off In Primary
Throughout his career, Hatch has a history of bipartisanship, including his work with his close friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, on health care. ... Since the rise of the influence of the Tea Party in 2009, Hatch has moved his positions to the right, becoming a vocal opponent of the president's health care bill, especially the individual mandate - a policy he had supported in the 1990s. (Caldwell, 4/21).

The Associated Press: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch Forced Into Primary Fight
Hatch urged that delegates endorse him so he can help repeal President Barack Obama's health care law and potentially lead the powerful Senate Finance Committee if Republicans regain control of the chamber in the November vote. Hatch argued that he was only one candidate who had the ability to enact the GOP's priorities from day one of the next congressional session (Loftin and Freking, 4/21).

The Hill: Hatch Falls Just Short At UTAH GOP Convention, Will face Primary
Hatch promised to put "Obamacare in our sights" and make sure it is repealed, and to continue his push for the Balanced Budget Amendment that he has worked for decades to pass (Joseph, 4/21).

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