Political Ads, Rhetoric On Health Law Heating Up Races In Alaska, Nevada, Pennsylvania
Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller said this week that his family took benefits years ago from Medicaid and a state program for low-income children and pregnant women despite his criticism of entitlement programs, The Associated Press reports. "U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who's running as a write-in candidate against him, called Miller a hypocrite" (10/7).
In other campaign news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's son, Rory Reid, a Democratic candidate for governor of Nevada, said Thursday that the law his father helped pass has potential "to put significant pressure on states because Medicaid rates could go up significantly," Roll Call reports. But Reid "said he opposes lawsuits filed by some states in opposition to the law, saying he believes that they are politically motivated ... Rory Reid is running against Republican Brian Sandoval, who resigned as a U.S. district judge to run for governor and beat incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons in the primary" (Starkey, 10/8).
The Hill: Sandoval "said during the debate - which was televised live by C-SPAN - that he supports the litigation against the health law. Sandoval added that the law is causing premiums to increase, saying, 'That's why that law needs to go away'" (Cusack, 10/7).
Harry Reid himself is the target of a new ad by his opponent for his Senate seat, Sharron Angle, that says he voted to give sex offenders and child molesters Viagra, Politico reports. "The vote Angle cited was an amendment offered to the major health care bill by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in hopes of killing it. While the amendment sought to prevent the sale of Viagra to sexual predators using health care funds, there was no portion of the bill authorizing funds to provide the drug to sex offenders to begin with. Responding, Reid communications director Kelly Steele charged that Angle was continuing 'her "pathological" pattern of lying to the voters of Nevada in pursuit of her extreme and dangerous political agenda'" (Barr, 10/7).
Finally, The Associated Press reports in a separate story that attorneys "for Democrat U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper's campaign want four Erie radio stations to pull an ad by an anti-abortion group that contends her vote for health care reform resulted in 'the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions ever.'" The ad, by Americans United for Life, is being defended by the group that made it "saying the freshman lawmaker voted to pass a final version of the bill that omitted key safeguards to prevent federal funding of abortions." Dahlkemper's campaign says the ad is inaccurate and slanderous. "Democrats have argued that an executive order signed by President Barack Obama is added insurance that federal money won't pay for abortions under the reformed health care system" (Mandak, 10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.