KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicare, Health Reform, Women’s Issues Hot Topics On Campaign Trail

With the election a little more than six weeks away, news coverage included the role of health care in the outcome.

The Associated Press: Romney Medicare Plan: Key Details Still In Flux
With important details still hazy, The Associated Press asked the Romney campaign five questions about how his Medicare plan would affect consumers on critical matters of costs and benefits. ... Broadly speaking, Romney calls for shifting people now age 54 and younger into a different sort of Medicare. Once eligible, these people would get a fixed payment from the government, adjusted for inflation, to pay for either private insurance or a government plan modeled on Medicare. Current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement could stay in the traditional program (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/23).

Politico: 'Obamacare' Foes Fear GOP Losses
If Mitt Romney doesn’t win the White House in November, and the Republicans don’t win the Senate, the GOP might not get another chance to repeal “Obamacare.” That’s the reality of the 2012 election, and even the staunchest opponents of the Democrats’ health care reform law acknowledge it. By the time the 2014 election comes up, all of the law’s major changes will be in place. ... That’s why Romney’s latest struggles have a special significance for the repeal effort (Haberkorn, 9/22).

CBS News: Bill Clinton: No President Could Have "Magically" Fixed Economy In One Term
The former president said it's too early to assume that more people are dependent on the government. "I think that we have to wait until normal growth resumes to make that judgment, " he said. "In other words, a heck of a lot of this money is unemployment and food stamps and Medicaid for people who have lost their private health insurance" (Caldwell, 9/23).

Los Angeles Times: Nevada Concerned About More Than The Economy
[T]he president holds a small but steady lead in this Western battleground, thanks in part to voters like Yvonne Bellaart. ... after supporting John McCain over Obama in 2008 and backing Republican George W. Bush before that, Bellaart is voting against the GOP nominee this time because she considers Romney hostile to women. "I don't think it's a government's choice what women should do," said Bellaart, a political independent, referring to Romney's opposition to abortion rights and his vow to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood (Barabak, 9/23).

USA Today: Akin Still Confident He Can Win Missouri Senate Seat 
In an interview with USA TODAY, the Republican lawmaker -- abandoned by his party and GOP outside groups when he made controversial comments last month about the abortion rights of raped women -- is unbowed and confident that he is on track to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill ... For her part, McCaskill has used the controversy to paint a broader picture of [Todd] Akin as too conservative for the state. At their first debate Friday in Columbia, Mo., McCaskill said the episode "opened the window to his views" and criticized his opposition to federal student loan programs and his support of a plan to privatize the current Medicare system as examples (Davis, 9/23).

NPR: Women Head For The Hill In Record Numbers
More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. ... "On the Democratic side, you could make the case that they've been saying the Republicans are waging a 'war on women,' and a lot of Democratic women may be more energized by the rhetoric we've seen so far," [NPR Political Junkie Ken] Rudin says. "But Republican women have been coming through the ranks as well" (Farrington, 9/23).

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