KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Pelosi On Obamacare Anniversary: The Law Is ‘A Winner’ For Democrats

The House minority leader marks the anniversary of the law's passage by expressing confidence that the law will help Democratic candidates this fall.

CNN: Pelosi: Obamacare A Winning Issue
Marking Sunday's fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi brushed off any notion the controversial health care law was hurting Democrats politically, and predicted the measure would help those running in competitive districts in the midterm elections this fall. "I believe that it's a winner," Pelosi replied when asked Thursday how the issue would play in swing districts. "That is a case we have to make," she added and noted Democrats faced a similar dynamic when Social Security was passed in the 1930's, saying "everybody has to spread the word as to what this is” (Walsh, 3/20).

The Associated Press: Pelosi Says Health Law A Winner For Dems 
"We just couldn't be prouder" of the legislation, Pelosi told a news conference where she said the law already has resulted in "better coverage, more affordable, better quality" insurance for nearly 12 million people. The California Democrat's appearance was timed for the fourth anniversary of the bill's signing by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, an occurrence that few other congressional Democrats seem inclined to herald at a time when party strategists seek a strategy to blunt criticism from Republicans and their allies (Espo, 3/20).

Politico: Pelosi: Health Law Is A 'Winner' For Democrats 
Pelosi maintained that the Florida House special election last week, in which Democrat Alex Sink was defeated by a Republican in a race where the health care law was a major issue, showed that Democrats are "ready for the next putt" because the final results were close. ... "And by the way, it’s called the Affordable Care Act," she told a reporter, repeating the law’s name several times. "I know you didn’t intend anything derogatory, but it’s called the Affordable Care Act. I tell [Obama] the same thing I told you. Affordable — there’s a reason" (Cunningham, 3/20).

President Barack Obama also stressed the law's benefits -

CBS News: Obamacare Anniversary Provides More 2014 Fodder
Mr. Obama on Thursday gave Democrats a blueprint for explaining the law on the campaign trail while tying it to other Democratic campaign themes, such as expanding women's economic opportunities. "Before we passed Obamacare, it was routine for insurance companies to charge women significantly more than men for health insurance -- it's just like the dry cleaners," Mr. Obama said at a Florida event focused on women's economic issues. "You send in a blouse, I send in a shirt -- they charge you twice as much. But the same thing was happening in health insurance. And so we've banned that policy for everybody” (Condon, 3/21).

Meanwhile, Republicans consider what alternatives they can present to voters -

Fox News: Republicans Drive To Replace ObamaCare -- But With What?
All Republicans want to replace ObamaCare -- but finding that ideal plan might not be so easy. For now, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., are trying to come up with an outline of Republican health care ideas that 30 members can present to their constituents in town-hall type meetings in April. GOP leadership aides have been looking at the "policy overlap" from a half-dozen House Republican bills already made public (Emanuel, 3/20). 

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