Health Law Battle Lines Prominent As 1st Anniversary Approaches
Some Democrats say their party should embrace the law in the upcoming campaign season, just as some tea party lawmakers are questioning the GOP leadership's commitment to repeal it. In the background, "death panels" have again emerged as a topic of congressional investigation.
Politico: Don't Cower; Embrace Health Care Law, Says Anthony Weiner
Rep. Anthony Weiner wants the Democrats to ditch the "hiding-under-our-desk" strategy and embrace the health care law in 2012 - because it will be a campaign issue whether they like it or not (Nather, 3/15).
CQ HealthBeat: Health Law Birthday Hoopla: Is the Party Over Yet?
Chatter about sending birthday cakes to members of Congress. Press conferences two weeks ahead of time. Forums with speakers pro and con. Op-ed pieces and special issues. Still nine days away, the first anniversary of the health law is already starting to feel like a birthday party that's gone on too long, where there's too much noise and too much food and the kids are getting cranky. And this is before the Obama administration even reveals its schedule of events to mark the occasion and health law supporters announce an array of other events later this week. The six-month anniversary of the law gave the White House the opportunity to promote consumer protections that were taking effect the same day - a real public-relations edge. This time, opponents of the health law won't get outflanked (Reichard, 3/15).
NPR: Dems To GOP: Show Us Your Health Insurance
[A] House bill being pushed by Democrats would require Republicans to publicly state whether or not they are accepting taxpayer-subsidized health benefits under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. They're entitled to such coverage as members of Congress, but Democrats say it's hypocritical for Republicans who are voting to take health coverage away from millions of Americans to accept coverage subsidized by those same people (Rovner, 3/15).
National Journal: Are GOP Leaders Going Soft On 'Obamacare'?
Top tea partiers on Capitol Hill don't trust the House GOP leadership to do what they think is the right thing on repealing the Obama health care law. And they aren't keeping quiet about it. "Is there anything anyone's proposed that gets the job done? No. It's not even close," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said. Although the chamber voted in January to repeal the law, King and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., have been leading an effort to strip an estimated $105 billion in mandatory funding from the statute through must-pass spending legislation. They are not confident that this strategy will work, and Bachmann says she fears that the Republican leadership will try to placate the conservative base with empty gestures that leave the funding in place (McCarthy, 3/15).
The Hill: House GOP Investigating 'Death Panel' Regulation
Republicans on a powerful House committee are bringing the so-called "death panel" controversy back to life. The House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are demanding that President Obama's health department explain why a provision rewarding doctors for end-of-life care consultations was recently tucked into a massive Medicare regulation. A provision of the rule, which would have incentivized Medicare doctors to hold end-of-life discussions with seniors during new annual wellness visits, was uncovered by The New York Times in December, weeks after the regulation was issued. End-of-life care became a political lightning rod for the administration during the health care reform debate, with some conservatives accusing the administration of trying to withhold life-saving treatment from seniors because of the cost (Millman, 3/15).