KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Polls Offer Competing Visions Of Electorate’s Views On Health Law

A Fox poll finds more than half of voters are inclined to support candidates that oppose the health overhaul, but Democrats say that other polls show a band of independent voters who may not like the law but don't want it repealed.

Fox News: Fox News Poll: Independents More Likely To Back Anti-ObamaCare Candidates
Most voters say ObamaCare will play an important role in their vote in this year's elections, and over half are more inclined to back the candidate who opposes the health care law. That's according to a Fox News poll released Monday. The new poll asks voters what they would do if the only difference between two congressional candidates is that one promises to fight for the health care law and the other promises to fight against it (Blanton, 4/21).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Can Democrats Use Obamacare To Persuade Voters?
Are there any voters left who haven't made up their minds about the Affordable Care Act? Not many, but Democrats are counting on a few at the margins to come their way. Tracking polls by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest that support for and opposition to the law have remained about the same over the last six months, even as the law’s impact began to be felt in people’s lives, for better and worse. But there remains a narrow band of voters whose attitude toward the law and whose political allegiance may still be up for grabs: Voters who don’t like the law but don’t want it repealed (Hook, 4/21).

In other news about the politics of the law -

Politico: Who Is Dr. Ben Carson? 
In October, Carson made headlines again when he said that the Affordable Care Act’s framework of mandates, insurance exchanges and federal subsidies amounted to "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." He meant the comparison literally. "It is slavery in a way," Carson, who is African American, went on, "because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control." That sense of loss of control over the practice of medicine is what has brought many doctors recently to become vocal in discussions of policy. Several dozen are even running for Congress this year, most as Republicans. But it's Carson who has become one of those curious media stars that often shoots through American politics nowadays—so suddenly popular among conservatives that he bested such 2016 hopefuls as Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio at the CPAC straw poll (Hamblin, 4/21).

Politico: Schwartz Ad Touts Obamacare In Pennsylvania
Most Democratic candidates in competitive races this year are avoiding talking about the Affordable Care Act, but a new ad from Rep. Allyson Schwartz — one of the four Democrats vying to take on Pennsylvania GOP Gov. Tom Corbett — embraces both President Barack Obama and his signature health care law. "I worked with President Obama on the Affordable Care Act and getting health coverage to all Americans," Schwartz says in the ad, shared first with POLITICO. "It was my legislation that said insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for kids with pre-existing conditions. It's something I’m proud of because it also closed the gap in prescription drug coverage for seniors" (Schultheis, 4/21).

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