Election Postmortems Continue Regarding Health Overhaul
In an analysis in The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza asks: "How much did the health-care law passed this year have to do with Republicans winning back the House and gaining six seats in the Senate?" Polls shed a little - deeply contradictory - light on the question. A Democratic strategist argued it was a neutral issue in an election-night memo, saying only 18 percent of voters believed health care was the most important issue, and that Demcorats won those by an eight percentage point margin. But, a GOP operative argued seven in ten voters had seen advertising about the health law that they recalled opposed the legislation (Cillizza, 11/7).
Politico: "Voters over 65 favored Republicans last week by a 21-point margin after flirting with Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections and favoring John McCain by a relatively narrow 8-point margin in 2008. ... Senior voters seemed motivated by concerns about the health care law and punished incumbent Democrats accordingly. The bill cut $500 billion from Medicare programs [over 10 years], a wash at best for older citizens. And Democrats largely failed to campaign successfully on aspects of the law targeted to benefit seniors, like closing the 'doughnut hole' in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage" (Tau, 11/7).
President Barack Obama said Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" that the health law debate had extracted a greater political cost than he expected, The Associated Press reports. Obama said, "I made the decision to go ahead and do it, and it proved as costly politically as we expected - probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically I couldn't get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I had hoped for [a]nd that was costly, partly because it created the kind of partisanship and bickering that really turn people off" (11/7).
See the whole "60 Minutes" interview at CBS News.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.