KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Debate Primer: ‘A Mere 15 Minutes’ Set Aside To Cover Lots Of Differences On Health Policies

News outlets set the scene for some of the tough health policy questions the two presidential candidates might face during tomorrow night's debate. And new ads about the health law and women's health issues have been unleashed.  

Medscape: Obama-Romney Debate: Readers Pose Tough Questions
The first presidential debate of 2012 between Republican challenger Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, scheduled for tomorrow night, allots a mere 15 minutes to the subject of healthcare … A number of Medscape readers asked Romney what he would substitute for the ACA if he became president and delivered on his promise to repeal the law. "Be specific!!!!!!" one physician demanded. Other readers wanted him to explain why he opposed the ACA even though it was modeled after the healthcare reform he enacted in Massachusetts when he was governor (Lowes and Berry, 10/2).

The MedicareNewsGroup: Debate Primer: Get Up To Speed On Obama, Romney And Medicare Reform
[W]ith health care and economics on the list of discussion topics Medicare will possibly take center stage. ...  Here's a round-up of MNG content that will tell you all you need to know about Romney, Obama, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and their plans to revamp Medicare (10/1).

CNN: Romney Ties Obama To Pelosi In New Ad
Mitt Romney's campaign and the Republican National Committee aligned President Barack Obama with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a new television ad Tuesday, one day before the year's first presidential debate (Killough, 10/2).

The Hill: Romney Ad: Obama Health Law Raised Taxes On The Middle Class
"Who will raise taxes on the middle class?" a narrator asks, as a picture of President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pans across the screen. "Barack Obama and the liberals already have. To pay for government-run healthcare, you’ll pay higher taxes and more for your medicine" (Sink, 10/2).

The Hill: Planned Parenthood Launches Anti-Romney Blitz In Colorado
Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) and Planned Parenthood Votes (PPVotes) are planning a slew of anti-Romney messaging efforts with a special focus on Denver, the location for the domestic-policy debate. The groups have been actively involved in this year's presidential race, endorsing President Obama and running ads against Romney, who has promised to end Planned Parenthood's public funding (Viebeck, 10/1).

Meanwhile, coverage also details how Medicare proposals could play in the swing states, as well as some  cost and coverage numbers associated with Mitt Romney's health proposals.

The Hill: Ryan: Medicare Reform Proposal Won't Hurt Ticket In Swing States
The Medicare reforms proposed in a budget plan by Paul Ryan won't hurt the Republican presidential ticket in swing states, the Wisconsin lawmaker said Monday. Ryan's comments come as recent polling shows Mitt Romney and Ryan trailing President Obama on Medicare in key swing states. A Gallup poll from late September found that in 12 battleground states more voters felt Obama's healthcare reform law would better handle the problems facing Medicare (Strauss, 10/1). 

Politico Pro: Report: Romney Plan Leaves 72M Uninsured
Mitt Romney's health care plan wouldn't just insure fewer people than "Obamacare" — it would make the uninsured problem worse than it would have been if the law had never passed ... The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health care research foundation, found that under Romney's health care plan, the uninsured population would soar to 72 million by 2022 — 12 million higher than if nothing had been done at all. ... [the] report is based on research by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who worked on both the federal and Massachusetts health reform laws (Norman, 10/2).

NBC: Romney Health Plan Would Cost US, Group Says
If President Barack Obama stays in office, just 27 million will go without insurance and costs will fall, the group predicts. There are a lot of caveats in the report issued Tuesday by the group, which does research in support of a “high-performing” health system. Romney would also need a friendly (read Republican-dominated) Congress to roll back health reform, and he hasn’t given very many details of his health plan (Fox, 10/1).

NewsHour (Video): What's At Stake In The Candidates' Different Visions For Medicaid
The firestorm over how to make Medicare more sustainable has consumed the health care debate this election season, but Medicaid, its counterpart for low-income, disabled and elderly Americans, actually covers more people. Hari Sreenivasan looks at how the candidates' two drastically different proposals offer reform (10/1). 

Politico Pro: Mass. Dems Sent To Praise 'Romneycare'
Two Massachusetts Democrats, at the urging of the Obama campaign, will hit the trail this week to talk up Romney’s proudest achievement as governor: the near-universal health care law he signed in 2006. ... Massachusetts House Majority Leader Ron Mariano and State Rep. Steven Walsh are headed to Nevada Wednesday and Thursday to shower praise on the law. The pair plans to contrast Romney's work on the state health law with his clarion call to repeal the ACA and to expand the role of private insurers in Medicare (Cheney, 10/1).

Meanwhile, health issues are playing in a gubernatorial race - 

The Associated Press: N.H. Gov. Candidates Debate Health Care
Though similar parental and professional experiences guide their views, the candidates for New Hampshire governor take very different approaches when it comes to health care policy. Democrat Maggie Hassan has an adult son with severe disabilities and has served as legal counsel for several hospitals. Republican Ovide Lamontagne has an adult foster son with special needs and also has represented numerous hospitals as a business lawyer. Both cited those backgrounds Monday during an hour-long debate (Ramer, 10/2).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.