KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Reform – And Opposition To It – Remains Contentious As Nov. 2 Nears

As the election approaches, Americans remain divided on the health law and GOP challengers seeking to use that to their advantage are finding mixed results. The Associated Press has a variety of coverage.

The Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: "Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is telling an insurance industry group that she will work to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reforms if elected on Nov. 2. Fiorina told the California Association of Health Underwriters, which was meeting Thursday in Burbank, that she would work for a system in which health insurance and drug companies compete for clients" (Hoag, 10/21).

The Associated Press: "First it was President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that divided the nation. Now it's the Republican cry for repeal. An Associated Press-GfK poll found likely voters evenly split on whether the law should be scrapped or retooled to make even bigger changes in the way Americans get their health care. Tea party enthusiasm for repeal has failed to catch on with other groups, the poll found, which may be a problem for Republicans vowing to strike down Obama's signature accomplishment if they gain control of Congress elections" (10/22).

The theme is playing out in state elections, too. In South Carolina, Alan Wilson, the Republican candidate for attorney general is campaigning on the promise to place South Carolina at the "forefront of a federal lawsuit over President Barack Obama's health care package." Wilson said, " I'm going to be a leader on this issue," according to The Associated Press/Miami Herald (Kinnard, 10/21).

"The insurance industry has nearly doubled its contributions in support of the Republican candidate for [California] state insurance commissioner in recent days, drawing criticism that insurers are trying to choose their own regulator," The Associated Press/Bloomberg Businessweek report. "The indirect spending to elect Republican Mike Villines and attack Democrat Dave Jones raises questions about a conflict of interest for Villines if he wins. The insurance commissioner's office regulates the industry in California" (Thompson, 10/21).

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