Democrats Position For November Fight Using Health Care While GOP Leader Draws Line In The Sand
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is defending his party's accomplishments on health care as he paints Democrats as underdogs in November's elections, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "Kaine, a former governor of Virginia, blasted the Republicans as obstacles to progress for seven decades, warning supporters gathered at the University of Pennsylvania that President Obama's agenda was at risk with less than two months before the Nov. 2 election. He acknowledged it will be hard to prevail. Asked afterward about Democratic candidates who are running away from Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the party's big-ticket legislative accomplishments, Kaine said 'all Democrats should be proud to be Democrats.' But he declined to criticize Rep. Jason Altmire of the Pittsburgh area, who has been running a commercial touting his votes defying the president and party leadership, including on the health-care legislation" (Fitzgerald, 9/8).
The Hill: Other groups that supported health reform are also coming under fire. A Florida physicians group, the Florida Medical Association, is expressing dissatisfaction with the American Medical Association for its support of the overhaul. Last month, the group "debated pulling out of the AMA but instead opted to send a message of 'no confidence' after the national group endorsed healthcare reform but failed to get action on top priorities such as the Medicare physician payment formula and medical malpractice reform" (Pecquet, 9/8).
The Cincinnati Enquirer: If Republicans win a majority in the House, the likely next speaker of the house John Boehner said he'd kill the health law. "In a wide-ranging, hour-long meeting with the Enquirer editorial board, John Boehner said he intends to attempt to repeal or block funding for the health care legislation passed earlier this year. 'They'll get not one dime from us. Not a dime. There is no fixing this,' said the West Chester Republican" (Bradley, 9/8).
Politico: Republicans are quietly planning for a Boehner-run House. "The plans presently under discussion include defunding some parts of the new health care law and delaying implementation of others, withholding some of the unspent stimulus funds, and using the oversight power of Republican-led committees to investigate the Obama administration" (Allen and Vandehei, 9/9).
Finally, The New York Times reports in a separate story on Jonathan Bush, cousin to former President George W. Bush, and how he's leading health care innovation as CEO of Athenahealth. "Based in Watertown, Mass., Athenahealth offers a suite of administrative services for medical practices. It collects payments from insurers and patients, and it manages electronic health records and patient communication systems. All of this is done remotely through the Internet - or 'in the cloud,' as Mr. Bush puts it. Doctors don't have to install or manage software or pay licensing fees; instead, Athenahealth keeps a percentage of the revenue" (Mandelbaum, 9/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.