Health Law Factors Into Election-Year Politics, But Less Than Expected
The health care overhaul remains a political weapon for Republicans in the autumn campaigns. The Associated Press reports, "A political group affiliated with former top Republican Party officials is airing TV ads in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and California targeting Democratic U.S. Senate candidates for supporting what the group disparagingly calls 'ObamaCare.' The more than $2 million in ads by Washington-based Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies criticize Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak for voting for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" (Alford, 8/26).
Health law supporters are not standing by passively, however. The Los Angeles Times reports, "After months of being pummeled by Republican attacks on the new healthcare law, the Obama administration and its allies are striking back in an attempt to stem public disaffection with the health overhaul ahead of the November election." The campaign, a White House-backed "multimillion -dollar ad offensive" - funded by individual donors and outside groups that support the law as - will begin any day now (Levey and Hamburger, 8/25).
At the same time, TIME magazine correspondent Michael Crowley tells Kaiser Health News' Health On The Hill that the overhaul is turning out to be a less central issue in elections that earlier anticipated. He said, "right around the time health care passed or was on the brink of passage, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said every election this fall will be a referendum on this bill. And that is not the case, at least at the moment" (8/25).