More Groups Challenge Democrats On Health Issues As GOP Lays Out Repeal Clues
More groups are jumping into campaign messaging as the GOP lays out a possible roadmap for its repeal efforts.
The Hill's Healthwatch blog: "[P]rocedural motions that Republicans filed during the healthcare reform debate offer the best insights into which provisions of the law the party wants to repeal first, a top staffer for a senior House Republican told The Hill. If Republicans can get enough Democrats to support repealing specific provisions, that could make it politically difficult for Obama to exercise his veto power. And Democrats who have publicly spoken out against specific provisions, such as Medicare cost-cutting and long-term disability insurance, could be tarred as flip-floppers if they refuse to go along." Other provisions targeted for repeal include those paying for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, comparative effective research and prevention funding (Pecquet, 10/19).
In the meantime, The Associated Press/Washington Post reports that an anti-abortion group is challenging an Ohio election law that blocks it from "putting up a billboard against a Democratic anti-abortion congressman," and "has asked a federal judge to overturn a state election law standing in its way. The Susan B. Anthony List, based in Washington, D.C., filed the suit after the Ohio Election Commission ruled in favor of GOP-targeted, first-term Rep. Steve Driehaus. The commission said there was probable cause that the planned billboard includes false statements." At issue is if Driehaus' vote for the health overhaul amounted to voting for "taxpayer-funded abortion. The health care overhaul will allow federally subsidized health insurance plans to cover abortions starting in 2014, but only if policyholders pay for coverage separately and the money is segregated from government funds" (Seewer, 10/19).
The Associated Press/Washington Post, in a separate story: The Susan B. Anthony List is also targeting 42 House Democrats "in a $1 million mail campaign aimed at turning them out of Congress. The Susan B. Anthony List, focused on electing women who oppose abortion rights, is sending mailings to more than 2 million like-minded voters" (Hirschfeld Davis, 10/19).
Los Angeles Times: Other groups are getting in the act of attacking vulnerable Democrats. "Last week, American Action Network, an advocacy nonprofit group run by Norm Coleman, the former senator from Minnesota, pledged to spend least $15 million on TV and Internet ads in House races across the nation. Records filed with the Federal Election Commission over the last several days show that the group, which shares office space in Washington with the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, is making good on its promise" (Oliphant and Geiger, 10/19).
In Louisiana, Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon, who is running for Senate, is keeping firm in his stand as one of just 34 Democrats to vote against the health overhaul, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reports. "Melancon, who now is the chief obstacle standing in the path of Republican David Vitter's re-election to the U.S. Senate, said there is plenty he likes about the $938 billion health-care bill, such as the ban on insurance companies rejecting customers with pre-existing conditions and the high-risk pools for people with serious illness. But, in the end, he said, the bill simply didn't do enough to control long-term health-care costs" (Moller, 10/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.