Questions Surround Republican Leaders’ Level Of Support For Health Reform Repeal EffortsThe Hill: Some Republican leaders may not be fully embracing a Senate bill aimed at repealing the health reform overhaul despite other GOP endorsements. "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), GOP Conference Chair Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Conference Vice Chair Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have all argued that the reforms - passed in March without Republican support - will hike costs and erode services, and therefore should be scrapped. Yet they haven't signed on to their party's repeal proposal." Others, including Minority Whip Jon Kyl, of Arizona, have signed onto the bill. "That McConnell, Alexander and Murkowski haven't done the same, some experts say, could erode the Republicans' election-year message that the Democrats' health reforms will do more harm than good." Although the bill has virtually no chance of moving through the Democrat-controlled Congress, "it raises an important political question in an equally important election year: How successfully can Republicans run on a platform of healthcare repeal when some of the party's top lawmakers don't support the bill?" (Lillis, 7/5).
The Washington Post: Meanwhile, the GOP is targeting in elections this year antiabortion Democrats who voted for the health overhaul. "Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) was among a half-dozen holdouts who voted for the health-care overhaul only after being assured that taxpayer money would not be used to pay for abortions. Three months after that decision, many of his constituents still aren't convinced: They think lawmakers have left the door open for federal funds to be used for the procedure. And their suspicions are being fanned by Republicans who see Driehaus's southwestern Ohio district as a prime pick-up opportunity in the November midterm elections." But Driehaus has maintained that "his vote on health care was an affirmation, not a repudiation, of his anti-abortion views. He argues that the attacks have been motivated more by partisan politics than by concerns about abortion" (Somashekhar, 7/3). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.