KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law A Tough Sell, Although Millions Gain Benefits

A New York Times analysis points out that many of those helped most by the health law are the least likely to cast votes to preserve it. CNN notes that Obamacare is a tough sell for embattled Democrats, and a political analyst questions the GOP strategy to run against the law. 

New York Times: Democrats Confront Vexing Politics Over The Health Care Law
When Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security, he created generations of loyal Democrats. When Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law, he built on that legacy, particularly with older Americans. And when George W. Bush instituted a new prescription drug benefit for Medicare, it helped reclaim elderly voters for Republicans. But President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the $1.4 trillion effort to extend health insurance to all Americans, is challenging the traditional calculus about government benefits and political impact (Martin, 4/19). 

The Wall Street Journal: Ted Cruz, Invoking Reagan, Angers GOP Colleagues But Wins Fans Elsewhere
Despite resistance from Senate Republicans and Democrats, he stood up before an empty Senate on Sept. 24 to argue Congress shouldn't renew government funding while the health law remained on the books. "I rise today in opposition to Obamacare," he said, launching a 21-hour monologue that included a reading of "Green Eggs and Ham." Mr. Cruz was roundly pilloried. ... While he lost his defunding attempt, he says he finds victory in the low approval ratings of Mr. Obama and his health-care law (Langley, 4/18). 

CNN: Why Are Some Democrats Running From Obamacare?
Polls have shown that voters love popular provisions calling for mandatory coverage for maternity care and extending coverage for young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance policies. And recent figures from the Congressional Budget Office show that Obamacare will cost about $5 billion less to implement in 2014 than originally estimated. Still, some Democrats have run from the President's signature health care reform law so fast, they've practically left skid marks. The question is: Will they run back? (Abdullah, 4/18).

CNN: Will GOP’s Focus On Obamacare Pay Off In 2014 Midterms?
Nonpartisan political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg said Sunday it's hard to imagine Republicans can run entirely on a platform against Obamacare from now until the November midterm elections. "I think the cake has been baked on the (Affordable Care Act)," Rothenberg said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think there are a bunch of people changing their opinions now." ... he said Republicans will need to do more this cycle than just train their fire against Obamacare (Killough, 4/20).

In Oregon, the GOP is moving to take a Senate seat using health law attacks --

Fox News: GOP's Bid To Take Senate Moves To Oregon, Which Is Ripe For Obamacare Attack
Democratic-leaning Oregon seems like an unexpected place for Republicans to advance their efforts to win control of the Senate this year. But with a strong candidate in a state with arguably the worst ObamaCare rollout in the country, Washington Republicans think they have a winning strategy. A Republican hasn't been elected to a statewide Oregon office in more than a decade. But Washington Republicans think they have the right candidate in Monica Wehby, a children's brain surgeon who's raised more than $1 million and who, like Republicans, has made her opposition to ObamaCare the centerpiece of the 2014 campaign (4/20).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.