Business Groups, GOP Prepare Anti-Health Law Campaigns For Midterm Elections
Politico reports that business groups are preparing ads for the November elections and some are targeting health reform. "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already vowed to invest $75 million in the mid-term elections. And health insurers are also planning to play big in November, although the specifics remain in flux. Both America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and its Coalition for Medicare Choices are expected to play a major role in the messaging, along with individual companies. But neither group, according to sources, plans to directly attack Democrats, which would risk infuriating the White House as it writes reform regulations as well as the Blue Dog Democrats who opposed the legislation." Likely ads include those targeted to seniors in the Medicare Advantage program "explaining it was health reform not insurers that is responsible for their higher bills and slashed benefits, one industry official said" (Cummings and Frates, 7/28).
Meanwhile, "Senate Republicans have delivered broadsides this week, criticizing four aspects of the new law and introducing legislation to partially repeal it. With just more than three months until Election Day, Republicans remain confident that their unanimous opposition to the law will help them pick up seats in the midterm elections. Democrats strongly disagree," according to Roll Call (Drucker, 7/29).
Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., a heart surgeon, will stump over the August recess for GOP candidates and talk about the health law, Roll Call reports in a separate story. "Boustany, who gave the Republican response last fall to President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress during the health care debate, will be in Virginia on Monday for an event with state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R), who is facing Rep. Rick Boucher (D) in the 9th district this fall" (McArdle and Knott, 7/29).
The Washington Times: "A group of Republican senators on Wednesday threatened to force changes to the new national health care law unless the Obama administration does more to ensure that federal dollars won't be used to pay for elective abortions." The Republicans asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "to 'act immediately' to prohibit most abortion coverage in the temporary government-backed insurance 'pools' that the legislation created." HHS issued a statement "two weeks ago reiterating that all states must comply with an executive order signed by President Obama in March that reaffirmed long-standing federal restrictions against spending taxpayer dollars for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger" (Lengell, 7/28).