KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

In Debates And Ads, House And Senate Candidates Face Off On Women’s Health, Medicare And Health Law Issues

Campaigns are becoming increasingly feisty as candidates spar over these charged issues.  

The New York Times: A Feisty Debate Crystallizes Differences In Tight Massachusetts Race
Elizabeth Warren and Senator Scott P. Brown kept the pressure on each other throughout a feisty, hourlong debate here Wednesday night. … Asked where he would cut the government, Mr. Brown cited President Obama's health care law, which, he said, was crushing Massachusetts businesses. He said the law would remove $700 billion from Medicare, an assertion that Mr. Romney made in last week's presidential debate (Seelye, 10/11).

Los Angeles Times: Berman, Sherman Mix It Up – Again – In Congressional Race Forum
Both supported the Affordable Health Care Act and said Wednesday that it had already provided access to healthcare for thousands of uninsured people and was a good first step.  And each said he wanted "comprehensive" immigration reform, including securing borders, providing a path to legal residency for  otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants and sanctions against employers who hire workers without proper documentation (Merl, 10/10).

The Washington Post: Kay Coles James Featured In New George Allen Ad
Republican Senate candidate George Allen on Wednesday released a new TV ad, the second featuring Kay Coles James, his secretary of health and human resource when he was governor. … Democrats have also questioned James as a surrogate in an election in which Kaine has sought to make women's health issues a focus. As director of public affairs for the National Right to Life Committee, James opposes abortion (Vozzella, 10/10).

The Hill: McCaskill Releases Series Of Attack Ads Featuring Sexual Assault Victims
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is releasing a new set of ads featuring victims of sexual assault who criticize Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) position on contraception. McCaskill's reelection campaign announced Wednesday that it would release three new ads, each featuring a different testimonial from a sexual assault victim. The ads hit McCaskill's Senate challenger for saying that the female body has ways of terminating pregnancies that are the result of "legitimate rape" as well as Akin's opposition to emergency contraception. "I'm a Republican and a pro-life mother and a rape survivor. In the hospital, I was offered emergency contraception," Diana, one of the victims, says in one of the ads. "Because of my personal beliefs, I declined. Here's what else I believe: no woman should be denied that choice. What Todd Akin said is offensive, but what he believes is worse. He would criminalize emergency contraception. I've never voted for Claire McCaskill, but because of Todd Akin, I will now" (Strauss, 10/10).

The Hill: Allen West Slams Opponent For Medicare Cuts West Backed
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is attacking his Democratic opponent for supporting $716 billion in Medicare cuts — the same cuts West backed when he voted for Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plans. In a new ad, West blasts Patrick Murphy for supporting President Obama's healthcare law, which cut Medicare spending by $716 billion. The 30-second spot features seniors calling Murphy "dangerous" to Medicare. But West voted for the same reductions when he supported Ryan's last two budget plans. Both sets of cuts are aimed at extending Medicare's lifetime (Viebeck, 10/10).

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