Democrats, Liberal Groups Urge GOP Lawmakers Who Opposed Health Law Now To Reject Federal Insurance
NPR's Shots Blog: "When a little-known GOP Congressman-elect who campaigned against the new health law demanded that the benefits of his new federal health plan start immediately, it was an irresistible opening for some." A new ad by the left-leaning Americans United for Change urges Andy Harris, R-Md., "to 'Drop It or Stop It,' that is, drop his federally-funded health care plan or stop trying to repeal the new law. ... Harris is among the GOPers taking over the House, half a dozen Senate seats, and some key state governorships. And for now, the momentum at least appears to be on their side." A group of four House Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Americans United organizations have all launched efforts to use this "opportunity" to begin to change public opinion (Rovner, 11/23).
The Wall Street Journal: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the nation's largest labor unions, is joining the effort. "'These Republicans want to repeal health reform, putting the insurance companies back in charge and putting affordable coverage out of reach of millions of Americans,' AFSCME President Gerald McEntee said in a statement." But, the Journal notes, "It's a bit more complicated than that. The debate over the health overhaul largely centered over how much Washington should get involved in health insurance for those employed in the private sector" (Yadron, 11/23).
Politico: Meanwhile, a new Public Policy Polling survey found that "[m]ost voters say members of Congress who campaigned against the health care reform bill should turn down the medical insurance offered them as federal employees." The poll, released Tuesday, found that 53 percent of voters "said members who won election in part because of their opposition to health care reform should decline the insurance that comes with their new jobs in Congress. One-third of those surveyed said members should accept the insurance." Politico notes that liberal respondents were seemingly more open to having the opponents accept this coverage. "The national telephone survey of 707 registered voters was conducted Nov. 19-21, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points" (Epstein, 11/23).
The Hill: "The survey is just the latest indication that lawmakers who ran in opposition to the healthcare law might find themselves in a pickle as the reforms kick in and lawmakers are forced to buy their health insurance from state-based exchanges" (Lillis, 11/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.