KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

RNC Chief Predicts GOP ‘Tsunami’ In Mid-Term Elections

Reince Priebus says the health law will tank Democratic candidates, while Republicans have made inroads with minorities and women since the 2012 presidential election.

The Washington Post: Republican Chairman Priebus Says Midterms Will Be 'Tsunami' Wave Election 
The Republican Party's chairman on Tuesday predicted a "tsunami" wave that would return the Senate to GOP control, arguing that President Obama and his signature health-care law had become "total poison" for Democratic candidates running in November's midterm elections. "I think we're in for a tsunami-type election in 2014," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. "My belief is that it's going to be a very big win, especially at the U.S. Senate level, and I think we may even add some seats in the congressional races" (Rucker, 3/18).

Politico: Reince Priebus Predicts 2014 GOP 'Tsunami'
Since last year's report, the RNC also has tried to improve the party's showings with groups including minorities, young people and women —all demographics with which the GOP stumbled significantly in 2012. "I'm just guessing here, but I think among youth and women, we're gonna see the greatest increase in 2014 because of, No. 1, Obamacare," Priebus said. "It's very, very, very personal among women losing your doctor, getting your insurance canceled." As he has argued before, he continued: "Then young people, Obamacare is intentionally designed to screw young people over. Actuaries sat down, decided, let's just screw over everyone 35 and younger. That’s what they did" (Glueck, 3/18).

The Wall Street Journal: Republican Candidates Big And Small Slam Health Law In Ads
Republicans running for office this year are going to great efforts to show their opposition to the 2010 health-care overhaul. But many of these candidates aren't vying for the chance to change the law from a seat in Congress. Instead, they are running for state legislatures, attorney general jobs—and in the case of Mr. Beeker, for a slot on a state public utility commission. The law known as Obamacare is being featured in television ads up and down the ticket, a measure of how potent the GOP believes the issue has become in motivating voters (Meckler, 3/18).

And in a sign that vulnerable Democrats are seeking to avoid controversy -

Fox News: White House Backs Off Surgeon General Nominee Push Amid Dem Resistance
The latest nominee facing trouble with Senate confirmation is Dr. Vivek Murthy, a Harvard Medical School physician and a strong political ally, tapped for the post of U.S. surgeon general. The White House is still backing its controversial nominee but acknowledges that officials are "recalibrating" their strategy -- amid vocal GOP opposition, waning support from Senate Democrats and concern about back-to-back defeats. ... The nominee is being targeted by the National Rifle Association for his support for gun control. Such opposition has created a tough situation for Senate Democrats facing re-election a year after the NRA led efforts to defeat Obama’s push for new firearms restrictions (3/19).

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