KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Women’s Health, Medicare And The Health Law Mark Tight Races In Various States

The fireworks continue in Senate and House races in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Nevada, Florida and New York.

The New York Times: A Feisty Debate Crystallizes Differences In Tight Massachusetts Race
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. "That's the same playbook that Mitt Romney used a week ago tonight," Ms. Warren said. "It was wrong then, it’s wrong tonight." But generally, Ms. Warren did little to link Mr. Brown to Mr. Romney or to the Republican Party (Seelye, 10/11).

CT Mirror: Round Two: McMahon, Murphy Stick To The Familiar
With well-practiced moves and occasional flashes of spontaneity, Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon counter-punched over each other's character, intellectual depth and commitment to women's reproductive health Thursday night in their second U.S. Senate debate. Murphy scored the only applause line of the night when McMahon launched into an ill-timed attack on his ethics: At the time, she was responding to a question about whether personal attacks are crowding out issues. … Murphy countered by tying the issue of reproductive health care to the economy -- and to her status as an independently wealthy woman who can afford to spend an estimated $75 million so far on two runs for U.S. Senate (Pazniokas, 10/11).

The Associated Press: Heller, Berkley Spar On Health Care, Immigration
Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Demo­cratic challenger Rep. Shel­ley Berkley quarreled over health care, immigration and tax breaks for oil companies in the second debate of their acrimonious campaign Thursday night. The encounter began with Heller proposing the candidates treat each other "respectfully" -- a notable request after millions of dollars of slashing, personal attack ads and a contentious first debate in Reno last month (Riccardi, 10/12). 

Newshour (Video): Medicare Is Battle Cry For Both Sides In Tight House Races In Fla., N.Y.
In our new Battleground Dispatches series, Todd Zwillich of Public Radio International's "The Takeway" reports from Florida and New York, where Medicare is not only a hot topic in the general election, but crucial to clinching some close congressional races (10/11).

In addition, the Los Angeles Times offers a profile of Elizabeth Emken, the GOP candidate challenging Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein in California --  

Los Angeles Times: Autism Activism Led Elizabeth Emken To Become GOP Senate Candidate
Recent opinion polls show Feinstein, who has held her seat for two decades, leading the little-known Republican Emken by more than 20 percentage points. Feinstein, who has declined to debate her opponent, also is winning the campaign finance contest, having raised $12.7 million to Emken's $389,000 in the most recent filing period. But Emken, who after years as a parent advocate launched the lobbying arm of a national group called Autism Speaks, is persisting. "It's what I do," she said. "I take on daunting tasks" (Romney, 10/12).

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