Democrats, GOP Continue To Trade Barbs Over Health Reform, Plan Next MovesPolitico: Democrats are following a call from President Barack Obama in daring Republicans to try to repeal the health care reform law. "And they started with what Democrats hope will become one of the most popular features of the overhaul plan, a provision that allow young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26. Insurers have agreed to start voluntarily allowing the coverage of young adults in coming months and Democrats touted that news with a press release challenging Republicans to overturn it. GOP lawmakers haven't been pushing their 'repeal and replace' mantra as strongly as they did immediately after the bill passed, although conservative candidates have continued to use it in House races around the country" (Haberkorn, 4/21).
The Hill's Blog Briefing Room: Democrats are planning "an 'aggressive' offensive" on healthcare. The campaign "against Republicans that will last indefinitely, and begin to focus increasingly on other benefits that would be threatened by a full-scale repeal of the legislation. Some Republicans advocate a repeal of the entire legislation or a repeal in part of the provisions they find most distasteful. In either case, those GOP lawmakers have also argued for replacing it with some of the reforms for which they've long called." Some of the ideas include reform medical malpractice lawsuits and allowing people to purchase health insurance over state lines (O'Brien, 4/21).
USA Today: Meanwhile, some Democrats who switched votes to help pass health care reform "saw their political contributions rise this year. They also outraised their Republican challengers during the first three months of the year - as they picked up financial support from fellow Democrats, health care interests, labor groups and others. Several of the House Democrats who initially opposed the bill represent conservative or swing districts - where the health care bill is less popular - making them GOP targets, said Stuart Rothenberg, of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report" (Schouten, 4/21).
The Wall Street Journal: Republicans are courting seniors for some of the seats up for grabs this fall and are continuing to use the health care debate as a wedge issue. "In other senior-heavy areas of the country, Republicans are trying to use Medicare cuts and other health-related issues to bludgeon Democrats. Among the House Democrats whom Republicans plan to target with appeals to older voters worried about losing generous benefits: Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, the mother lode of senior votes" (Phillips, 4/22).
Politico, in a separate story: Anti-abortion groups are also launching challenges and ads against even some anti-abortion House Democrats, in order to defeat them in November. "Four separate campaigns are in the works, aimed at anti-abortion House Democrats who voted for the health care bill and designed around the notion that those Democrats signed on to legislation that lacked restrictions ensuring that federal funds would not be spent to provide coverage for abortions. Some of the targeted members - largely, though not exclusively, vulnerable and junior Democrats - voted for the bill after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) cut a deal with the White House that President Barack Obama would sign an executive order ensuring that the bill would not provide such funding." The groups include the Susan B. Anthony List, the Concerned Women Political Action Committee, the Campaign for Working Families PAC and the Family Research Council Action political action committee, which will spend $500,000 to target 20 House Democrats (Isenstadt, 4/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.