KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Care Politics: Romney’s ‘Day One Repeal’ Pledge Lacks Specifics, Michelle Obama Steers Clear Of Some Health Issues

News coverage of politics centered around the significant differences between Mitt Romney and other Republicans and the Obama administration.

National Journal: Campaigns Clash Over Economic Policy, Jobs
Surrogates for the Obama and Romney campaigns traded barbs over fundamental differences in economic policy and job creation on Sunday. Former Council of Economic Advisers chairman Austan Goolsbee said the Obama administration did not want a “government-directed approach.” ... Goolsbee said Mitt Romney, in contrast, wants to cut high income earners’ taxes and “crush Social Security and Medicare" (McCarthy, 5/20).

Politico: Goolsbee Defensive On Obama Deficits
Goolsbee quibbled with Fox host Chris Wallace’s statement that Obama did not embrace the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission’s recommendations, saying that the president did not accept the whole plan but “embraced the central idea” of three dollars in spending cuts for every one new dollar of revenue. ... [Republican Rep. Paul] Ryan said he opposed Bowles-Simpson because it did not deal with health care costs related to the federal overhaul, but he noted that he put out his alternative budget (Hohmann, 5/20).

MSNBC: Romney's 'Day One': What Do We Know About His Plan?
Romney's new ad calls for not just the repeal of "ObamaCare," but its replacement, as well. If part or all of the law were allowed to stand following the Supreme Court's ruling next month, Romney would have some options to undo the law on his first day in office, but they would be limited. ... Romney repeated his promise to issue a waiver to states, allowing them to duck some of the requirements of health care reform that conservatives find most onerous. But many other parts of the law would remain in effect (O'Brien, 5/18).

The Associated Press: Romney, US Sen. Brown Play Down Past Connections
Massachusetts Republicans Mitt Romney and Scott Brown have a history of supporting each other throughout their political careers. But with each facing a tough election, neither the presidential candidate nor the U.S. senator is playing up that history ... Romney has said Roe v. Wade should be reversed. Brown says a woman should have the right to an abortion, although he opposes federal money for the procedure. ... Democrats note that Romney and Brown both supported an amendment in the U.S. Senate this year that would have allowed employers or health insurers to deny coverage for services they said violated their moral or religious beliefs, including birth control. The amendment failed (LeBlanc, 5/20).
The Washington Post: Michelle Obama’s Campaign Strategy: Steering Clear Of The Hot Issues
Despite a fierce national debate over policies affecting women, with the Obama campaign driving a conversation on issues such as abortion rights and renewing the Violence Against Women Act, Michelle Obama has been quiet on these divisive subjects. A Harvard-educated lawyer and one-time executive at the University of Chicago Hospitals, she has largely sidestepped the pending Supreme Court decision on health care, instead focusing on the importance of seeing three women on the court’s bench and the benefits of the law to American families (Thompson, 5/19).


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