Democrats Look To Strike Back With Health Care Campaigns Touting New LawPolitico: Democratic leaders are plotting campaigns to rally support for the health law and improve Democratic chances in the November elections. The hope is that "new insurance restrictions due to go into effect Sept. 23 and an accompanying public relations push will help turn the tide and give Democrats campaign-ready ammunition six weeks ahead of the midterm elections." The White House, for instance, "is planning multiple efforts, involving senior officials, to communicate the insurance reforms both in person and online, a White House aide told Politico. The newly launched Health Information Center, a multimillion-dollar, Democrat-led effort to defend the new law, is building a 'war room,' a collection of fact sheets and other resources, which allies can use to defend and explain the new provisions" (Haberkorn and Kliff, 9/15).
The New York Times: Democrats are also promoting the health law as a tax cut. Families USA is leading that messaging charge by releasing a report Tuesday that "estimates that nearly 29 million people will be eligible for tax credits under the law if they are buying private health insurance beginning in 2014. The report, based on an analysis by the Lewin Group for Families USA, a consumer advocacy group that has been a strong proponent of the health care legislation, calculates that the credits could reduce family income taxes more than $110 billion in 2014 alone" (Abelson, 9/14).
The Hill: "In addition to the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, the new law will offer tax credits to about 24.8 million people in families with a full-time employed worker and another 2.5 million people in families with a part-time worker. The report also points out that the law will be especially helpful to workers in small businesses: More than half (52.9 percent) of those people eligible for the premium tax credit - 15.2 million people - work in businesses with fewer than 100 workers; About 40 percent of the people eligible for the tax credit (11.4 million people) are employed in businesses with fewer than 25 workers" (Pecquet, 9/14).
In the meantime, however, Sen. Chris Dodd, [t]he man who shepherded two of the Obama administration's top agenda items to Senate passage says that both parties were 'arrogant and selfish' during the process of writing the mammoth health care bill signed into law earlier this year," NBC News reports. "The sweeping reform bill's victory was a 'good result,' the retiring senator said, but the course of the bill's passage was particularly flawed" especially considering the relatively more open process the financial system overhaul went through (Strickland and Dann, 9/14).
Politico, in a separate story: Democrats who voted against the health bill have emerged victoriously from primary challenges to their offices that many liberal groups vowed to exact following the health reform vote. "[T]he group of 34 [Democrats who voted against the health bill] has emerged from primary season not much worse for the wear. Every one of the 30 lawmakers who voted against the health care bill and is seeking another term won re-nomination. The last of the group to be tested, Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch, won his primary Tuesday, dispatching former Service Employees International Union Regional Political Director Mac D'Alessandro" (Isenstadt, 9/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.