KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll Finds Dislike Of Health Law, But Lack Of Support For Its Repeal

In the run up to the midterm congressional elections, this and other polls find hope for Democratic incumbents while also probing the difficulties that continue to make the health law unpopular among many Americans. Also in the headlines, new ads from Americans for Prosperity take on the overhaul.   

The New York Times: Southerners Don’t Like Obamacare. They Also Don’t Want To Repeal It.
Despite strong dislike of President Obama’s handling of health care, a majority of people in three Southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina – would rather that Congress improve his signature health care law than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll (Tavernise and Kopicki, 4/23).

The New York Times’ The Upshot: Health Law’s Middle-Ground Approach Leaves It Unloved
The legacy achievement of the Obama administration has also become its largest political conundrum. Many Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act — but for different reasons, coming from different sides. To get the law through Congress (barely), the administration chose a middle ground that relies on the private insurance system and a mandate that individuals buy insurance. To many Americans, especially conservatives, that approach involves too much government involvement. To many others, the approach involves too little; they would prefer that government insure most people directly, as it does for older people through Medicare. Obamacare, however, exists in a middle ground between the two (Kopicki, 4/23).

The New York Times’ The Upshot: Despite Poll, Problems Lurk For Democratic Incumbents In South
Other Democrats face a similar challenge: In every contest, at least 10 percent of Democratic supporters oppose the Affordable Care Act and say they wouldn’t vote for a candidate who disagrees with their stance. All four Democratic Senate candidates in these states support the law (Cohn, 4/23).

Los Angeles Times: New Senate Polls Offer Three Lessons And Some Hope For Democrats
Both Beebe and Beshear have backed expansion of healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Beshear, in particular, has attracted national attention for Kentucky’s successful introduction of the new law. Both have expanded Medicaid coverage in their states. Jindal and McCrory have opposed the law and have blocked Medicaid expansion. Jindal’s position on healthcare could be an issue in Louisiana’s Senate race. The Democratic incumbent, Sen. Mary Landrieu, attacked Republicans in a recent interview for blocking Medicaid expansion (Lauter, 4/23).

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Four New Americans For Prosperity Ads Take On Obamacare
Americans for Prosperity, the limited-government group that has spent $35 million attacking Democrats over the Affordable Care Act, released four ads on Tuesday—in New Hampshire, Louisiana, Colorado and Michigan.Here’s a roundup of fact checks of these ads (Kessler, 4/24).

In other campaign news -

The Hill:  NRSC Challenges Dems To Hold O-Care Town Halls
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is challenging vulnerable incumbent Democrats to hold a series of town-halls on President Obama's healthcare law.  In a morning email, communications director Brad Dayspring wrote that Democrats should agree to discuss the merits of the reform law at length if they choose to call it a success (Viebeck, 4/23).

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