Health Care Issues Leaving Mark On Presidential Race
President Obama is busy touting his health law, while Mitt Romney argues that an individual mandate in Massachusetts is a "conservative" idea. In the meantime, the Associated Press examines Newt Gingrich's past support of the Children's Health Insurance Program.
USA Today: Obama Campaign Promotes Health Care Law
Obama's re-election campaign is putting together videos promoting the Affordable Care Act, the landmark law that is the subject of both a major Supreme Court case and next year's election. "Spread the news about how health care reform is working for seniors," says one video on how the plan is closing the "doughnut hole" in prescription drug assistance (Jackson, 12/21).
The Hill: Romney Doubles Down On Argument That State Health Mandate Is 'Conservative'
Requiring people to have health insurance is "conservative," GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told MSNBC on Wednesday, but only if states do it. The argument aims to improve Romney's appeal to Republican voters concerned about the health care reform plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts in 2006. The Massachusetts law contains an individual mandate similar to the one in President Obama's health care law, which conservatives despise (Pecquet, 12/21).
The Associated Press: Gingrich, Clinton Had Stormy Partnership
As part of the 1997 balanced budget deal, Gingrich agreed to a proposal to give block grants to states to pay for health care for uninsured children who didn't qualify for Medicaid. The deal forced Republicans to swallow a major new entitlement, the largest expansion of taxpayer-financed health insurance coverage for children since Medicaid began in the 1960s. Many Republicans saw the State Children's Health Insurance Program as too much government involvement in private industry and a step toward the mandated health insurance championed by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gingrich not only supported the idea, he backed SCHIP's reauthorization in 2007 (Kellman, 12/22).