KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ky. Gov. Says State Is ‘Gold Standard’ In Implementing Health Law

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear touted his state's progress on implementing the health law in appearances on Capitol Hill Thursday during which he also urged his state's Republicans -- including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- to come see how the exchange is working.

Los Angeles Times: Kentucky Governor Sees Promise For Democrats In Health Care Law
Beshear spoke to House Democrats in a closed-door meeting about his state's experience with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The commonwealth has become "the gold standard" for implementation thus far, Beshear said, with heavy interest from residents and 69,000 enrollments so far (Memoli, 12/5).

Politico: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Hits Mitch McConnell On Obamacare
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear took a jab at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over his continued opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Speaking on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Beshear called on McConnell and other Republicans in his state's congressional delegation to come see the exchange and the state residents who want to take advantage of the law. Kentucky's state-run insurance exchange is operating more efficiently than most other exchanges in the country, including the federal system (Gibson and Haberkorn, 12/5).

CNN: KY Gov: McConnell's Obamacare Criticism Will Hurt Him 
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's criticism of the Affordable Care Act may come back to haunt him in the next year's midterm race, according to Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of McConnell's home state of Kentucky. "I have a U.S. Senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don't want this. Well, the facts don't prove that out," the Governor said at Thursday's Democratic House Leaders caucus meeting on Obamacare (Sommers, 12/5).

Elsewhere, Republicans and Democrats draw their battle plans for the next round of fights over the law --

Bloomberg: Republicans Change Obamacare Attacks As Website Functions
The health care website's improved performance has both U.S. political parties shifting strategies, with President Barack Obama's team preparing a January advertising blitz and a wave of celebrity promotions to boost enrollment, allies said. On Capitol Hill, Republican opponents of the health care law are emphasizing new points of attack, highlighting examples of people who are paying more for insurance -- including House Speaker John Boehner, and those losing access to their doctors as they shift plans, congressional aides said (Dorning, Wallbank and Wayne, 12/6).

The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: Obama's Claims On Death Rates And Poverty Due To A Lack Of Health Insurance
Let's first concentrate on the claim that millions of citizens are driven into "poverty" by out-of-pocket costs. The White House said this fact came from the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, which is a long-term effort to update the current official poverty statistic. Critics have said the current measure is out of date because it does not reflect either the effect of government policies, such as food stamps, that alleviate poverty or the impact of expenses, such as medical costs or transportation costs to work, that reduce income (Kessler, 12/6).

And in Maryland --

The Washington Post: Gansler Campaign Accuses Brown Of Ducking Responsibility For Md.’s Health-Exchange Flaws
After spending the early months of his campaign on the defensive, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Douglas F. Gansler has pounced on an issue on which he believes his leading rival is vulnerable: the botched rollout of the state’s online health-insurance exchange. On Thursday, the Gansler campaign issued its latest attack on Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, accusing the fellow Democrat of dodging the news media and ducking responsibility for a task assigned to him by his boss, Gov. Martin O’Malley (Wagner, 12/5).

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