KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Overhaul Proving To Be Difficult Issue For Democrats And Republicans

Politico: Regardless of a candidate's party, "health care reform is treacherous campaign territory. A series of polls from the Quinnipiac University Polling Center, testing voter opinion on lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new law, underscore the difficulties of the issue for both Democratic and Republican candidates."

The polls "conducted in three states [Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania] across the past month, all find likely voters to have complex and contradictory views on these repeal lawsuits as well as health care reform itself. By a slight majority, likely voters tend to oppose the health care reform law. But they also tend to oppose the repeal lawsuits as a 'bad idea' that would, for a sizeable portion of voters, make them 'less likely' to support a given candidate" (Kliff, 5/6).

The Washington Times: Some Republicans are saying that the 10th Amendment "dictates that initiatives such as the health care reform law and other massive government programs are the business of state governments, not Washington." The Republican Study Committee has created a task force to "work, it says, to 'educate' Congress and the public about the importance of maintaining a proper balance between state and federal governments" (Lengell, 5/7).

Seizing on anger over health reform, the candidate challenging Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary, raised nearly twice as much money as Lincoln in April, The Associated Press reports. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter raised nearly $580,000 last month. Lincoln has "become one of the most vulnerable politicians in Washington, facing anger from both the right and the left. Republicans have condemned her for supporting the health care overhaul, while groups on the left have criticized her for opposing a government-run insurance option."

"Halter entered the race March 1, and was immediately embraced by groups on the left. Labor unions that have backed him, including the Service Employees International Union and the Communication Workers of America, have been airing radio and television ads around the state to help his bid" (DeMillo, 5/6).

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