KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Conservatives Continue Health Law Attack Barrage

Leading Republicans readying for a White House run in 2016 also unofficially kicked off their campaigns in New Hampshire Saturday by hammering the health law.

The Associated Press: 'Obamacare' Under Attack As Conservatives Eye 2016
Republicans eyeing the 2016 White House race battered President Barack Obama’s health care law and nicked each other Saturday, auditioning before a high-profile gathering of conservatives that some political veterans said marked the campaign’s unofficial start. A speaking program packed with potential presidential candidates weighed in on the House Republicans’ controversial budget, the party’s struggle with Hispanics, the GOP’s future and the upcoming midterm elections while taking turns on a conference room stage facing hundreds of conservative activists gathered in New Hampshire’s largest city (4/12).

Fox News: Conservatives, White House Hopefuls Gather In New Hampshire, Attack Obamacare
The country’s leading conservative voices -- and potential 2016 presidential candidates -- gathered Saturday in New Hampshire to drive more stakes into Obamacare and urge voters to end Democrats’ control of the White House and Senate. “We win whenever we have an agenda, boldly focused on upward economic mobility for Americans,” Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee told the crowd at the Freedom Summit, in Manchester, N.H. “Expect more from the conservative party. … Expect Congress to do its job … Join me in expecting more, expect freedom.” The conference is being hosted by Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity, which with the help of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch has already spent millions of dollars on Obamacare-related attack ads aimed at Democratic senators in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and elsewhere (4/12).

The Associated Press: Gingrich Blasts ‘Ideologues’ Behind Health Law
Newt Gingrich isn’t holding back in his criticism of the Cabinet secretary and others behind the troubled rollout of the health care law. The former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other Democrats are “nut-cake ideologues” and less than competent (4/12).

In the meantime, Democrats look to improve their political fortune by suggesting improvements to the health law --

Los Angeles Times: Democrats Hoping To Succeed Rep. Waxman Square Off In Pacific Palisades
Not surprisingly, the four candidates displayed similar views on most issues: Protect the environment, improve public education, boost the minimum wage and take other steps to ease the income diversity between the rich and the poor. All said they would like to see the Affordable Health Care Act improved upon by extending Medicare to all Americans and not remain limited to those over 65. [Radio talk show host Matt] Miller also called for finding ways to cut medical costs so healthcare dollars can be spent more efficiently. Savings also could be funneled to other needs, such as education, he said (Merl, 4/13).

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