Democrats Look For State Gains To Help Positions On Medicaid, Health Law
Even if Democrats lose seats on Capitol Hill, they believe they can make inroads in state offices that will help them expand Medicaid and extend the health care law. Also, Politico Pro reports that more GOP-led states are considering Medicaid expansion.
NBC News: How Democrats Could Gain Power This Fall
Democrats are aggressively contesting some of the most important gubernatorial seats in the country this fall and could gain power in statehouses even if they lose influence on Capitol Hill after November as expected. Polls show Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Florida, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and even deeply-red Kansas could upset Republican incumbents. ... If they win, these Democratic candidates could implement major policy changes on the state level, such as expanding Medicaid and further entrenching Obamacare, increasing the minimum wage, joining forces with the Obama administration on reducing U.S. carbon emissions and rolling back GOP-backed provisions that Democrats say make it harder to vote (Bacon Jr., 9/6).
Politico Pro: In GOP States, Division On Medicaid
Business-oriented Republicans and the more ideologically conservative activists are clashing over Medicaid expansion as red states like Utah, Wyoming and Tennessee seriously consider enacting a key component of Obamacare. That is, of course, without making it look like Obamacare. CMS is considering an application that would make Indiana the 28th state (plus D.C.) to expand Medicaid. ... Others may soon join [Indiana]: Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah will be in Washington this week, hoping to iron out with HHS his final proposal for an alternative expansion. Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee says he'll "probably" submit an application this fall. Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming aims to put a plan in front of legislators in Cheyenne early next year. Even in Texas, where compromise with the feds is tantamount to forgetting the Alamo, some state senators are exploring "a Texas way forward" (Wheaton, 9/7).
The Associated Press: Pence's Pivot To The Middle Angers Far-Right Base
As a hard-charging conservative congressman, [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence was an early member of the House Tea Party Caucus. But since becoming governor, he has softened his approach to the point where many who were pushing for him to run for president in 2012 are wondering what happened. ... And Pence's decision to seek an alternative expansion of the state’s Medicaid program led many tea partyers to accuse him of abandoning them on one of their core issues (LoBianco, 9/7).
And candidates for federal office in Colorado and Iowa trade accusations on the health law --
The Associated Press: U.S. Senate Candidates Trade Jabs In First Debate
Health care and the partial government shutdown underscored the first debate Saturday between U.S. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who are deadlocked in a pivotal Colorado contest that could determine control of the Senate. Gardner repeatedly tied Udall to the policies of President Barack Obama, frequently naming Udall and Obama in the same sentence, as well as referring to Udall’s support for the nation's new health care law and his vote for the 2008 stimulus plan (Moreno, 9/7).
Des Moines Register: Medicare's Changes Also A Hot-Button Issue
Although the argument hasn't been as loud as the one on Social Security, Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley have also attempted to paint each other as unreliable on Medicare, the health care program for seniors. Ernst and Republicans have slammed Braley's vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare, which includes provisions slowing growth in Medicare payments to some medical providers and ending subsidies for private insurers that provide Medicare benefits. ... Braley stands behind the reduced Medicare spending, and said the program can be further strengthened by improving anti-fraud efforts (Noble, 9/6).