Parties’ Disputes On Health Law Fading To ‘Background Noise’ In Campaign
Republicans are moving beyond their criticisms of the law in the midterm fights. Also, news outlets examine what a Republican-controlled Senate might focus on and how expanded health coverage is not working to the Democrats' advantage in Kentucky.
The Wall Street Journal: Health Law's Election Impact Is Dimming
Though Republicans continue to hammer away at the Affordable Care Act, the health-insurance law is losing some of its punch in the 2014 campaign. Polls show that voters don't see the law as a top concern, and both Democrats and Republicans say the election will turn on a range of issues. That outlook is causing both parties to adjust. While some Republicans had billed the election as a referendum on the health law, the GOP is now delivering a broader indictment of what the party describes as the Obama administration's failures. Some Democrats are cautiously stepping out to defend the law, highlighting its most popular provisions while suggesting fixes (Reinhard and Meckler, 9/16).
Politico: Obamacare: From Game-Changer To Background Noise
A year ago, it looked like Obamacare was going to have a huge role in this year's elections. And not in a good way — as a symbol of government incompetence and the Republicans' main case against President Barack Obama's record. Now, it's clear that the health care law not going to be the centerpiece of the November campaigns, in a good way or a bad way. It’s going to be more like the wallpaper (Nather, 9/17).
CBS News: Republicans Want Senate Control, But Won't Disclose Agenda
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, is being cagey about the Republicans' plans if they win the majority in November. … McConnell then said there are "a number of things that we would like to do differently," and listed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and a repeal of the medical device tax as two issues he would like to vote on. Last week, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who serves as the vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he suspects that repealing the Affordable Care Act will be a top priority (Kaplan, 9/16).
The New York Times: In Kentucky, Health Law Helps Voters But Saps Votes
Kentucky is arguably one of the health law’s biggest early successes, with about 10 percent of the population getting coverage through the state’s online insurance marketplace — albeit mostly through Medicaid, not private plans — and none of the technology failures that plagued other enrollment websites. The uninsured rate here has fallen to 11.9 percent from 20.4 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll that found only Arkansas had experienced a steeper decline. But there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections (Goodnough, 9/16).
The Washington Post: In Iowa, Attacks On Republican Ernst Change Dynamics Of Tight Senate Race
President Obama's low approval ratings are creating a drag in almost all the truly competitive races. Democrats are relying on the performance of their candidates and the advantages they have on pocketbook and women's-health issues to withstand strong challenges from Republicans. The debate over these issues is especially pronounced in swing states that Obama has carried, such as Iowa (Rucker and Balz, 9/16).