KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Romney Assails Health Law; Obama Embraces ‘Obamacare’

Wall Street Journal: Romney Slams Obama's Health Care in Last-Minute Bid for La.
Mr. Romney used much of the event to mark the two-year anniversary of Democrats' national health care law, something he described as the "centerpiece" of President Barack Obama's failure as a president. "It's amazing how many things are wrong with it," Mr. Romney said. "I got a whole list here." That list did not include the law’s requirement for individuals to buy health insurance, the subject of a closely watched Supreme Court case. While Mr. Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he signed a state law with a similar mandate (Yadron, 3/23).

Los Angeles Times: Romney Vows To Repeal And Replace 'Obamacare' On Law's Anniversary
Romney said he plans to give a waiver to all 50 states discontinuing the president's plan – known formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- and returning healthcare responsibilities to the states. He wants to take Medicaid money administered by the federal government and give it to states as block grants. His plan also includes giving individuals the same tax break that companies get when they buy insurance for their employees, allowing individuals to buy insurance across state lines, and encouraging consumers to shop around for the least expensive medical services, creating competition among healthcare providers (Semuels, 3/23).

The Washington Post: GOP Hopeful Santorum Tries To Claim Louisiana Territory To Cut Into Romney's Delegate Lead
Romney made only a veiled mention of the law he passed in Massachusetts that served as a model for the national bill, framing the issue of health care as one of state’s rights. ... Santorum has made health care the centerpiece of his campaign, arguing that Romney's record on mandates makes him “uniquely disqualified” to go up against Obama (Henderson and Farnam, 3/23).

Wall Street Journal: Obama Embraces 'Obamacare'
The term "Obamacare" started out as a derogatory name that opponents of the 2010 health overhaul used when they criticized the law. But on Friday, President Barack Obama signaled he's trying to reclaim the moniker for those who like the law. "Happy birthday to Obamacare: two years in, the Affordable Care Act is making millions of Americans’ lives better every day," read a message from the president's Twitter feed on Friday, the two-year anniversary of his signing of the insurance-expansion law. Then he tweeted: "If you're proud of Obamacare and tired of the other side using it as a dirty word, complete this sentence: #ILikeObamacare because…" (Adamy, 3/23).

Politico: Obama Campaign Reclaims 'Obamacare'
Most mainstream journalists have tended to shy away from 'Obamacare', considering it mildly pejorative. But the Obama campaign today has decided to 'own' the most popular term for the law (Tau, 3/23).

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