KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Missouri, Wisconsin Senate Races Grab Headlines

News outlets report on the Missouri Senate race pitting Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill against GOP challenger Todd Akin and the Wisconsin contest between Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. In both cases, themes of the health law are playing an important role. 

Los Angeles Times: Stalwart Missouri Conservatives Stick With Todd Akin For Senate
This land of Harry Truman has an increasingly Republican tilt. ... The race remains a challenge for (Democratic Sen. Claire) McCaskill, whose unfavorable ratings could still pose political problems. McCaskill was an early supporter of Obama's first campaign for president, but the nation's new healthcare law, his top domestic achievement, was overwhelmingly rejected by voters in a statewide referendum. (GOP challenger Todd) Akin is running a TV ad showing McCaskill in Obama's embrace (Mascaro, 9/30).

Politico (Video): Akin Speaks About Old Arrest Abortion Clinic
Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin disclosed Friday that he was arrested more than two decades ago at an anti-abortion protest. His remarks came after Right Wing Watch, an arm of the liberal People for the American Way, circulated a video in which Akin is talking to a group of people about the arrest. The video was captured in 2011, the organization claimed (Kim, 9/28).

Roll Call: Health Care Takes Center Stage In Wisconsin Senate Debate
The Democrats' signature health care law helped cost three-term Wisconsin incumbent Russ Feingold his seat in 2010. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) made clear tonight that she thinks her support of the law will help her secure victory over former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R). The debate between the two candidates revealed what campaign spots in recent days had already been hinting at: There is likely no statewide race in the country where health care is playing a more crucial role in candidates distinguishing themselves for voters (Shiner, 9/28).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Senate Race Focus Turns To Health Care
In an increasingly competitive U.S. Senate race, the candidates and their allies are turning to health care to attack each other and highlight the differences between them. Republican Tommy G. Thompson and his allies - hoping to offset Thompson's slide in the polls - are using Democrat Tammy Baldwin's support of the new health care law to portray her as a big spender and too liberal for Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Baldwin and her supporters are drawing on the new law and Medicare reform to paint Thompson as a Washington insider who wants to dismantle health care coverage for the elderly (Bergquist and Marley, 9/29).

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