KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GOP Candidates Trade Barbs Over Health Care Policies

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, speaking in Iowa, said the government should not be running the medical world. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney outlines his views on abortion while Michele Bachmann uses the Supreme Court's scheduling announcement to reiterate her position against the 2010 health law and question that of her opponents. Also, Romney's health policies are again in the spotlight.

Des Moines Register: Santorum In Iowa: We Need Less Government And Regulation, Private Health Insurance
Santorum said he supports private health insurance, period, even if it means some have to pay more. He has a special needs child and is on individual insurance, but still thinks some may have to pay more if they have special conditions. The government should not be running the medical world, Santorum said (Beeman, 12/19).

National Journal: Romney Criticizes Gingrich On Judges, Outlines Anti-Abortion Views
Seeking to further erode Newt Gingrich's declining support, Mitt Romney used a pair of nationally televised interviews on Monday to criticize his rival's call for getting tougher on activist judges while also explaining his views on abortion -– an issue on which conservatives regard him suspiciously. ... Romney also said his handling of abortion was probably the biggest mistake he made as governor. At that time, he decided not to change provisions in Massachusetts’s abortion-rights laws based on the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (Boxer, 12/19).

CBS: Bachmann Blasts Gingrich, Romney On Health Care
Rep. Michele Bachmann on Monday used the news of the Supreme Court setting argument dates over the health care lawsuit to reaffirm her commitment to overturning the law and attack her GOP rivals on the issue. "We have to have a president that is committed to the full repeal of Obamacare -- I am," Bachmann told National Journal/CBS News in an interview. Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich -- as well as the other GOP candidates -- have said they would repeal Obama's health care law if they are elected president. But Bachmann blasted Gingrich as "the father of the individual mandate" and said, "There is absolutely no possibility that Newt Gingrich will ever truly get behind the full-scale repeal of Obamacare because it's not what he believes in." She also accused Romney of not supporting abolishing the law because of its similarity to what he helped enact earlier as governor of Massachusetts (Hawkins, 12/19).

National Journal: Bachmann Blasts Romney, Gingrich On Health Care
Rep. Michele Bachmann on Monday used the news of the Supreme Court setting dates for arguments over the health care lawsuit to reaffirm her commitment to overturning the law and attack her GOP rivals on the issue. "We have to have a president that is committed to the full repeal of Obamacare -- I am," Bachmann told National Journal/CBS News in an interview. Two of the Minnesota lawmaker's opponents for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, have said they would repeal President Obama's health care law if they are elected president. But Bachmann blasted Gingrich as "the father of the individual mandate" (Hawkins, 12/19).

WBUR: Analyzing Romney's Leadership On Health Care
The issue that defines Mitt Romney's years as Governor of Massachusetts is health care. ... But it is also proof, Romney says, that he could bridge party divisions in Washington. Health care was rising on Governor Romney's agenda as he moved into the State House corner office in 2003. His friend Tom Stemberg, who founded Staples, had suggested that one of the best things he could do for the people of Massachusetts was to find a way to cover the uninsured. And Romney, in his second month on the job, talked about that interminable state budget buster, health care (Bebinger, 12/20).

CNN (Video): MIT Prof.: Romney Wrong On Health Care
Prof. Jonathan Gruber, who helped design the Mass. health care law, talks about its similarities to President Obama's plan (12/19).

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