KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Planned Parenthood Targets Romney With New TV Ad

An ad buy in Florida, Iowa, Virginia and D.C. was announced at the same time the organization's action fund endorsed President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reports that the Obama campaign will increase its focus on GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's Massachusetts record.

The New York Times: Planned Parenthood Ads To Target Romney
In the course of the Republican primary campaign, Mitt Romney took pains to convince socially conservative activists that he believes in them, understands their passions and would be an advocate for their causes in the Oval Office. Now, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is unveiling one of its biggest-ever political advertising campaigns aimed at using Mr. Romney's own words to undermine his support among women — a critical voter group among whom he already trails President Obama (Shear, 5/30).

National Journal: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Endorses Obama
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed President Obama on Wednesday, marking only the third time the group has endorsed a presidential candidate. In announcing the decision, the group also launched an ad buy in Florida, Iowa, Virginia, and the District of Columbia with a 30-second spot that slams Romney for his "out of touch" and "harmful" positions on women's health (Vasilogambros, 5/30).

The Associated Press: Planned Parenthood Launches Anti-Romney TV Ad
Planned Parenthood is launching a TV ad campaign in three battleground states suggesting that women's rights would suffer if Republican Mitt Romney is elected president. The political arm of the women's health care organization has endorsed Democratic President Barack Obama for re-election. The group announced Wednesday, a day after Romney claimed the GOP presidential nomination, that it would spend $1.4 million to air its ad in Florida, Iowa and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C. (5/30).

CNN: Planned Parenthood's New Ad Zones In On Romney
Backed by $1.4 million, the spot will run on broadcast and cable television in West Palm Beach, Florida, Des Moines, Iowa, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., according to the political arm of the women's health care organization. The commercial uses the presumptive GOP nominee's own words and those of campaign officials to accuse him of wanting to deny women birth control, abortions and equal pay (Schwarz, 5/30).

Boston Globe: President Obama's Camp Targeting Mitt Romney's Mass. Record
In some ways, Obama campaign operatives must walk a tightrope in dealing with Romney's record in Massachusetts. For more than a year, they have heaped praise on him for passing a revolutionary health care plan. Romney had the skills to craft, negotiate, and work with Democrats on his signature accomplishment, their argument went, as they sought to remind Republican primary voters that Romney created the precursor for Obama's national health care law. But now they are attempting to shift that ample praise for health care into pointed criticism for nearly everything else (Viser, 5/31).

Meanwhile, the Missouri race for the U.S. Senate is heating up -

St. Louis Beacon: Brunner Shares Johnson's Call For A 'Meat Ax' To Cut Federal Spending
St. Louis businessman John Brunner, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is embracing much of the message from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who told local Republicans that their party needs to "take a meat ax" to the federal budget should the GOP win control of the U.S. Senate this fall. Among other things, Johnson says that the rising costs of entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare need to be reined in for future retirees. Among the possible options: increasing the eligibility age and perhaps imposing means-testing, which would curb benefits for those with higher incomes (5/31).

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