KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Santorum — Who Propelled Criticism Of Romney’s Health Law Record — Suspends Race

The former Pennsylvania senator didn't immediately endorse his opponent. Meanwhile, Politico details Newt Gingrich's latest comments comparing health care and makeup.

The New York Times: For Santorum, a Hard Road to Harmony With Romney
For more than four months, (Rick) Santorum has been the public face of the most searing assessments of (Mitt) Romney’s character and record. And despite Mr. Santorum’s decision to suspend his campaign Tuesday, it will take time for that acerbic commentary to fade. ... Mr. Santorum called Mr. Romney "uniquely disqualified" to be the Republican nominee because of his health care record. "He created the blueprint for Obamacare and advocated for exactly what Obamacare is, which is a mandated health insurance program," Mr. Santorum said (Shear, 4/11).

Politico: Newt: Health Care Is Just Like Makeup
From the file of strange analogies on the campaign trail, Newt Gingrich told a group of North Carolina high school students yesterday that modern health care is just like applying makeup: Gingrich told the students the more scientists knew about individuals, the more personalized heath care should be. Gingrich went into detail about skin tones and hair color, possibly taking tips from his wife, Callista, who was campaigning alone in New York City. "Think about it, if you're going to go out on Friday and you're going to put on makeup, each of you has a different skin tone and you have different hair color and you may want to create a different effect. If you’re going to church you probably wear one level of makeup, if you're going out on a date, you may wear a different level of makeup. ..." Gingrich said. "We're going to be able to have very personalized medicine, just the way we have personalized makeup" (Schultheis, 4/10).

Meanwhile, in his Utah Senate race, GOP incumbent Orrin Hatch is getting a boost from the nursing home industry.

The Associated Press: Influence Game: Nursing Homes Come To Hatch's Aid
A trade group representing nursing homes has given the Utah Republican Party $175,000 over the past year, money that could help Sen. Orrin Hatch stave off a tea party challenge and win re-election. If he does, and if the Republicans take over the Senate, Hatch stands to chair the committee that has jurisdiction over the tens of billions of Medicare and Medicaid dollars that flow annually to nursing homes (Loftin and Freking, 4/11).

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