KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Sen. Coburn, Watchdog Of Federal Spending, Is Retiring; Ed Gillespie Launches Senate Campaign In Va. On Opposition To Health Law

Coburn is leaving his Oklahoma seat two years early. Meanwhile, Gillespie, a Republican, is seeking to unseat Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

Los Angeles Times: Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn Says He'll Retire At End Of Year
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said late Thursday that he will leave Congress at the end of this session, two years before his term expires (Mascaro and Memoli, 1/16).

The Washington Post: Battle Lines Drawn In Va. Senate Race As Ed Gillespie Launches Bid Against Mark Warner
Longtime Republican operative Ed Gillespie made his campaign against Sen. Mark R. Warner official Thursday, launching a bid to unseat the popular Democrat by casting him as a fiscally reckless supporter of the Affordable Care Act (Pershing, 1/16).

Politico: Ed Gillespie Formally Announces Senate Run
He also took some early hits at Warner, criticizing his vote for Obamacare and past support for tax increases. The health care law "kills jobs and costs families the insurance and doctors they like" and should be "replaced," Gillespie said. "Sen. Warner cast the deciding vote" for Obamacare, he said. "If I were a Virginia senator, it would not be law today" (Schultheis, 1/16).

And in other congressional political news -

The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: Pelosi Vs. Barrasso: A Tale Of Two Obamacare Talking Points
Washington is often a big echo chamber. Or maybe a double echo chamber, in which the two parties talk past each other. But in checking a recent statement by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), The Fact Checker encountered an odd situation. Barrasso criticized House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for a comment she made in 2010—which, depending on how you read it, is a mixed-up factoid that is actually supported by the data he cited (Kessler, 1/17).

CNN: Dem Group Praises Democrat For Blasting Obamacare Rollout
A group that backs House Democratic incumbents and candidates released a new ad Thursday that praises a Democratic congresswoman for blasting the "stunning ineptitude" of the Affordable Care Act rollout. "Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick blew the whistle on the disastrous healthcare website, called it 'stunning ineptitude,' and worked to fix it," the narrator says in the ad. The spot was released by House Majority PAC, a group that's trying to help Democrats retake control the House of Representatives (Killough, 1/16).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.