KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Detailing How Romney’s Health Law Waivers Would Work

Politico reports on how GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's health law waiver plan would work — states could skirt some of the measure's biggest requirements, but it's still not a complete repeal. Meanwhile, news from the campaign trail indicates that Romney is facing attacks from GOP rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry as well as from the White House. And, as Herman Cain, another GOP candidate, picks up momentum, details of his 9-9-9 economic plan are emerging -- including the fact that it would eliminate payroll taxes that pay for Medicare and Social Security.

Politico: How Romney's Waivers Would Work
Gov. Mitt Romney says he has a plan that would allow states to skirt some of the biggest pieces of the health care reform law — a proposal that could punch gaping holes in the federal law his critics say he inspired. But it's far from a complete repeal. Instead, Romney would use the law's "state innovation waivers" to allow the states to opt out of some of the most fundamental pieces of the Affordable Care Act: the individual mandate, the health insurance exchanges and the requirements for some employers to provide coverage or face fines, a Romney aide tells Politico (Haberkorn, 10/12).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Campaign Steps Up Attacks On Mitt Romney
Up until now, the preferred tactic of Team Obama has been to damn Romney with faint praise, repeatedly citing his efforts as governor on health reform as a model for the plan Obama ultimately championed. But on a conference call with reporters, top Obama strategist David Axelrod signaled a more direct approach, arguing that Romney's stated concern for the middle class is not credible (Memoli, 10/12).

The Associated Press: Obama Campaign Charges Romney with Flip-Flopping
President Barack Obama's top strategist on Wednesday accused former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney of changing positions on a series of issues, offering a preview of what could be the campaign's central argument against the Republican presidential candidate next year. David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's senior strategist, said that Romney had shifted his stances on taxes, health care and trade with China, raising questions about what he would do if elected president (Thomas, 10/12).

The Associated Press: As GOP Insiders Rally To Romney, Perry Readies TV Ads To Slow The Nomination Front-Runner
Perry's advisers say there's plenty of time to overtake Romney in key states. They are frustrated by bad reviews of the Texan's debate performances, including Tuesday's in New Hampshire. They say it's Romney who is ripe for sharp criticism of his revised positions on abortion, gay rights and gun control, all now markedly more conservative than in the 1990s and early 2000s. In the debates so far, Perry has generally fallen flat when hitting Romney's "flip-flops" and the health care initiative that required Massachusetts residents to obtain medical insurance. Perry's advisers say aggressive TV ads will do a far more powerful job (Babington, 10/12).

McClatchy: Cain's 9-9-9 Plan: Good For The Rich, Bad For The Poor
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's proposed 9-9-9 tax plan would shift the tax burden in the United States, raising taxes on the poor while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Cain proposes to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a flat 9 percent tax on personal income, a second 9 percent tax on corporate income, and a third 9 percent tax on sales. It also would eliminate the payroll tax paid for Medicare and Social Security, the estate tax, and capital gains taxes (Thomma, 10/12).

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