KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GOP Operatives In Search Of Anti-Health Law Messages That Will Stick

Politico reports that, as the midterm elections are quickly approaching, Republican pollsters are testing out messages with likely voters in order to determine which ones resonated best with key target groups. Meanwhile, The New York Times examines the role of social issues as the campaign season heats up.   

Politico: Obamacare Opponents Seek Message To Drive Midterms
Three months before the mid-term elections, political operatives and activists are groping for an anti-Obamacare message that sticks — or 57 of them. Republican pollsters tested nearly five dozen criticisms of the health care law with likely voters and listed the most effective messages to combat the law, as well as the ones that resonated best with target groups like seniors, tea partiers or independents (Cheney and Wheaton, 8/4).

The New York Times' Political Memo: Democrats Seize On Social Issues As Attitudes Shift
On some divisive issues like abortion, attitudes have not shifted much; sonograms and advances in medical treatment have increased the discomfiture of some Americans with the procedure. Part of Republicans' defensive crouch on social issues, pollster Whit Ayres noted, reflects the fact that "Democrats have done a better job" with campaign communications. Republicans tried to regain advantage by casting the Hobby Lobby decision as being about religious freedom rather than the availability of contraception. But Democrats' aggressive response underscored their higher confidence (Harwood, 8/4).

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