KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

KFF Poll: Obama Lead On Health Issues Lessens

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation health care tracking poll -- the last one that will be released before the election -- found that President Barack Obama's advantage on several health issues has diminished.    

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Poll: Romney Narrows Gap With Obama On Medicare Issue
Most troublesome for Obama is that, among likely voters, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has pulled nearly even with him on which candidate would do a better job with Medicare — an issue that resonates in battleground states with large elderly populations like Florida and Pennsylvania. ... While the economy remains voters' most important issue, the poll found over a third of likely voters polled say the Affordable Care Act and Medicare are ''extremely important" to their vote. The law appears to be motivating supporters and opponents of the law about equally (Galewitz, 10/30).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Edge Over Romney On Healthcare Issues Shrinking
More likely voters still trust Obama to do a better job than his Republican challenger in handling the Medicare and Medicaid programs, lowering healthcare costs and determining the future of the healthcare law he signed in 2010. But Romney has cut the president’s lead in half on most issues and nearly eliminated it entirely on Medicare, the Kaiser survey found, compared with a similar poll taken in September (Levey, 10/31).

Politico Pro: Kaiser: Obama's Lead On Health Issues Drops
[J]ust 46 percent of likely voters now say they trust Obama over Mitt Romney, while 41 percent say they prefer Romney. That's a sharp drop from the 52 percent-36 percent lead Obama had over Romney in the September poll. And even though 72 percent of seniors opposed a premium support system for Medicare — the overhaul Romney and Paul Ryan are proposing — they actually trust Romney more than Obama on the future of Medicare. Forty-eight percent of those age 65 or older said they trust Romney more, while 43 percent say they prefer Obama (Smith, 10/31).

(KHN is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.)

In related news, the Los Angeles Times takes a look at what Mitt Romney might do about the health law if he wins -

Los Angeles Times: Romney Says He'll Undo Obama Healthcare Reform On Day 1. Can He?
Mitt Romney has pledged to do away with President Obama's healthcare reform law if he wins next week's election. But would he — or any other president — have the power to do so? Not exactly, according to two Georgetown University professors writing this week in the online version of the Journal of the American Medical Assn. But there are some things President Romney would be able to do if he won ... The ACA does allow the president to issue waivers to the states, but only so that they can implement alternatives to the law that are better, not worse, write John D. Kraemer and Lawrence O. Gostin. In any case, those waivers won’t be available to states until 2017 (Kaplan, 10/30).

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