KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Analysis Looks At How Democrats Won Health Reform Battle

In an analysis in The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn examines how Democrats ultimately won the health reform battle. "Of course, we know how this narrative concludes, with Obama sitting in the East Room, inscribing his signature onto the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 - completing a quest that eluded Harry Truman and a trio of his successors. But the question that the president posed in that August meeting still lingers: How did the U.S. system, and its leadership, truly perform in the face of this test?"

"In the immediate aftermath of his legislative triumph, Barack Obama has barely received credit. Polls show the public doesn't particularly like the new law. Conservatives are livid over the expansion of government. Liberals are ambivalent, disappointed as much with their leaders as with the legislation. There are, in short, widespread questions about whether the ordeal was worth it -and whether the president and Democratic leaders could have charted a better, alternative course." Cohn's analysis is the first of a five part series being released this week (Cohn, 5/20).

The Wall Street Journal: In the meantime, the AFL-CIO is warning Democrats that passage of the health reform bill won't help them win elections in November. Voters' concerns focus on "'jobs and the economy,' AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman said on a conference call ..., offering her take on the Democrats' victory in a House special election Tuesday to fill the seat of the late Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha. The Democrat, Mark Critz, campaigned against the Democrats' health-care overhaul and even ran a television ad touting his opposition. Critz defeated Republican businessman Tim Burns 53%-45% after both parties invested heavily in the race" (Davis, 5/19).

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