KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Senate Control, Congressional And State Outcomes Tied To Presidential Contest

In many battleground states, Senate contests are tracking closely with the tight presidential race. News outlets are also reporting on how the federal health law is emerging as an important issue in the Massachusetts Senate campaign and the New Hampshire governor's contest.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Presidential Race Buffets Fight For Senate Control, Provides Fodder For Down-Ballot Races
The party that runs the Senate next year may be decided by how well President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney do in toss-up states like Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, where ballots feature parallel Senate races about as tight as the presidential contest (10/22).

The Associated Press: In Mass. Senate Race, Health Care A Pivotal Issue
Massachusetts provided the blueprint for President Barack Obama's 2010 federal health care law, but in the state's contentious U.S. Senate race, the debate over that signature piece of legislation continues to loom large. Republican incumbent Scott Brown won the state's special election two years ago by vowing to be the "41st" vote against the health care legislation. As he seeks re-election, Brown is again pledging to help repeal the law (LeBlanc, 10/21).

The Associated Press: NH Voters Choosing Different Paths On Health Care
New Hampshire's top gubernatorial candidates propose taking the state down starkly different paths on providing health care to its poorest uninsured residents. Democrat Maggie Hassan says she would accept an option under the federal health care overhaul to cover thousands of people by expanding Medicaid (Love, 10/21).

The Hill: Grassley Hits Back On Dem Health Care Ads
Democrats — not Republicans — are the ones who tried to give members of Congress a better healthcare system than the rest of the country, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said Friday. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running ads in several districts arguing that Republicans, by repealing the Affordable Care Act, would take away health insurance for millions of people while giving themselves a new federal subsidy. The charge stems from an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that Grassley wrote. It moved lawmakers and their staff out of the healthcare system for federal employees and requires them to buy coverage through the law's new insurance exchanges (Baker, 10/19).

The Washington Post: Planned Parenthood's Funding Is Targeted In Partisan Debates
Officials in nearly a dozen Republican-led states, including Arizona, Kansas and Indiana, have cut at least some funding for the group since 2011, when Democrats rejected a high-profile effort by congressional Republicans to block federal grants for the group. In several cases officials targeted federal money that they are responsible for disbursing (Somashekhar, 10/20).

Kaiser Health News tracked weekend health policy headlines related to controversial comments about abortion made by Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill. (10/20).

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