KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Mass. Senate Race: Brown-Kennedy Dust-Up Continues

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., has refused a request from former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to pull a campaign advertisement rejecting the federal birth control mandate that features Kennedy's father, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Fox News: Brown Refuses To Pull Ad Mentioning Late Sen. Kennedy
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown says he won't [bow] to pressure from former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, whose father, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, is being featured in a radio ad rejecting the mandate requiring religious employers to provide birth control coverage. Kennedy asked the Republican senator to pull the ad claiming his father supported religious exemptions for employers and health insurers, but only on certain medical procedures, and not as a blanket exemption to deny birth control to employees (2/27).

The Associated Press: Brown Declines To Pull Ad Mentioning Ted Kennedy
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said Monday he would not be pressured by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's family to stop running a radio ad claiming that Kennedy's position was similar to Brown's in the fight over whether employers should be required to provide birth control coverage or other procedures they oppose on religious or moral grounds. Kennedy's son, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, has issued an open letter to the Republican senator asking him to pull the ad claiming that the elder Kennedy supported religious exemptions for employers and health insurers, as Brown does (Salsberg, 2/27).

Boston Globe: Kennedy Bills Appear To Undercut Brown
The late Senator Edward M. Kennedy sponsored bills in the 1990s and 2000s that would have required all employers who offer prescription drug coverage to include contraception coverage, an action that seems to undercut Senator Scott Brown's contention that Kennedy shared his views on allowing exemptions based on moral objections. The most recent version of the bill, in 2005, did not allow for exemptions based on moral objections of churches or other employers. Advocates said earlier bills were similar (Bierman, 2/28).

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