KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

How Health Care Is Playing Up And Down The Ballot

The Medicare question is echoing from the top of the ticket into the Florida Senate race between Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and challenger Connie Mack.

Miami Herald: Medicare Messaging Wars Target Florida Seniors
The attack ads arrive in the mailboxes of Florida voters and pierce the television airwaves with the rapidity of tracer bullets. "Medicare Advantage could vanish,"’ reads a flyer from the conservative group, Americans for Tax Reform. "Barack Obama raided $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare," reads another. "Seniors could pay $6,000 more a year,"’ warns an ad supporting Obama. Republicans Mitt Romney and Connie Mack want to "end Medicare as we know it," warns Democrat Bill Nelson. Mack claims Nelson wants to "rob Medicare to pay for the president's healthcare plan." Politicos have a shorthand for the chatter: Mediscare (Klas, 10/16).

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign has launched a new abortion ad, and the Tea Party Patriots announced a new anti-health law campaign mailling that will go out to 350,000 undecided voters in swing states - 

The Hill: Romney Bid For Women's Support With New Abortion Ad
Mitt Romney's campaign is appealing to female voters with a new ad that seeks to counter criticism of the GOP nominee's stance on abortion. The ad comes in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign as some polls show Romney gaining ground with swing-state women. Romney opposes abortions, except in the case of rape, incest or threats to the mother's life. He has vowed to govern as a "pro-life president," but recently downplayed his interest in pushing bills to limit abortion rights. The campaign's new TV spot features a woman, identified as Sarah Minto, who says she voted for President Obama in 2008 (Viebeck, 10/17).

Politico: 'Determinators' DVD Takes Swipe At 'Obamacare'
The Tea Party Patriots is going postal, announcing plans Tuesday to mail anti-"Obamacare" DVDs to more than 350,000 undecided voters in pivotal swing states. The film, which the group has dubbed "The Determinators," is meant to underscore "the ills of the president's health care reform law that many have forgotten since the law was passed" (Cheney, 10/17).

Also, health care issues are center stage in a Minnesota House race -

The Associated Press: Cravaack, Nolan Wrangle Over Health Care In Debate
Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democratic challenger Rick Nolan tussled Tuesday over the best ways to create jobs and provide health care as one of the nation's costliest House races nears the homestretch. In their third debate in Minnesota's 8th District, Cravaack and Nolan squared off for an hour before an overflow crowd at Anoka Ramsey Community College (10/17).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Cravaack And Nolan Battle For Votes In Eighth District Debate
Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan slugged it out in a debate Tuesday, the latest spirited exchange in what is emerging as one of the most expensive and closely watched races in the country. The two sides clashed over who best represents the area as well as issues such as health care and their voting records. ... Nolan and Cravaack scrapped on the impact of the federal stimulus program and whether they would repeal President Obama's health care overhaul. Cravaack said he would dump the program, which he deemed too expensive and complex. Nolan supports the plan, saying it covers millions of uninsured Americans and prevents people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage (Helgeson, 10/16).

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