KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

New Medicare, Health Law Ads Emerge In Congressional Races Across The U.S.

While Connecticut GOP candidates appear to be distancing themselves from the Medicare plans being advanced by their presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has expanded its advertising targeting Democrats who voted in favor of the health law.  

CT Mirror: Connecticut Republicans Run From Romney On Medicare
They embrace Mitt Romney's bid for the White House, but Connecticut Republicans part ways with him on his controversial plan for Medicare. At the first presidential debate Wednesday night, GOP presidential nominee Romney promoted a plan his vice presidential pick, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, has proposed to keep the Medicare system solvent. According to government projections, beginning in 2024 the popular health care plan for seniors would pay out more in medical bills than it collects in Medicare taxes. The Romney-Ryan plan -- part of a larger budget cutting proposal --would keep the current Medicare system in place for everyone who is 55 years old or older today. But people now age 54 or younger would be able to receive a fixed payment from the government, adjusted for inflation, to pay for either private insurance or a government plan modeled on Medicare (Radelat, 10/4).

National Journal: Chamber Expands Ads Into New York, Utah And Georgia
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch a new round of advertisements in nine House districts beginning tomorrow, including on behalf of six New York Republicans and two conservative Democrats seeking re-election this year. The Chamber's new advertising will focus on President Obama's health care law. Advertisements are running against Reps. Tim Bishop, Bill Owens and Louise Slaughter and ex-Rep. Dan Maffei, four New York Democrats who voted for the law; Rep. Kathy Hochul, who entered Congress after the law passed; and Democratic candidate Sean Patrick Maloney, who is running against Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth. But lest someone accuse the Chamber of only backing Republicans, the group is launching its first advertising on behalf of a few conservative Democrats. Both Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) andJohn Barrow (D-Ga.) -- both of whom voted against the health care law -- will get advertising on their side… Now, a Democratic source sends along the totals of the buys so far, which add up to about $1.9 million. (Wilson, 10/4).

Politico Pro: Chamber Targets Dems Over ACA Votes
Health care is at the heart of a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad blitz aimed at unseating Democrats or defeating Democratic candidates in New York. A slate of ads that will begin running Thursday in six New York House districts feature unflattering images of the candidates, ominous music and a reminder that they voted for the Affordable Care Act. Two of the ads -- airing in Rep. Kathy Hochul’s western New York district and Bill Owens’s northern district -- focus exclusively on health care (Cheney, 10/4).

And, Politico highlights possible upsets --

Politico: 5 Potential Dem House Upsets
For Democrats to reach the 25-seat magic number to seize control of the House, they'll need to score more than a few upsets on Nov. 6. So party strategists are starting to look beyond the lineup of races they've long focused on to a handful of longer shot contests in which they might find success if things break just right (Isenstadt, 10/5).

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