KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Shutdown Spurs Relitigation Of Obamacare

Editors at the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine urge the nation's physicians to make their views on the health law known to their congressional representatives, noting their own favorable stance, while a conservative Georgia district urges the House GOP to keep up its fight to defund the law.

Los Angeles Times: Government Shutdown: Doctors Urged To Tell Congress Their Views On ACA
As the political standoff over the Affordable Care Act keeps the federal government shut down for a fourth day, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine are urging the nation’s physicians to “lead by example” and “make your views known to your representatives in Congress.” In an editorial published online Friday, Drs. Jeffrey M. Drazen and Gregory D. Curfman write that the journal – the oldest and arguably most prestigious medical publication in the country – has no official stance on the merits of the law that has come to be known as Obamacare. But as physicians who treat patients in Massachusetts, they write that their personal experience with a similar law has been overwhelmingly positive (Kaplan, 10/4).

The New York Times: Conservative Georgia District Urges G.O.P. To Keep Up The Fight
Just down the road from where Union troops suffered their worst defeat of the Civil War, Jeff Epperson sang the praises of his congressman, Representative Tom Graves, whose Defund Obamacare Act set the table for the partial government shutdown. ... The Republican insistence in the House on tying financing of the federal government to dismantling the Affordable Care Act is being driven by a deeply conservative caucus from places like Mr. Graves’s 14th Congressional District, newly created by Georgia’s Republican-controlled Legislature. Voters here viewed the Washington stalemate just as Mr. Graves and many of his party members in Congress portray it: a tale of Republicans who have repeatedly shown a willingness to compromise, while Democrats petulantly refuse to meet halfway (Gabriel, 10/5).

The Washington Post: Cuccinelli, Cruz Address Conservatives In Richmond
Democrats have pounded Cuccinelli all week over his plans to appear at a Family Foundation dinner headlined by Cruz, widely considered the architect of the shutdown as a means of defunding the Affordable Care Act. Cuccinelli has said repeatedly that he disagrees with the tactic despite his fierce opposition the federal health-care law known informally as Obamacare. The impasse in Washington has forced Cuccinelli to walk a fine line: between his longtime tea party supporters, who regard Cruz as a hero, and independent voters in a state with a large federal workforce, who tend to take a dim view of Obamacare but an even dimmer one of the shutdown (Vozzella, 10/6).

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