KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Democrats Launch New Messaging Offensive On Law’s 4th Anniversary

Democrats gear up a social media campaign as part of "health care strike teams." In the meantime, the GOP and tea party members use the law in their campaign messaging.

The Hill: Dems Ramp Up Offense On Obamacare 
The White House and congressional Democrats are ramping up a coordinated effort to celebrate Obamacare’s fourth anniversary this weekend, looking to go “on offense” ahead of the final week of open enrollment. The effort includes a social media campaign by members of Congress and administration officials, enrollment events featuring lawmakers and Senate floor speeches marking the four-year anniversary. The tightly coordinated final push was the result of work between the White House and House and Senate “health care strike teams,” which were created in the aftermath of the botched Obamacare rollout to push back against a flood of bad headlines. The White House has provided members of Congress with packets that detail state-by-state benefits of the law, and what the cost of repeal would mean for constituents within their districts (Sink and Viebeck, 3/22).

NPR: Health Law's 4th Birthday Divides Democrats, Unites GOP On Message 
With the fourth anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act this weekend, if you were a Democrat boasting about the health law, you were more than likely a party official or lawmaker with a seat so safe you could publicly celebrate the occasion. ... Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers, and even GOP candidates not in Congress but hoping to get there, are observing the anniversary with events that underscore the long-running Republican message: The health law is causing more harm than good (James, 3/21).

Los Angeles Times: After Setbacks, Tea Party Members Vow To Reinvent Movement 
Five years after it emerged as the most potent force in conservative American politics since the Reagan revolution, the tea party is at a crossroads -- and some critics have declared the movement all but dead. Insisting that they've learned from the setbacks, however, stalwarts are vowing to reinvent their defiant brand of politics to ensure they stay part of the debate in Washington and particularly in the Republican Party. ... And they plan to take the fight to repeal Obamacare to the state level, pushing legislatures to enter into interstate health compacts that they say would allow states to ignore federal regulations and enact their own reforms. Though dismissed as a long shot by some, proponents hope the strategy will render the Affordable Care Act inoperable in those states and give compact members control over federal healthcare dollars (Memoli, 3/23).

And lawmakers get specific on the law --

The Associated Press: Udall Says Family Has Benefited From Health Law 
Under fire for his support of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Mark Udall said President Barack Obama's landmark legislation isn't perfect but has benefited many, including his own family. During a visit to an energy conservation company on Thursday, the Colorado Democrat said the law has allowed his 23-year-old daughter to stay on the family health plan. In addition, he said, he was happy with the coverage and savings he got by purchasing a plan on the state health insurance exchange (Riccardi, 3/21).

Fox News: Pelosi Scolds Reporter For Saying 'Obamacare' -- Though Obama Embraces It
Nancy Pelosi doesn't like the term "Obamacare." The House Democratic leader scolded a reporter on Thursday who used that label in describing President Obama's health care law.  "I believe that it's a winner and by the way it's called the Affordable Care Act, it's called the Affordable Care Act," she said. "I know you didn't intend any compliment or derogatory. ... It's called the Affordable Care Act." Yet Obama himself embraced the term during the 2012 campaign, repeatedly saying on the stump and the debate stage that he was fine with it (3/21).

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