KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Mitt Romney Taps Paul Ryan As His V.P. Pick

The selection of the fiscal conservative puts the size and scope of the federal government -- and especially the future of Medicare and other entitlement programs -- at the center of the election debate. Ryan's views on social issues, such as abortion, are also explored by media outlets.

The Wall Street Journal: Ryan Pick Jolts Race
Mr. Ryan has become a favorite of fiscal conservatives for his plans to rein in spending through budget cuts and changes to Medicare and other entitlement programs. The Romney campaign said enthusiasm over the pick brought in $3.5 million in online donations in the 24 hours after he was named to the ticket Saturday morning (O'Connor and Murray, 8/13).

The New York Times: Both Sides Focus On The Republican Ticket's New Face
In North Carolina and at an evening rally in Wisconsin, Mr. Romney praised his running mate for conservative vision and courage. But with Mr. Ryan's introduction to a national audience defined by his plan to reshape Medicare and slash spending for nearly all government programs outside the military — policies that Democrats have spent years using to generate opposition to Republicans — campaign aides pointedly noted that it was a Romney-Ryan ticket, not Ryan-Romney (Zeleny and Barbaro, 8/12).

The New York Times: As Ryan Looks To Focus On Economy, Spotlight Shines On His Views
In nearly 14 years as a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, Mr. Ryan has not only voted for legislation that would cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and the Title X family planning program, but also backed bills to establish criminal penalties for certain doctors who perform the procedure known as partial-birth abortion (Pear, 8/12).

Politico Pro: Ryan's Anti-Abortion Record Appeals To Right
Paul Ryan's budget-cutting zeal isn't the only stance that has conservatives fired up. His anti-abortion record can energize social conservatives who had been slow to embrace Mitt Romney. "We are thrilled with this pick," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List said of Ryan. "He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Gov. Romney’s campaign.” During the primary season, social conservatives were skeptical of Romney’s more moderate record on abortion and family planning while running for Senate and governor of Massachusetts. But they see the young Wisconsin Republican running mate, a Catholic, as one of their own (Kenen, 8/12).

Los Angeles Times: Many See Ryan As More Wisconsin Than Washington
In Washington, Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee. His relentless drive to reduce the deficit, cut taxes and trim spending — including for entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — has turned him into an intellectual hero to some, and to others an ideologue intent on dismantling the social safety net. But to his Janesville neighbors, Ryan is a Green Bay Packers devotee, a camper and an avid bowhunter, known to rise before dawn during deer season and return at night after a day alone in the woods (Hennessey, Semuels and Mascaro, 8/12).

Kaiser Health News tracked weekend news coverage of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's pick of House Budget Committee Paul Ryan to be his running mate and analyzed the Ryan Medicare plan.

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