KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Outcomes Of State Legislature Races To Play Big Role In Health Law’s Future

Although the race for the top of the ticket claims the biggest headlines, news outlets report that the winners of governor and state legislative races will have a major effect on the health law's implementation.  

NBC: From Texas To Vermont, State Elections Decide Health Care's Future
As Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama pack in some last-minute campaigning before Tuesday's election, polls show voters are split just about down the middle on who they prefer: Romney, who has promised to do everything he can do repeal the 2010 health reform law, and Obama, who says its benefits are just beginning to take hold. But while the presidential race gets most of the attention, the choices voters make to fill governor’s mansions and state legislatures may have just as big an effect on what kind of health coverage they will have in coming years. That's in part because the Affordable Care Act sets it up that way, but even more so because the Supreme Court says it's up to states to decide whether and how to expand the Medicaid health insurance plan for the poor (Fox, 11/3).

USA Today: Control Of Legislatures Up For Grabs In 44 States
One of Tuesday's biggest election-night mysteries is whether Republicans can hold on to historic gains they made in state legislatures in 2010. Two years ago, Republicans won 700 extra seats nationwide and now have more state legislators than any time since 1928. The Republican tidal wave played a key role in conservative efforts to overhaul schools, limit union power, control spending and slow down the new federal health care law (Cauchon, 11/5).

The Associated Press: GOP Raises Specter Of Medicaid Expansion As Campaign Issue
Gov. Sam Brownback's allies have raised the potential expansion of the state's Medicaid program as a campaign issue in the days before Tuesday's election decides races for the Kansas Legislature, with conservative Republicans seeking to bind Democrats to President Barack Obama and the federal health care overhaul. The federal law enacted in 2010 contemplates an expansion of Medicaid to cover millions of uninsured Americans, and it promises that the federal government will pick up the full cost until 2016 and most of it afterward (Hanna, 11/5).

HealthyCal: What's At Stake For California On Tuesday
Whichever party controls the White House and Congress could have a profound influence on a number of policy fronts with huge implications for Golden State residents. Look no further than the future of the federal health reform adopted by Congress and President Obama in 2010. No state has been more aggressive than California in implementing the law, which expands access to government-subsidized care while overhauling the business practices of the health insurance industry (Weintraub, 11/4).

California Healthline: Health Care On California Ballot, Directly And Indirectly
Health care issues appear on California ballots next week directly and indirectly. Voters in several cities and counties will decide issues directly related to health care ranging from soda taxes to medical marijuana laws. Although statewide propositions on next week's ballot don't deal specifically with health care issues, several could have profound effects on California's health care system at the local and state levels. Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) revenue-raising tax initiative, and Prop. 31, calling for changes in state and county government rules, probably have the most import for the state's health care system. Two other measures -- Prop. 32, calling for changes in political contribution laws, and Prop. 37, which would require labeling of genetically modified food -- also have the potential to affect health care policy and financing down the road (Lauer, 11/1).

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