Feisty Campaign Ads, Debates In Congressional Races Take On Health Policy Themes

Topics: Medicare, Medicaid, Politics, Health Reform, States

Oct 08, 2012

News outlets also report on how health policies are playing in specific contests, such as Senate campaigns in Connecticut, Arizona and Wisconsin, as well as the Bilbray-Peters House race in California.

The Associated Press: Senate Race Ads Focus On Medicare, Obamacare, Debt
For critical Senate races, Republicans are turning to the playbook that served them so well in the 2010 elections. They’re saturating the airwaves with political ads detailing the perils of “Obamacare” and the nation’s growing debt. Democrats have added Medicare to the equation, trying to make the case that revamping the government health care program for older people would virtually destroy it. …  Each state has distinct differences that shape the messages of each race (Freking, 10/7).

The New York Times: A Feisty Debate Between Candidates In Connecticut Senate Race
Later, as the two sparred over Social Security and Medicare, [Republican] Ms. [Linda] McMahon cited a repeatedly debunked claim that the president cut $716 billion from Medicare. [Democrat] Mr. [Christopher] Murphy, in response, seized on the opportunity to press a point that the president missed last week. “President Obama let Mitt Romney get away with the $700 billion lie, and I’m not going to let Linda McMahon get away with it,” he said (Grynbaum, 10/7).

Los Angeles Times: San Diego’s Bilbray-Peters Race Reflects New State Of Politics
Much like their parties’ presidential candidates, Bilbray and Peters each positions himself as the true defender of Medicare … Although he avoids the word “voucher,” Bilbray says it is time to give younger Americans the chance to choose their own retirement medical plan, much like members of Congress. … The budget ideas of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, a plan that Bilbray endorses, would leave the elderly without decent healthcare by substituting vouchers, Peters told a backyard gathering (Perry, 10/8).

The Associated Press: Arizona Getting To Know Carmona In Senate race
[Republican nominee Jeff] Flake cites health care as exhibit A. Flake voted against the Democratic-led effort to expand health insurance coverage and would vote to repeal it if he’s elected. [Democrat Richard] Carmona, who served as surgeon general under Republican former President George W. Bush, has made it hard to discern where he stands on the law (Freking, 10/8).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Health Care At Center Of Baldwin-Thompson Senate Race
[Health care] has been at the heart of the political careers of former Gov. Tommy Thompson and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, and in this campaign the two candidates have clashed on questions of health care costs and coverage. Thompson, a Republican, wants to repeal the health care law known as “Obamacare.” Baldwin, a Democrat, voted for it and has advocated going further. The two also have opposing ideas about the future of Medicare, and they blame each other for contributing to the financial difficulties of that health care program for seniors (Stein and Marley, 10/6).

The Associated Press: Tommy Thompson Says He Won’t Eliminate Medicare
Thompson also tried to distance himself from Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare by introducing a voucher-like plan that future retirees could use to buy private health insurance. “The Tommy Thompson plan once again innovation that will make Medicare protected for people forever in this country,” Thompson said. … Baldwin spokesman John Kraus emailed a statement Friday, accusing Thompson of working with drug companies when he was Health and Human Services Secretary under President George W. Bush to make it illegal negotiate lower drug prices. (Antlfinger, 10/5).

Meanwhile,  Politico Pro reports on PAC spending –

Politico Pro: Hospital PAC Spends On House Races
The American Hospital Association’s PAC is continuing to pour money into House races, putting more than $1.4 million into seven races — six Republicans and one Democrat. The spending was disclosed in filings to the Federal Election Commission Friday as required by law. The group is funding television and radio ads in support of Reps. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Richard Hanna (R- N.Y.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and James W. Gerlach (R-Pa.) (Haberkorn, 10/5).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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