A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Liberty & Limited Government"

Health Law Falls Flat With Kentucky Voters, Even Those It Helps

Abby Goodnough
New York Times
Tue, 2014-09-16
"Despite the success of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky, state Democrats are having a hard time winning over even those Republicans who admit they are benefiting from the law. The Affordable Care Act allowed Robin Evans, an eBay warehouse packer earning $9 an hour, to sign up for Medicaid this year. She is being treated for high blood pressure and Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, after years of going uninsured and rarely seeing doctors. “I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, who also qualified for Medicaid under the law. “It’s helped me out a bunch.” But Ms.

GAO: Obamacare abortion rules widely ignored

Jennifer Haberkorn and Burgess Everett, Politico
Tue, 2014-09-16
"There are widespread instances of Obamacare insurance plans violating the rigid rules surrounding whether customers can use federal health care subsidies on insurance policies that cover abortion procedures, according to a Government Accountability Office investigation. The report, commissioned by House Republican leadership and obtained by POLITICO on Monday night, found that 15 insurers in a sample of 18 are selling Obamacare plans that do not segregate funds to cover abortion (except in cases of rape, incest or the mother’s life) from their Obamacare subsidies.

The Three Words That Shift Views On Medicaid

Marissa Evans, Morning Consult
Mon, 2014-09-15
"Three little words is all it takes to change voters’ minds about Medicaid expansion. Morning Consult polling shows using the term “Affordable Care Act” can make a difference in how a voter feels about expanding Medicaid. When asked if Medicaid should be expanded for low income adults below the federal poverty line, 71 percent of registered voters said yes. When asked if Medicaid should be expanded “as encouraged under the Affordable Care Act”, support dropped nine percentage points."

Reality check: New anti-Prop. 45 ad is partially misleading

Josh Richman, San Jose Mercury-News
Mon, 2014-09-15
"Proposition 45 would give California's elected insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes, a power the commissioner already wields for auto and homeowners insurance rates. The campaign against it -- for which the insurance industry has so far put up $37.3 million -- is now airing a 60-second radio ad narrated by a nurse named Candy Campbell. What does the ad say? Campbell says voters have a choice between letting the state's "new independent commission" negotiate rates and reject expensive plans, or handing that power over to "one politician" who can "take millions in campaign contributions from special interests." Is it true? The "commission" Campbell is referring to is the board of Covered California, the state's new health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare." Covered California is indeed an independent part of state government.

PolitiFact: Medicare, that favorite campaign attack line

Tampa Bay Times Politifact
Mon, 2014-09-15
"When it comes to claims about Medicare, some political talking points just never die. In Iowa and Virginia, Republicans have accused Democrats of cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare. In Florida, a Republican was slammed for ending the Medicare "guarantee." Other Medicare-related attacks have been deployed in Arkansas and Kentucky Senate races. The point of all the attacks is to convince midterm voters that one side or the other won't protect the program. Take this one, used in a recent ad aired by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the hotly contested Iowa Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst: "Bruce Braley voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare," the ad says. "That's just not fair. We paid in. We paid for it. That should be there for us.""

A GOP Senate could take on Obamacare — but not repeal it

Jennifer Haberkorn
Politico
Mon, 2014-09-15
"A Republican-controlled Senate cannot repeal Obamacare, no matter how fervently GOP candidates pledge to do so on the campaign trail this fall. But if they do win the majority, Senate Republicans could inflict deep and lasting damage to the president’s signature law. Republicans are quick to say they are not yet measuring the proverbial drapes. But they are taking the political measurements of repealing large parts of the health law, considering which pieces could be repealed with Democratic support, and how to leverage the annual appropriations and budget process to eliminate funding or large pieces of the law. Initial targets are likely to include the medical device tax, the individual and employer mandates, the 30-hour workweek to qualify for coverage, and spending on a preventive health fund that Republicans call a slush fund."

How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage?

Kaiser Health News
Fri, 2014-09-12
"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Since the implementation of this provision in 2012, some nonprofit and for profit employers with religious objections to contraceptives have brought legal challenges to this rule. For many women today, their contraceptive coverage depends on their employer or when they purchased their individual insurance plan."

House returns to anti-Obamacare votes

Jennifer Haberkorn, Politico
Fri, 2014-09-12
"House Republicans on Thursday returned to the Obamacare well for another vote against the law, this time to allow consumers to stay on once-canceled plans until 2019. The House approved the bill, 247-167, with the support of all Republicans and 25 Democrats. It was the first vote on the health care law since April. The bill, targeted at President Barack Obama’s promise that consumers would be able to keep their health plans under his signature health law, was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a tight race to unseat Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana."

Getting There: How to transition from Obamacare to real health care reform

James Capretta and Yuval Levin
Weekly Standard
Fri, 2014-09-12
"Obamacare—or at least the version of it that the president and his advisers currently think they can get away with putting into place—has been upending arrangements and reshuffling the deck in the health system since the beginning of the year. That’s when the new insurance rules, subsidies, and optional state Medicaid expansions went into effect. The law’s defenders say the changes that have been set in motion are irreversible, in large part because several million people are now covered by insurance plans sold through the exchanges, and a few million more are enrolled in Medicaid as a result of Obamacare. President Obama has stated repeatedly that these developments should effectively shut the door on further debate over the matter. Of course, the president does not get to decide when public debates begin or end, and the public seems to be in no mood to declare the Obamacare case closed.

Rob Portman: GOP-Run Senate Would Vote On Obamacare Repeal

Sam Stein, Huffington Post
Thu, 2014-09-11
"Though the law will be a year older, Republicans will push a vote to repeal Obamacare if they take back the Senate in November, a top GOP senator told reporters Thursday morning. “I suspect we will vote to repeal early to put on record the fact that we Republicans think it was a bad policy and we think it is hurting our constituents,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), appearing at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We think health care costs should be going down, not up. We think people should be able to keep the insurance that they had. They are worried about the fact that the next shoe to drop is going to be employer coverage.” As Portman’s remarks indicated, a repeal vote by a Republican-controlled Senate would be a largely perfunctory exercise, designed to register GOP opposition with the health care law once again. The president would never sign such a measure, even if he were severely chastened by the 2014 election results.

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