Boehner predicts GOP victory, but not a mandate to overhaul Medicare

Published on August 29, 2012 at 5:18 AM · No Comments

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is optimistic that Republicans will maintain control of the House.

The New York Times' The Caucus: Boehner Sees GOP Victory , But Not Necessarily A Mandate On Medicare
At a lunch with reporters, Mr. Boehner said that the nation's dire fiscal position, driven by health care spending, would confront Washington next year "regardless of who wins the election." But he was cautious about predicting a mandate for the House Republican plan to end the government guarantee for Medicare, replacing the program with fixed contributions that older Americans would use to buy private health insurance or pay into the government plan (Weisman, 8/27).

Los Angeles Times: Boehner: GOP Will Keep The House, Wants One-Page Party Platform
Trying to shift the nation's political attention back to the GOP's preferred battleground -- jobs and the economy -- House Speaker John A. Boehner said Republicans will retain, if not expand, their hold on the House. Boehner's bullish outlook comes as Democrats are attacking rank-and-file lawmakers for their votes to overhaul Medicare under Paul Ryan's plan and linking them to colleague Todd Akin's remarks that pregnancy rarely results from "legitimate rape" (Mascaro, 8/27).

Meanwhile, Medicare and abortion continue to play prominent roles on the ground in various congressional races --

Politico: NRCC: No More Dem Medicare Ads
If Republicans are right, Democrats are going to stop the Medicare ad war within two weeks. That was the prediction National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Guy Harrison made Monday at a briefing with reporters at the Republican National Convention (Haberkorn, 8/27).

Los Angeles Times: Hooters, Barroom Brawls And Road Rage In Florida U.S. Senate Race
With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs in the November election, you'd think that big issues like the country's massive fiscal problems would be center stage in the relative handful of contests that will decide whether Republicans take away the Democrats' majority. Of course, you'd probably be wrong. True, the issue of Medicare is a growing focus of attention in campaigns, from the presidential race on down. That's been the case all year in the hotly contested Senate race in Florida, home to the nation's largest proportion of seniors (though both sides are mainly using "Mediscare" tactics to try to influence voters). But with incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson trying to fight off a challenge from Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV, the race has grown extremely personal (West, 8/27).

The Hill: NRCC Hits Dem Candidate For 'End Of Life' Health Costs Remark
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is hitting a Democratic House candidate for remarking that end-of-life health care costs are growing. In a new ad, the NRCC also charges that Gary McDowell supports Medicare cuts within the 2010 healthcare law. McDowell is challenging Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) in what The Hill calls a toss-up race. The ad highlights a comment by McDowell that "we are taking so much money for health care at the end of life" that "we're not going to be able to provide for all the other things we need to do first as a society" (Viebeck, 8/27).

Roll Call: NRCC Punches Back On Medicare In North Carolina's 7th
The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a counterpunch ad in North Carolina's 7th district knocking incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) for his vote against the controversial budget of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R), providing a window into how Republicans will fight back against Democratic attacks that GOP candidates want to "essentially end Medicare." The new NRCC television ad begins with a short clip of a recent DCCC ad in a TV box in which the narrator said, "David Rouzer's budget would essentially end Medicare."… It's a bit of a meta-twist since the DCCC ad this NRCC one is pushing back against began with a clip of another ad -- from Rouzer. The new NRCC ad began airing Sunday in the Raleigh and Wilmington media markets. It is backed by a $163,000 buy for the week (Miller, 8/27).

Politico: Karl Rove Predicts Historic Loss For Todd Akin
Karl Rove on Monday predicted Rep. Todd Akin will lose by the widest margin of any Republican candidate in modern history if he remains in his Missouri Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill. "What he said was indefensible and the way he handled it made it worse," Rove told Politico's Mike Allen at the first Politico Playbook Breakfast at the Republican National Convention. "This is a program that he taped and obviously he saw nothing wrong with it in his tape," Rove said, pointing out that Akin didn't respond to the taped interview until two days later. Rove said Akin has no option other than getting out of the race (Haberkorn, 8/27).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Abortion Has Become Eye Of Political Storm 
It's not just a tropical storm that's creating a distraction for Republicans. As the party faithful gather to nominate Mitt Romney for president, they want to focus attention on the policies of President Barack Obama and their different economic vision. But the comments of a once-obscure Missouri congressman running for the U.S. Senate shifted attention to abortion, and the issue remains a flash point (Marley, 8/27).

Another candidate has found himself the focus of scrutiny after his comments on abortion and rape, this time in a Senate race in Pennsylvania --

The Hill: Pregnancies From Rape, Unmarried Sex 'Similar,' Says GOP Senate Candidate
A second Republican Senate candidate has waded into rough waters while explaining his conservative stance on abortion. Tom Smith, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), said Monday that he believes in outlawing abortion, with no exception for rape victims. He then appeared to compare pregnancies from rape to pregnancies that result from consensual sex between people who are not married. Smith was asked to explain how he would tell a victim of rape to continue with her pregnancy (Viebeck, 8/27). 

Philadelphia Inquirer: No Abortions For Rape Victims, Says GOP Senate Candidate
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith inadvertently waded into the war of words over rape and abortion Monday -- issues his party has been trying to steer clear of in recent days. Asked about his stance on abortion during a stop in Harrisburg, Smith said he opposed it in all circumstances, including rape and incest. He then seemed to equate the trauma of a pregnancy brought about by rape with a woman's deciding to have a child outside marriage. Smith backtracked under later questioning, saying that the situations were not exactly the same but that "a life is a life, and it needs to be protected" (Couloumbis, 8/27).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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