Republican candidates criticize Democratic opponents for their embrace of the health law in a closely contested congressional matchup in Florida and in several races in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, The Washington Post's fact checker awards three Pinocchios to claims by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott about the impact of the medical device tax on small businesses.
Politico: Alex Sink, David Jolly Spar In Florida Debate
Several exchanges focused on the Obamass newly implemented health care law, which remains unpopular throughout much of the country. Jolly portrayed Sink as a steadfast supporter of Obamacare and challenged her to explain what she does not like about it. Sink said she wanted to keep the law intact, saying that she had come across people who are thrilled with it. But she said she was unhappy with the law's implementation and disagreed with several of its planks, including its tax on medical devices. "I could go on and on with the things that need to be fixed," she said (Isenstadt, 2/3).
Los Angeles Times: Republican Congressional Candidate Hits Obamacare In Florida Debate
The Republican hoping to preserve his party's hold on a closely contested, vacant congressional seat in Florida took less than a minute in a debate Monday to hit what he hopes will be the winning theme. His Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, wants to "further the agenda of President Obama," Republican David Jolly said in his opening statement. At his earliest opportunity, Jolly returned to the idea, saying he favored repealing the president's healthcare law (Lauter, 2/3).
Politico: Massachusetts Republicans See 2014 Opportunity In Obamacare Flaws
Massachusetts may have inspired Obamacare, but state Republicans see its flaws giving them an opening with voters in November. The state's transition from its own health reform law to federal reform -; from Romneycare to Obamacare -; has been a mess. Massachusetts's first-in-the-nation exchange had to be revamped to meet Obamacare requirements, but it melted down, threatening coverage for hundreds of thousands of people. Officials are relying on costly workarounds so people don't lose insurance altogether, and there's no timetable for a permanent fix (Cheney, 2/3).
The Washington Post's Fact Checker: Sen. Scott's Claim That The Medical Device Tax Will Cost Small Businesses $29 Billion
[Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.], in decrying the impact of the Affordable Care Act, made some startling claims about the taxes in the law. First, he said that the medical device tax takes $29 billion from "the pockets of small business owners." Then, he said the law also "takes another $800 billion out of the pockets of small business owners." Greg Blair, press secretary for Scott, said that regarding the $800 billion, Scott meant to say this was "taken out of the pockets of small business owners and families." We don't like to play gotcha at The Fact Checker, especially when someone is speaking on live television, but we will note that he emphasized the impact on small business. We have previously highlighted that research from the Joint Committee on Taxation that only 3 percent of small businesses are affected by higher marginal rates on families making more than $250,000 a year (Kessler, 2/4).
This 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.