Some Republican strategists say the health overhaul is losing its punch, Bloomberg reports. In other political news, the American Hospital Association reports that it gave $3.3 million to state affiliates to lobby local officials on Medicaid expansion.
Bloomberg: Obamacare Losing Punch As Campaign Weapon In Ad Battles
Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party's favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch. The shift -- also taking place in competitive states such as Arkansas and Louisiana -- shows Republicans are easing off their strategy of criticizing Democrats over the Affordable Care Act now that many Americans are benefiting from the law and the measure is unlikely to be repealed. "The Republican Party is realizing you can't really hang your hat on it," said Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at North Carolina State University. "It just isn't the kind of issue it was" (Przbyla, 8/19).
Modern Healthcare: AHA Doled Out $3.3 Million In 2013 To Advocate Medicaid Expansion
The American Hospital Association's expenditures increased by 7% in 2013, to $117 million, spurred in part by efforts to convince states to expand Medicaid, according to the organization's most recent tax return. The group spent $3.3 million on grants to state hospital associations last year to assist with efforts to convince states that they should expand Medicaid to households with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pick up 100% of the tab for the first three years of Medicaid expansion and 90% of the cost thereafter (Demko, 8/18).
Meanwhile, from the White House -
The New York Times: Behind Closed Doors, Obama Crafts Executive Actions
When President Obama announced in June that he planned to bypass congressional gridlock and overhaul the nation's immigration system on his own, he did so in a most public way: a speech in the White House Rose Garden. As recommendations pour in, the most frequent question Mr. Obama's aides are asking, the people involved said, is whether the moves could withstand a legal challenge, which comes as House Republicans voted to sue Mr. Obama for unilateral action in changing elements of his signature health care law (Hirschfeld Davis, 8/18).
And in news from Capitol Hill, the passing of a former senator --
The Washington Post: James M. Jeffords, Vermont Republican Who Became Independent, Dies At 80
A former Vermont state senator and attorney general, Mr. Jeffords served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before winning election to the Senate in 1988. He established himself as a moderate-to-liberal Republican, a reflection of his state's political tendencies, and frequently voted with Democrats on matters such as health care, taxes, abortion, gay rights, gun control and the environment. ... On May 24, 2001, Mr. Jeffords announced that he would become an independent and caucus with Democrats (Langer, 8/18).
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.