Contraception, Medicare, Medicaid hot-button topics in stump speeches

Political news coverage included a fact check of a Mitt Romney claim and more on the stay-at-home mom controversy. 

CNN: Romney Courts Gun Owners And Pivots To General Election
Repeatedly invoking the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Romney framed the 2012 election as a choice between his vision of limited government and the president's heavy-handed approach toward taxes and regulation. He also accused Obama of impinging on religious liberty by requiring faith-based employers to provide contraception in their insurance plans (Hamby, 4/13).

The Associated Press/MSNBC: FACT CHECK: Romney On Taxes, Education And More
[I]s President Barack Obama pushing Roman Catholics to "violate the tenets of their faith" with his expansion of mandatory contraception coverage?  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was on shaky ground Friday with his accusation about birth control, because Obama backed down from from forcing religious-affiliated employers to offer contraception coverage in a compromise devised to placate the church. ... Recently, the administration offered options to help insurers offset the costs of the coverage, perhaps by giving them credits against fees they have to pay under another part of the health care law (Woodward, 4/14).

N.Y. Daily News: Romney Scores Victory After Hilary Rosen Quip, But Do His Proposed Policies Help Stay-At-Home Moms?
Mitt Romney emphatically backs Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, which would slash funding to many social programs ... Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor and disabled, would also have big changes, with the federal government giving states block grants to spend as they wish. Again, liberals say this would effectively end Medicaid as we know it. Of course, not everyone agrees stay at home mothers would be disproportionately hurt under the Ryan bill. "Stay at home moms are struggling, just like the rest of the middle class," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell argued (Shahid, 4/14).

NPR: In Southwestern Pa., Two Conservative Democratic Incumbents Fight For One Seat 
[B]ecause of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month. Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. ... The seniors' big concerns are, not surprisingly, Medicare and Social Security, programs that Altmire, a former health care executive, pledges he will continue to protect. ... Critz has responded with his own ad, attacking Altmire's support for the balanced-budget amendment, saying it would hurt rather than help seniors (Naylor, 4/13).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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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