Health policies bubble up in House and Senate races

The Associated Press reports on how the top of the ticket could affect some down-ballot races, and other news outlets report on how Medicare is playing in Virginia, Nevada and Wisconsin races.

The Associated Press: Coattails A Factor In Some Senate And House Races
[Romney's comment] that 47 percent of Americans think they are "victims" entitled to government help and that he doesn't worry about "those people," sent Republican Senate candidates scrambling. … There are, after all, a lot of Republicans in that 47 percent -; seniors, for example, who depend on government programs like Medicare and Social Security after paying into them for decades. ... Democrats, meanwhile, are left to defend Obama on broader issues ... his health care overhaul that struck even some in his own party as a too-big government power grab (Jackson, 9/27).

The Washington Post: Kaine Ad Hits Allen On Medicare, Social Security
Timothy M. Kaine upped the ante Thursday in the battle over seniors in Virginia, launching a new ad hitting George Allen for his record on Social Security and Medicare. As Allen (R) and Kaine (D) duel for the seat of retiring Sen. James Webb (D), both former governors are eyeing older voters as a key constituency (Pershing, 9/27).

The Associated Press/U.S. News: Tight Nevada Senate Race Despite Ethics Issues
Rep. Shelley Berkley ended her speech at a recent gathering of union members and retirees here by bringing up a potentially risky subject -; her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner. Lehrner was supposed to be an albatross in the seven-term congresswoman's attempt to replace Republican Dean Heller in the U.S. Senate, because his involvement in a kidney transplant program that Berkley pushed to save sparked a House Ethics Committee investigation of the congresswoman. But Berkley focused instead on health care, luck and love (Riccardi, 9/27).

The Hill: DSCC Hits Thompson On Medicare Lobbying Ties
A new ad from Senate Democrats' campaign arm hammers Tommy Thompson, the GOP candidate in Wisconsin, over Medicare. The new ad, which the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released Thursday, criticizes Thompson for supporting GOP proposals to overhaul Medicare. It also casts him as a well-connected Washington insider disconnected from Wisconsin voters (Baker, 9/27).

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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