Chad’s Morning Brief: Obama Administration Announces Two Year Delay on Health Plans, Wendy Davis and South Texas, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 6, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
A Move to Save Democrats?
The Obama administration announced what many believe to be another election-year stunt to help save Democratic lawmakers. According to FOX News, the plan announced yesterday would allow people to keep their out of compliance health plans.
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will let people keep health insurance plans that would otherwise be out of compliance with ObamaCare for another two years, in a delay Republicans portrayed as an election-year ploy.
The administration had already given people a one-year reprieve after millions had their health plans canceled last year, despite President Obama's promises that people could keep their plans if they wanted. The so-called "fix" was meant to ease the transition as well as the political headache for Democrats -- but the "fix," and the latest extension, will have limited impact, since it is up to individual insurance companies and state commissioners whether to re-offer canceled policies.
Republicans blasted the latest announcement as another sign the health law is faltering and Democrats want political cover. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the move "reeks of politics."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called it a "desperate move to protect vulnerable Democrats in national elections later this year."
"By announcing a new delay in requiring that policies meet minimum coverage standards, the administration avoids a new round of health policy cancellations set to hit shortly before the November elections," he said in a statement.
But the Department of Health and Human Services argued that the administration is simply trying to provide "flexibility" while the entire law is being implemented.
"These policies implement the health care law in a common-sense way by continuing to smooth the transition for consumers and stakeholders and fixing problems wherever the law provides flexibility," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statmeent. "This comprehensive guidance will help ensure that consumers, employers and insurers have the information they need to plan for next year and make it easier for families to make decisions to access quality, affordable coverage."
The extension would be valid for policies issued up to Oct. 1, 2016.
The cancellation of at least 4.7 million individual policies was one of the most politically damaging issues in the transition to a new insurance system under President Obama's health care law. A wave of cancellations hit last fall, around the time that the new HealthCare.gov website was overwhelmed with technical problems that kept many consumers for signing up for coverage.
South Texas and Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis has a problem in South Texas. While early national stories had nice things to say about Davis' primary victory in Texas Tuesday night, a growing story started to play out. Davis was obviously in no real danger of losing the primary, but she did manage to lose 20 counties Tuesday night according to POLITICO.
Wendy Davis easily defeated her Democratic primary opponent in the Texas governor’s race Tuesday. But the buzz the next day was about the border communities she lost to a candidate who was nowhere to be seen on the campaign trail and reportedly didn’t spend a dime.
Republicans argued Davis’ loss of more than 20 counties to little-known Democrat Reynaldo Madrigal showed she’s vulnerable even in her own party, and that her support for abortion rights may have alienated some in the heavily Hispanic, predominantly Catholic, border areas. Democrats contended that Davis is in good standing among with the Democratic-leaning demographic, and chalked up her 79 percent primary showing to some voters who wanted to back a candidate with a Latino name in this first round.
Generally speaking, the area along the border with Mexico is likely to be much friendlier territory for Democrats than Republicans in Texas, and Davis scored far more votes, in sheer numbers, than her general election opponent, Republican Greg Abbott. But in a minority-majority state where conservatives vote in droves, a Democrat seeking to win a general election will need strong Hispanic turnout, and Tuesday’s results suggest Davis may have to engage more in South Texas to achieve that.
Abbott won 91.5 percent of the vote in his primary. On Thursday, his team is having an event in Edinburg, which is in one of the southern counties Davis lost.
“Twenty-one percent of Democrats did not support their gubernatorial nominee,” said Steve Munisteri, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. “A complete unknown, no-name, I can’t even tell you his name [got those votes]. That’s over one out of every five Democratic voters in a miserable turnout to start with not supporting their nominee.”
Democrats insist Davis still has plenty of time to introduce herself to the state, and that she didn’t invest heavily in a primary she was certain to win.
Davis did spend a lot of time outside of Texas raising money, but I tend to think that her losses in South Texas show that her stance on late-term abortion could hurt her with Hispanic voters. This will be something to watch.
Other Top Stories:
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