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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Health and Politics Update

Health and Politics Update

October 3, 2008

A bunch of updates and links on political topics:

1. Health More Important: The latest Kaiser Tracking Poll shows an uptick in concern for health issues among independents, a key demographic. Bottom line: "Roughly one in four (26%) independents rank health care as one of the top issues they would "most like to hear the presidential candidates talk about." Health care's importance has risen among independents by eight percentage points since April. At the same time, health care has dropped even further down Republicans' priority list (now mentioned by 11%, a new low) and stayed roughly stable among Democrats (25%)." Chart showing all issues is here.

2. Two New Obama Spots Attacks McCain Health Plan: Here they are:


Radio, too:

UPDATE: Obama is now including an attack on McCain's health plan in his speeches, and sends out a detailed critique in a memo to reporters; McCain responds that the Obama plan is a "radical turn toward government-run health care that promises to be as efficient as a trip to the DMV." Obama points; McCain response.

3. Fact-Checking the Veeps: Health was mentioned fairly prominently in the VP debate, and the fact-checkers rushed in afterwords to clean up the messes. But they don't all agree. For the Washington Post, Biden was a fault for only stating the bad part of McCain's plan (a new tax on employer-provided coverage) and ignoring the credit. Interestingly, Obama's ad (above) mentions both. To the NY Times (and USA Today), Palin gets hit for falsely calling Obama's plan a "universal government-run” system in which health care is “taken over” by the federal government.

4. Just the Facts: Kaiser's invaluable Health08.org site has put up an interactive side-by-side health plan comparison tool. Pick the issues you care about (from bio-medical research to veteran's health) and up pops a neutral comparison.

5. The Naked Truth. This ad from Kansas Democratic Senate candidate Jim Slattery says it all: