health care

Democrats Double Down After Eight Years Defending Health Care Law
Issue now tops for Democrats in 2018, report finds

The U.S. Capitol building is seen behind two ambulances Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have devoted half their advertising spending in midterm races to health care, according to a report released Monday from a left-leaning group that seeks to protect provisions of Barack Obama’s signature 2010 law. 

The survey of recent polling and advertising spending from Protect Our Care underscore a theme that has emerged across the country as Democrats attempt to shift the narrative on 2010 health care law. After eight years of fending off GOP attempts to “repeal and replace” the provisions of Obamacare, Democrats now see their support of the law as one of their biggest strengths. 

Trump PAC Spends More Defending Texas House Seat Than Any Race This Cycle
America First Action has spent $2.6 million to help longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions keep his seat

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is releasing another ad Tuesday in Texas’ 32nd District, where longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing arguably his toughest test for re-election yet against Democrat Colin Allred.

America First Action, the super PAC promoting candidates who support the president’s agenda, has sunk $2.6 million into defending Sessions’ seat. That’s the most the PAC has spent on any race this cycle.

Fiscal 2018 Deficit Clocks In at $779 Billion, White House Reports
Largest hole in six years, executive branch finds

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before a House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on the FY2019 Budget for OMB on April 18, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The federal government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the largest budget shortfall in six years, the White House reported Monday.

The official deficit tally for fiscal 2018 marked a $113 billion increase from the previous year and accounted for 3.9 percent of gross domestic product, an increase of 0.4 percentage points. The report confirms the third consecutive fiscal year of rising deficits despite a strong economy. 

Emotional Lou Barletta Calls Foul on Bob Casey Health Care Ad
Ad calls out Barletta, whose grandson has cancer, on vote that allowed higher pre-existing condition rates

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Barletta, who’s running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, said Casey “should be ashamed of himself over a new ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta posted an emotional video on Twitter Sunday, bucking criticism of his vote for the Republican health care bill.

A new ad from Sen. Bob Casey hits Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad is narrated by a constituent with twin daughters with cancer.

Arizona Congressional Candidate Greg Stanton Was Victim of Armed Robbery
Attacker wielded hatchet-like weapon

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images file photo)

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday outside a Thai restaurant in Phoenix by a man brandishing a hatchet-like weapon but has said he is fine, according to The Arizona Republic.

Police do not have a suspect, but Stanton believes the robbery was “a random act,” the newspaper reported.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

You’d Think Samuel Beckett Was In Charge of Our Health Care
Finding a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot

Estragon and Vladimir — above as portrayed in a 1978 French production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” — were stuck in limbo. After waiting on Congress to act on health care, we all know how they feel, Hoagland writes. (Fernand Michaud/Gallica Digital Library)

OPINION — Finding bipartisan agreement in Congress on a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot. Polls tracking Americans’ views have consistently shown an evenly divided public. No single public policy issue captures the country’s polarization better than the debate that has surrounded this law.

That doesn’t mean we have to settle for “nothing to be done.” Improving health insurance markets is a goal worth pursuing, and Republicans and Democrats at the state level are already showing us the way.

They Channel Out-of-Town Outrage
‘Herd on the Hill’ lives vicariously, delivering letters for people in far-away states

Herd on the Hill delivered over a thousand letters to Sen. Susan Collin, R-Maine, in October. (Courtesy Herd on the Hill)

The president of Herd on the Hill went into a planning meeting and announced the name of her group.

Others gasped and grumbled. No press were allowed in the room.

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night. Two days later, he took his campaign road show to Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.