Obamacare Partisan Fights Affecting Public Opinion, Capitol Hill, Health Coverage For Poor

News outlets report that as the health law comes closer to full implementation in 2014, the political parties are far apart and likely to stay there, which could affect who gets coverage and how.

CNN: Poll: Do You Support Or Oppose The Health Care Law?
A majority of Americans still oppose the nation's new health care measure, three years after it became law, according to a new survey. But a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday also indicates that more than a quarter of those who oppose the law, known by many as Obamacare, say they don't support the measure because it doesn't go far enough. ... The wide partisan divide over the law remains (5/27).

The Associated Press: Republicans See 'Obamacare' Issues As Key To 2014
If Republicans were writing a movie script for next year's congressional elections, the working title might be "2014: Apocalypse of Obamacare." The plot: The rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law turns into such a disaster that enraged voters rebuke him by rewarding the GOP with undisputed control of Congress. But there's a risk for Republicans if they're wrong and the Affordable Care Act works reasonably well, particularly in states that have embraced it. Republicans might be seen as obstinately standing in the way of progress (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/27).

The New York Times: Partisan Gridlock Thwarts Effort to Alter Health Law
Almost no law as sprawling and consequential as the Affordable Care Act has passed without changes — significant structural changes or routine tweaks known as “technical corrections” — in subsequent months and years. ... But as they prowl Capitol Hill, business lobbyists like [Scott] DeFife, health care providers and others seeking changes are finding, to their dismay, that in a polarized Congress, accomplishing them has become all but impossible. ... As the clock ticks toward 2014, when the law will be fully in effect, some businesses say that without changes, it may be their undoing (Weisman and Pear, 5/26). 

The Hill: Sebelius On Hot Seat Amid Rising Angst Over ObamaCare Rollout
The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary is implementing the biggest change to the nation’s healthcare system in decades, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. ObamaCare will be a top issue for voters, if not the top issue, in the 2014 election. ... ObamaCare has always been controversial, routinely blasted by the GOP. But now, Sebelius is taking some friendly fire. A liberal lawmaker who requested anonymity said, “She's been terribly defensive, terribly slow to react" (Vieback, 5/27). 

The New York Times: States’ Policies on Health Care Exclude Some of the Poorest
 The refusal by about half the states to expand Medicaid will leave millions of poor people ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance under President Obama’s health care law even as many others with higher incomes receive federal subsidies to buy insurance. ... People in those states who have incomes from the poverty level up to four times that amount ($11,490 to $45,960 a year for an individual) can get federal tax credits to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. But many people below the poverty line will be unable to get tax credits, Medicaid or other help with health insurance (Pear, 5/24).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.