Inside Politics: Health care paradox

GOP candidates attack Obamacare while promising to uphold one of its critical components, a bipartisan opioid bill is a rare congressional success story, Sen. Chuck Grassley's controversial comments, and some out-there midterm conspiracy theories -- it's all on Inside Politics.

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 3:11 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 3:18 PM

Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. Health care paradox

The biggest campaign issue this year may be health care. Democrats are running tens of millions of dollars worth of ads accusing Republicans of trying to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.

That's forced Republicans who spent years campaigning against Obamacare into an unfamiliar position.

"One of the great ironies of this midterm cycle is that Republican candidates who were actively supporting efforts to undermine the Affordable Care act are doing ads touting their support for a critical component of it," Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur said.

Republicans would much rather talk about how some Democrats are pushing for an even bigger overhaul of the entire health care system, Kapur said.

"What Republicans are trying to do in response is tie Democratic candidates as much as possible to single-payer (health care) to shift the conversation," he said.

2. Bipartisan success on opioids bill

Little noticed this week amid the Brett Kavanaugh fight was a congressional success story: passage of a bipartisan opioid bill designed to curb an epidemic that killed more than 70,000 Americans last year.

It passed 98-to-1 in the Senate and 393-to-8 in the House.

"One of the provisions would require the US Postal Service to screen for fentanyl from packages that come from overseas," The Daily Beast's Jackie Kucinich said. "But more broadly, this opioid bill is one of the few things that senators and congressmen can actually talk about that is truly bipartisan and truly impacts people in many of their states."

3. Grassley's controversial comments

Sen. Chuck Grassley had a lot to celebrate last week. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he shepherded the GOP's successful efforts to get Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court.

But a lot of people on Capitol Hill were wincing when he suggested that the reason there are no Republican women on the committee is because "it's a lot of work."

Although Grassley quickly backtracked, critics slammed his remarks as sexist.

"Now he did come back pretty quickly after he made those comments -- after an aide prompted him to do so -- to correct himself, that he actually thinks women worker harder than men. But it's just remarkable that he made a comment like that," CNN's Kaitlan Collins said. "Especially while we were in the middle of this conversation about women, the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment and women being in the Senate."

4. Eye on governors' races

While most midterms observers are focused on the battle for control of Congress, the 36 gubernatorial races could be just as important.

"The GOP is defending 26 seats, a record," CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson said. "And this is very much about 2021, when congressional re-districting begins. The governors and lawmakers in over half the states -- including Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio -- will have the power to re-draw congressional districts. So 2018 isn't just about who controls Congress right now -- it's also who controls Congress for the next decade."

5. A crazy conspiracy theory

Yes, the 2018 campaign is focused on issues like health care, taxes and President Trump. But on the fringes of the internet, some truly odd conspiracy theories are dominating conversations, says Lisa Lerer of The New York Times.

"We all remember 2016 was like the conspiracy-theory election, in part because President Trump, of course, pushed the birther theory for a long time. And Hillary Clinton has been at the center of just about every conspiracy theory for the past two decades," Lerer said.

But there's a new one about the September 27 Kavanaugh hearing that Lerer said she found especially astonishing.

"It's that Christine Blasey Ford was not actually testifying for herself up there during that hearing, but instead it was Amy Schumer playing Christine Blasey-Ford giving the testimony," she said. "That's the kind of stuff we're in seeing in the dark corners of the internet these days."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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