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 1:32 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 2:18 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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32888

Reported Deaths: 1188
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds259141
DeSoto172418
Madison132635
Jones114049
Neshoba100473
Rankin98213
Harrison96911
Lauderdale92280
Forrest91643
Scott77915
Jackson68917
Copiah62015
Washington61710
Leake58919
Lee56220
Holmes56041
Oktibbeha55227
Wayne54515
Warren53218
Yazoo5236
Lowndes50913
Grenada5067
Leflore50053
Lamar4917
Lincoln48434
Pike45416
Monroe42534
Sunflower4208
Lafayette4094
Covington3755
Attala36523
Panola3646
Bolivar35618
Newton3479
Simpson3453
Adams31518
Tate31011
Pontotoc3046
Marion30012
Chickasaw28719
Claiborne28410
Winston2808
Noxubee2728
Jasper2676
Pearl River26532
Marshall2583
Clay24911
Smith22911
Union21810
Clarke21025
Coahoma2056
Walthall2056
Lawrence1872
Yalobusha1807
Kemper17914
Carroll16811
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1454
Calhoun1414
Montgomery1392
Tippah13811
Itawamba1378
Hancock13413
Webster12711
Jefferson Davis1134
Tunica1133
Jefferson1103
Prentiss1103
Greene1059
Amite1043
Wilkinson939
George913
Tishomingo891
Quitman811
Choctaw754
Alcorn742
Perry724
Stone692
Franklin452
Benton420
Sharkey370
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 46424

Reported Deaths: 1032
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5486155
Montgomery4246105
Mobile4219136
Tuscaloosa234644
Marshall177011
Madison15548
Lee143337
Shelby135724
Morgan11285
Walker98525
Baldwin9809
Elmore96215
Dallas9109
Franklin90216
Etowah79013
DeKalb7615
Chambers64327
Autauga63612
Butler63228
Tallapoosa60469
Russell5680
Unassigned52226
Limestone5181
Houston5106
Lauderdale5016
Lowndes47821
Cullman4705
Pike4525
Colbert4266
St. Clair4162
Escambia4118
Calhoun3875
Coffee3863
Covington3727
Bullock36810
Barbour3572
Talladega3237
Marengo31711
Hale31521
Dale3020
Jackson3022
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Clarke2836
Winston2663
Chilton2622
Blount2511
Monroe2412
Pickens2386
Marion23613
Conecuh2177
Randolph2169
Macon1999
Choctaw19712
Bibb1961
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1187
Lawrence1090
Cherokee1037
Geneva840
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne391
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