LOS ANGELES (AP) — With the atmospheric river keeping her indoors during the week, KFF Health News correspondent Molly Castle Work in Los Angeles took the opportunity to dive into new story ideas and catch up on the mid-aughts classic “Veronica Mars.” In today’s edition, we’ll take a look at the Republican playbook for states like California, and how one Democrat is boosting his national image ahead of a potential White House bid in 2028.
As the race to replace the late Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein heats up in California, the spotlight on reproductive rights has the candidates vying for a Senate seat in a tight spot. We see one Democrat pushing back against a potential national abortion ban, while a retired Los Angeles Dodgers star first baseman, Steve Garvey, seeks to avoid taking a clear stand on the issue as a Republican candidate.
The tactic of avoiding the abortion topic seems to be a common one for Republicans, particularly in bright-blue states like California. Almost 70 percent of California voters support protecting abortion rights in the state constitution, making it an abortion safe haven and a training ground for OB-GYNs from out of state.
Garvey’s reluctance to take a clear stance on abortion has drawn criticism from Democratic consultant Nicole Brener-Schmitz, who pointed out that dodging the issue may not be in his best interest in the long run.
The race is heating up with a new poll showing Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff leading the race, but Garvey is tied for second place with another Democratic contender, Rep. Katie Porter. However, if Porter overtakes Garvey and makes the runoff, reproductive rights won’t be the focus of the race, as she and other Democrats are vying to one-up each other on support for abortion rights.
Meanwhile, the Florida Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over a proposed constitutional amendment that would codify the right to abortion until “viability.” The last hurdle is to determine whether the language of the measure is valid before it can be put to voters, a step that has drawn criticism and support from various groups.
In other news, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is making a push to support abortion rights and build a national profile, which is seen as a move in advance of a potential run for president in 2028. The broader push by ambitious Democrats to involve themselves in this year’s election efforts reflects the strategy of politicians eyeing a White House bid, with other Democrats viewed as 2028 contenders making similar moves.
On the healthcare front, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee passed a bipartisan bill that would change how pharmacy benefit managers operate in the commercial market, aiming to prevent them from tying their fees to drug prices. Additionally, there are updates on federal health programs aimed at helping older Americans and individuals with Medicaid.
The article is a reflection of the political landscape surrounding the ongoing debate and developments on abortion rights in various parts of the United States. As the race heats up and legal battles loom, the issue of reproductive rights continues to be at the forefront of political, legal, and healthcare discussions.