Republicans are keeping health care at arms length this election

Happy Friday y’all. We love a good waffle, but we have some questions for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Send us your unpopular takes: rachel.roubein@washpost.com. 

Today’s edition: The Justice Department says it will defend Veterans Affairs medical workers who perform an abortion in certain instances. A judge in Indiana temporarily blocked

the state’s near-total ban on abortion. But first …  Republicans are staying vague on health policy in the midterms Republicans have spent plenty of elections

promising to ditch Obamacare and overhaul the U.S. health-care system. Not anymore.  When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) formally rolls out his campaign

season agenda today at an event in Pennsylvania, it will be light on health policy details. The one-page document — called a “Commitment to America” — is vague, pointing to broad

ideas like price transparency and competition, instead of a bold vision for the future of health reform. That’s by design. As one conservative health expert put it, the

GOP still has “PTSD” from its failed effort in 2017 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Health care has repeatedly shown to be a toxic issue for Republicans.

In just the last couple of months, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) walked back comments suggesting he wants to see Republicans take another crack at repealing Obamacare; Don Bolduc, New

Hampshire’s GOP Senate nominee, backtracked after saying he’d like to privatize Medicare; and the campaign of Blake Masters, Republican candidate in Arizona, removed references to

strict antiabortion positions from his website.