Welcome to The Morning CheckUp, ThinkProgress Health’s 7:00 AM round-up of the latest in health policy and politics. Here is what we’re reading, what are you?
Employers to drop coverage: one survey of employers finds that while “only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will ‘definitely or probably’ stop offering employer-sponsored coverage” once a new ACA provision requiring businesses with workers receiving subsidies in the exchanges to pay a fee or offer coverage, kicks in. [Market Watch]
Banning abortion in Louisiana: the Louisiana state legislature is “considering a bill that would make performing an abortion a criminal offense, including in cases of rape and incest, and that would force a woman to pay out of pocket for an abortion that is necessary to save her life.” [Huffington Post]
Ohio is also trying to limit the procedure: “abortions in Ohio would be banned at most publicly funded hospitals, clinics and other facilities under a proposal Senate Republicans are considering putting in the state budget.” [NECN]
Medicare is the obstacle to reaching a debt ceiling deal: that’s what Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a conference call with reporters yesterday and called on Republicans to take Medicare cuts off the table. A group of Senate Democrats have also sent a letter to Vice President Biden urging him to say that a deal won’t be reached if the GOP’s Medicare cuts are still under consideration. [The Hill]
Aetna is reducing premiums in Connecticut: in order to avoid paying out rebates under the new medical loss ratio regulations in the Affordable Care Act. [Kaiser Health News]
High out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients: a new study finds that out-of-pocket, cancer-related costs averaged $712 a month. “Some 30% of respondents said their expenses were a ‘significant burden’ and 11% called them a ‘catastrophic problem.’” [WSJ]
Slight decrease in ER use in Massachusetts: “while overall emergency room visits increased about 4.1 percent between 2006 and 2008, visits among patients who are poor or uninsured using the emergency room for “low-severity” issues fell slightly, by about 1.8 percent.” [Boston Globe]