Morning CheckUp: June 24, 2011

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?

Sebelius defends the IPAB: “But given the difficulty of enacting changes to Medicare, the Independent Payment Advisory Board provides a backstop to ensure that rising costs don’t accelerate out of control, threatening Medicare’s stability. [Politico]

SCOTUS rules against VT: “Sorry, docs in Vermont. The U.S. Supreme Court says the prescriptions you write can’t be hidden away from drug companies that use the information to guide their salesmen.” [NPR]

DC abortion ban still in place: “The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday beat back an attempt to remove a ban on local-government funded abortions in the District.” Thus the bill still “includes language prohibiting the D.C. government from using its own taxpayer funds to provide abortions for low-income women.” [Washington Post]

The slow crawl to electronic health records: So far, “only a scant number of providers are fully using the technology — and even fewer use it so as to qualify for federal incentive payments.” [Politico]

Missouri Senate considering exchanges: “A bill creating the “Show-Me Health Insurance Exchange” cleared the Missouri House this year with unanimous support,” but died in the Senate. Now, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer has appointed an interim committee to study whether the state should adopt the measure. [Post Dispatch]

New York Assembly passes exchanges: in a vote of 82-44. The Senate has not yet taken up the measure. [Politics on the Hudson]

Medicare cuts in the debt ceiling?: Energy and Commerce Democrats made it clear yesterday that they’d “fight tooth and nail to avoid massive cuts to healthcare entitlements proposed by the GOP,” while Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) seemed to admit that additional Medicare cuts were on the table. [The Hill]

Medicaid “flexibility” is also part of the debt talks: “Democrats have discussed giving HHS more flexibility to work with states to grant Medicaid program waivers, in an effort to give states more flexibility without scrapping the maintenance of effort requirements for eligibility that are in place. Other policies under consideration include extending Medicaid drug rebates to dual eligibles — which several Democrats proposed in legislation earlier this month — and moving dual eligibles into managed care.” [Inside Health Policy]

HHS releases workplace prevention grant: the $10 million for employers to improve their workers’ health is part of the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the healthcare reform law. [The Hill]