Morning CheckUp: July 8, 2011

Welcome to 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?

Top Dems stress they won’t support benefit cuts in debt ceiling: Nancy Pelosi told reporters later that she wants Obama to “have the room” to reach a deal, and she offered her “full cooperation to do that.” However, she said, House Democrats “do not support cuts in benefits for Social Security or Medicare,” and negotiations on specific reforms to those programs should be separate from a broader deficit reduction deal. [Steve Benen]

The political consequences: “A grand bargain on Medicare will let Republicans who support the deal off the hook on their Ryan budget vote,” said one senior Democratic operative granted anonymity to speak candidly about strategy. “If attacked on the Ryan budget they can easily counter they voted for the same thing Obama supported. Poof.” [Washington Post]

Poor Republicans favor entitlement programs: “63 percent of Republicans with annual incomes above $75,000 said it was more important to reduce the deficit, while 29 percent of this group preferred keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are. Among those with incomes below $30,000, however, 62 percent favored maintaining benefits.” [Kaiser Health News]

Colorado’s exchange board has too many industry connections: “The newly appointed health-insurance-exchange board includes a majority of members with a previously undisclosed series of connections, closely tying the board to the insurance and information-technology industries.” [Denver Post]

Big fat F in obesity: “But the latest look at obesity in the U.S. paints an even grimmer picture of our national weight problem than you might have imagined. The rates of obesity for American adults worsened in 16 states in the last year — and not a single state showed improvement.” [NPR]

How hospitals respond to Medicare cuts: A new study published in Health Affairs “found that as Medicare payments drop, hospitals that dominate their local markets tend to raise prices on private insurers, while hospitals with plenty of competitors respond by cutting their costs.” [Kaiser Health News]

Conservatives urge Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood: Americans United for Life has released a report citing supposed violations of federal-funding rules by Planned Parenthood and is calling on Congress to launch an investigation against the organization. [Washington Independent]

DC abortions: “For decades Congress has used its power over the District of Columbia to ban the city from paying for abortions for poor women, but during a two-year period when lawmakers reversed course at least 300 women got city-funded procedures.” [AP]

Some pro-lifers don’t support Ohio’s ‘heartbeat’ bill: “A controversial new bill in Ohio that would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat can be detected is driving a wedge into the state’s pro-life community, with some concerned that a court battle over the bill could end up reaffirming Roe v. Wade.” [Huffington Post]

Private insurers owe Florida $3 million: “Private health insurers overstated how much they spent on patient care and owe Florida health officials $3.1 million in refunds for a government children’s health care program.” [Miami Herald]

Providers fear Republicans are undermining IPAB repeal: “While IPAB is lined up as the next major effort of the GOP’s agenda to repeal health reform, some provider groups are fearful Republican rhetoric could sink repeal’s chances. Their concern is that Republicans have increasingly labeled IPAB a rationing board — a term that has overtones of the “death panel” rhetoric the GOP used against health reform and could alienate Democrats who otherwise would support repealing the board.” [Politico]