Morning CheckUp: July 14, 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?

Gingrey says IPAB = death: “Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a physician by training who provides some of the most colorful quotes on health issues, brought a poster of Don Corleone from ‘The Godfather’ to the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Wednesday to compare him to CMS Administrator Don Berwick.” He also said the IPAB “scares the s— out of us.” [Jen Haberkorn]

The case for extending the IPAB: “What’s needed, therefore, is not to abandon IPAB—and certainly not to morph Medicare into less effective private insurance. Rather, we should extend the expertise and authority that IPAB focuses on Medicare to apply to all payers. This would allow a system-wide spending target that triggers all-payer payment reform — assuring Medicare beneficiaries and all Americans the high quality, efficient care we deserve.” [Judy Feder]

HHS Medicare actuary endorses Ryan’s Medicare plan….sort of: “Premium support … could accommodate these kinds of more efficient delivery systems and payment mechanisms,” Rick Foster told reporters after he testified before the House Budget Committee yesterday. “That all depends on [its] design.” [The Hill]

Federal judge overturns NYC’s abortion notices: “A federal judge blocked a law that would have forced Christian-run pregnancy centers to post signs saying they have no doctors on-site and don’t give advice about abortions or birth control on the day before the law would have gone into effect.” [Courthouse News]

Dental care shortages: “33.3 million people live in areas with shortages of dental health professionals. In 2008, 4.6 million children did not obtain needed dental care because their families could not afford it. And in 2006, only 38 percent of retirees had dental coverage, which is not covered by Medicare.” [SAC Bee]

Fixing the Medicaid eligibility error: “A freshman member of the House Budget Committee is working on legislation that would prevent millions of Americans from becoming eligible for Medicaid and federal insurance subsidies.” The bill would “change how the healthcare-reform law calculates who is eligible for government help.” [Julian Pecquet]

Medicaid doctor shortages: A new report finds that “eight states —Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas — will confront the most daunting task in handling an influx of new Medicaid patients once the federal health care law takes final effect in 2014” because they “have doctor shortages that will make it difficult for patients to find a physician once they become eligible for government insurance.” [Stateline]

Drug reimportation as a way to limit drug shortages: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who is pushing legislation to curb drug shortages, argues that a potential way to help address the issue is rescinding the ban on pharmaceutical reimportation, though some key stakeholders lobbying on methods to reduce the occurrence of medicine gaps contend importation would likely have a limited longstanding ability to resolve the shortage problem.” [Inside Health Policy]

No cell phone-cancer link: “People who have used a cell phone for more than a decade do not appear to be at increased risk of a type of non-cancerous brain tumor, a large study suggests.” [Reuters]