Morning CheckUp: August 15, 2011

Perry enters the race, blasts ObamaCare: From Saturday’s speech — “And it is up to us, to this present generation of Americans, to take a stand for freedom, to send a message to Washington that we’re taking our future back from the grips of central planners who would control our healthcare, who would spend our treasure, who downgrade our future and micro-manage our lives…. And we will repeal this President’s misguided, one-size-fits-all government healthcare plan immediately.” []

But (inadvertently) makes the case for reform: “While Obama points to his universal health care law as a historic achievement, Texas is often cited as an example of the need for health-care reform: A quarter of Texans lack coverage, the highest share in the country.” [Washington Post]

ICYMI – Court of appeals strikes down mandate: “The ‘individual mandate’ provision of the law, which requires the uninsured to buy health insurance, violates the Constitution because it is beyond Congress’ power to regulate such activity. But other provisions of the new law, including its expansion of Medicaid coverage, which also were struck down by a Florida trial judge in January, are permissible.” [LA Times]

Mandate would have been constitutional as a tax: That’s Kevin Outersson’s take-away from the ruling and he argues that Congress should have written it that way. [Incidental Economist]

What happens next?: “The Obama administration has 90 days, until mid-November, to appeal today’s Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling….This turns the attention to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to rule on a health-care challenge sometime this month or next.” [Sarah Kliff]

Why the ruling won’t stand: Ian Millhiser argues it can’t be squared with the Constitution or Justice Scalia’s opinion. [ThinkProgress Justice]

HHS appropriator Rep. Denny Rehberg pledges to defund law: “Now the courts are telling us that the millions of dollars being spent today on implementing Obamacare may be money down the drain,” Rehberg said. “That’s why I will not fund any aspects of Obamacare through the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on the law. [Billings Gazette]

CA Congresswoman holds forum to highlight successes of ACA: Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) held a town hall meeting to “right the wrong” about the Affordable Care Act. “Most in the audience supported the healthcare law, unlike the contentious town halls in the run-up to Congress’ voting on the bill last year.” [LA Times]

The fast pace of ACA regulations: “The tight deadlines led to an unusual approach to rule-making in which rules were issued as “interim final” regulations. Under that approach, rules immediately went into effect, but regulators later could revise them after reviewing comments.” [Business Insurance]

Feds simplify Medicaid eligibility: “CMS on Friday (Aug. 12) unveiled a regulation that officials say will make it easier for states to determine who is eligible for Medicaid, which is slated to add millions of beneficiaries in 2012 when the program begins covering people earning up to 133 percent of poverty. The regulation reduces the number of eligibility categories to four, simplifies eligibility standards, updates eligibility-verification systems and allows states to choose from several options for identifying newly eligible beneficiaries without tracking them individually.” [Inside Health Policy]

Young adults are cheap to cover: Definitive statistics are not yet available, but consultants say cost of extending dependent coverage up to age 26, will likely “fall within a 0.5% to 1.5% range.” [Business Insurance]

Louisiana abortion law goes into effect today: “Abortion clinics are being required to post signs in each admission area, waiting room and consulting room saying that a woman can’t be forced to have an abortion, that a father is liable for child support, that adoptive parents can cover the medical costs of pregnancy and childbirth and that agencies can help assist a woman during and after pregnancy.” [The Republic]