Morning CheckUp: August 16, 2011

Obama predicts SCOTUS will uphold ObamaCare: “If the Supreme Court follows existing precedent, existing law, it should be upheld without a problem,” Obama said. “If the Supreme Court does not follow existing law and precedent, then, you know, we’ll have to manage that when it happens.” [USA Today]

How Obama can slowdown health law’s march to SCOTUS: “The Department of Justice has 90 days to decide whether it wants to appeal directly to the Supreme Court or ask the entire 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case first in an en banc hearing. The en banc hearing would merely slow down the appeal process, since the losing party is all but certain to appeal to the Supreme Court. So the administration could try to push a Supreme Court ruling past the 2012 election by asking for the en banc hearing — but there wouldn’t be much of a point otherwise, since they’re not likely to get a better ruling from the full court.” [Jennifer Haberkorn]

PerryCare: “There’s a pretty wide disconnect between what Perry says he would like to change about Medicaid in Texas and what he’s been able to accomplish: His biggest reform proposals have hit dead ends under both Democratic and Republican administrations.” [Sarah Kliff]

Medicaid pays less for drugs: “Medicaid gets much deeper discounts on many prescription drugs than Medicare, in part because Medicaid discounts are set by law whereas Medicare prices are negotiated by private insurers and drug companies, federal investigators said Monday in a new report.” [Robert Pear]

Medicaid cuts could mean fewer benefits for new enrollees: “Twenty-four states are planning to cut at least $4.7 billion from their Medicaid programs, which could result in fewer benefits for the millions of individuals expected to enroll in the program when the federal health reform law expands eligibility in 2014.” [California HealthLine]

AIDS funding falls: “Spending on the global fight against AIDS fell significantly in 2010 for the first time since the U.S. and other governments began making major donations, according to a new report.” [WSJ]

HHS doles out $49 million to state health agencies: “The bulk of the money — roughly $36 million — came from the prevention and public health trust fund established by the healthcare reform law. Another $4 million came from general funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” [Sam Baker]

MA insurers pressured to charge less: “A pair of major Massachusetts health insurers said Monday that they accepted insufficient increases in premiums for small businesses and individuals because of mounting pressure on the industry to contain costs.” [Boston Herald]