"Morning CheckUp: August 30, 2011"
Regulators to shame insurers in rate review process starting Thursday: The Obama administration and states “will automatically scrutinize any proposed health-premium increase of 10% or more as part of the 2010 health-overhaul law” but won’t have the authority to block insurers from charging the higher rates. [WSJ]
HHS official compares health law to civil rights movement: “Jay Angoff, special adviser to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, drew parallels between the two contentious efforts during a panel presentation in Baltimore. He said pushback from state governors over implementation of the law mirrors the acrimony held by many state lawmakers decades earlier when they had to adopt the civil rights package.” “I don’t want to say that the health care law is as important as the civil rights law,” Angoff said. “But there really are some analogies.” [Politico]
Obama administration steps up anti-fraud efforts: “New government statistics show federal health care fraud prosecutions in the first eight months of 2011 are on pace to rise 85% over last year due in large part to ramped-up enforcement efforts under the Obama administration.” [USA Today]
Employees are not willing to sacrifice to pay less for health insurance: Only 27 percent of people with insurance provided through their employer said they would accept a more restricted list of doctors and hospitals in their networks, according to the latest monthly poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Less than a third of those polled were willing to pay more for brand name drugs or pay higher deductibles in return for lower premiums. [Kaiser Health News]
Huckabee to headline personhood event: Huckabee will be the keynote speaker kickoff a campaign in support of a “personhood” initiative that is slated to appear on the November ballot in Mississippi. The initiative seeks to define a “person” as a being at the point of fertilization. [Clarion Ledger]
VA abortion clinics see licensing regulations as an “attack”: “Officials at abortion clinics around Virginia said Monday that their offices do not meet building standards in draft state regulations, with one arguing that the move is “an attack on reproductive rights” intended to force clinics to close, not enhance safety as some proponents suggest.” [Pilot Online]
Docs urge research center not to consider cost effectiveness: The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a new medical research body created by the health care law, should not consider the cost of treatments when evaluating them, the nation’s largest physician lobby argues. [Julian Pecquet]