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Morning CheckUp: September 29, 2011

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"Morning CheckUp: September 29, 2011"

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Administration asks for SCOTUS review: “President Barack Obama’s administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the landmark health-care law, in a move that may lead to a ruling months before the 2012 presidential election. Calling the issue ‘a matter of grave national importance,’ administration lawyers today appealed a lower court ruling that declared part of the law unconstitutional. ” [Bloomberg]

NFIB wants SCOTUS to review entire law, not just mandate: Even though there is no appellate disagreement on severability, the “26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, also asked for high court review Wednesday, saying the entire law, and not just the individual insurance mandate, should be struck down.” [AP]

Insurers blame medical costs for premium increases: “Policymakers in Washington and the states need to address all of the factors that are driving premium increases: soaring prices for medical services, changes in the covered population that has resulted in an older and sicker risk pool, and new benefit and coverage mandates that add to the cost of insurance. ” [AHIP]

HHS announces new coordinate care initiative: The federal government “will increase Medicare payments to primary care providers who adopt a coordinated care model. A four-year demonstration, overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, begins next year in several health care markets.” [Kaiser Health News]

MT governor pitches health care plan: Gov. Brian Schweitzer “says his office will ask the feds for permission to operate a universal health care system in Montana, instead of implementing all the changes in the Affordable Care Act.The system would center around community health facilities.” Schweitzer “would like to create a state-run system that borrows from the program used in Saskatchewan. He said the Canadian province controls cost by negotiating drug prices and limiting non-emergency procedures such as MRIs.” [Missoulian]

CO Republicans try to stop implementation: “Colorado House Republicans temporarily have blocked the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange board from applying for a $22 million grant that would have been used to set up the technology infrastructure needed to operate an online health insurance marketplace beginning in 2014. GOP leaders announced they were concerned that the grant application speaks of modifying Colorado statutes and regulations to “conform to federal requirements.” [Denver Business Journal]

AR Republicans ask governor not to apply for exchange grants: “Republican opposition today appeared to dim prospects that the state will apply for new federal funding to continue planning for a state health exchange as part of the federal health care overhaul. State Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford received a letter today signed by House Minority Leader John Burris, R-Harrison, and five other GOP legislators urging him not to apply for a $3.8 million grant.” [Arkansas News]

CA to push personhood amendment: “On Wednesday, the Union City, Calif.-based anti-abortion-rights group California Civil Rights Foundation (CCRF) announced it is submitting language to state Attorney General Kamala Harris for the “California Human Rights Amendment,” marking the latest push for a “personhood” amendment in the U.S.” [RH RealityCheck]

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