Morning CheckUp: October 25, 2011

Republican governors submit Medicaid reform ideas to super committee: “Republican governors want the supercommittee to give states more control over their Medicaid programs. The RGA has presented a list of options that would give states more power over their Medicaid rolls and how they pay doctors. It also supports repealing a provision of the healthcare reform law that prevents states from cutting Medicaid eligibility before 2014.” [Sam Baker]

HHS launches primary care bonus program: “The Health and Human Services Department launched a new initiative Monday in its push to cut healthcare costs. The new program, which was authorized under healthcare reform, gives bonus payments to community health centers that provide primary care to Medicare beneficiaries. The department will provide $42 million over three years.” [Sam Baker]

Quality information is hard to find: “Consumers are usually unable to get accurate information about how much medical treatment will cost them before they receive it, a new government study has found.” [WSJ]

Anti-abortion group goes after Sebelius: “The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life is taking aim at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for a 2005 case involving Planned Parenthood. The group is accussing Sebelius of “destroying incriminating evidence” that it claims is “at the heart of the current felony charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri.” [Florida Independent]

Nation’s long-term care problem isn’t getting any better: “It’s the one major health expense for which nearly all Americans are uninsured. The dilemma of paying for long-term care is likely to worsen now that the Obama administration pulled the plug on a program seen as a first step.” [AP]

The need is only increasing: “About 20 million people, including more than two-thirds of people over age 65, are expected to need long-term care at some point in the coming years, but only 7 million have private insurance to cover it. The number of people with such insurance has remained roughly flat for at least the past four years, suggesting the limits of the private market’s ability to fill the need.” [Politico]

Maryland pursues enrollment: “Maryland health officials are seeking companies that can build a software system to enroll individuals and small businesses in insurance plans through the state’s new health care marketplace.” [Washington Business Journal]