Morning CheckUp: October 27, 2011

Romney’s other health care vulnerability: “Mitt Romney’s health care albatross isn’t just the similarity between his Massachusetts health care overhaul and President Barack Obama’s health reform law. It’s also the fact that Massachusetts still has the highest health costs in the country — even after the reforms Romney signed into law as governor.” [Jennifer Haberkorn]

HHS confirms that CLASS has been dismissed: “We are most sincere in saying that we have suspended implementation,” Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging and former administrator of CLASS said during a committee hearing yesterday. “I do not want to send a mixed message by saying we’re continuing to work on CLASS when we’re not. We do want to engage stakeholders,” she said. [Modern Healthcare]

Second Democrat comes out in support of repealing the program: “Utah Rep. Jim Matheson became the second Democrat to publicly call for repeal of the healthcare law’s CLASS Act on Wednesday. He issued his statement shortly after Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee pushed back against Republicans’ call to repeal the program.” Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) previous had sponsored legislation against the measure. [Sam Baker]

Democrats on Super Committee unveil health care cuts: “Senate Democrats on the congressional deficit committee proposed a plan that would reduce federal budget deficits by up to $3 trillion through cutting benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid and raising new revenue from tax-code changes, congressional aides said.” The proposal was immediately rejected by Republicans. [WSJ]

Progressives reject them: “I don’t want to hear Democrats suggesting that we have those types of cuts in Medicare,” said Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. “I hope that’s not true.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, echoed that warning.” [The Hill]

Employers try to encourage healthy behavior: “More employers are giving workers the option to tame health insurance costs for next year if they provide a blood sample and reveal details about their health habits.” [CBS News]

Massachusetts looks to private companies to help deal with dual eligibles: “The governor of Massachusetts wants to hire private insurers or other third parties to manage care for the poor and chronically ill patients who use a disproportionate share of public health-care dollars.” [WSJ]