Morning CheckUp: November 16, 2011

Super committee isn’t expected to touch health reform: “Anyone tracking the supercommittee has heard the mantra: Everything is on the table.But there’s one big item that doesn’t appear to be on that gigantic deficit-cutting table: President Barack Obama’s health reform law, his signature domestic achievement.” [Matt Dobias]

South Carolina leaves exchange to the feds: “South Carolina’s top health official will recommend this week that the state decline creating its own health insurance exchange, one of the central tenets of President Barack Obama’s health care law.” [Kaiser Health News]

Massachusetts pushing forward with implementation: “The court could upend the national health law if the justices decide the mandate is unconstitutional. Yet, planning for full implementation of the law in Massachusetts is moving ‘full steam ahead,’ said Glen Shor, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the agency that runs the state’s health insurance exchange. ” [Boston Globe]

Scalia and Thomas dine with health law opponents: “The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.” [LA Times]

Romney’s Schiavo: “When Mitt Romney was Massachusetts governor, the state tried to pull the plug on an 11-year-old girl in a coma — only to see her recover. Now the case could become a campaign issue for the GOP presidential frontrunner.” [Miami Herald]

Birth control’s other uses: “Well, here’s another twist in the debate over whether birth control is an essential health benefit. More than 1.5 million American women use birth control pills for reasons other than preventing pregnancy, a new analysis finds.” [NPR]

AMA comes out against the active purchaser model: “The American Medical Association said Tuesday that state insurance exchanges should not try to actively negotiate with health plans. Some consumer advocates have endorsed an “active purchaser” model, in which states empower their exchanges to negotiate with insurers and allow only certain plans into the exchange. But insurers — and now doctors — say any plan that meets the federal standards laid out in the healthcare reform law should have access to the exchanges. ” [Sam Baker]