Morning CheckUp: November 22, 2011

Providers are still bracing for health cuts: “Under the negotiations that created the super committee, its failure to reach an agreement means automatic budget cuts worth $1.2 trillion, including a 2% reduction every year from 2013 to 2021 in the payments received by health-care providers for treating Medicare beneficiaries.” [WSJ]

Anonymous group hits Gingrich on abortion: “The latest email from the shadow group Iowans for Christian Values again references Gingrich’s marital history, which many people on hand at a major evangelical confab last weekend said they were not especially troubled by. But it also goes on to say he “supports federal funding for abortions…and fought the Republican Party’s effort to deny funds to candidates who support partial birth abortion…and said, “I hope the President will find a way to agree that there ought to be federally funded embryonic stem cell research.” [Politico]

HHS goes after insurer increases: “HHS announced Monday that its review of a 12% rate increase planned for the small business plan of Everence Insurance of Pennsylvania is “excessive.” The authority to review annual health insurance rate increases over 10% was granted to HHS by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” [Modern Healthcare]

A new model for medical liability: “Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated, expensive and emotionally wrenching for patients, doctors and hospital officials alike. Now a program pioneered by a Bronx judge that speeds up the resolution of these cases is expanding into other parts of New York.” [Kaiser Health News]

Local California Republicans embrace Medicaid expansion: “Counties – which have suffered mightily in the economic downturn – are often on the losing end. When the economy slows and people lose their health insurance, demand for county services goes up. Watson, a Republican, says it’s a matter of fairness, not ideology.” [NPR]

Number of HIV infections stabilizes: “An estimated 34 million people were living with HIV in 2010, up from 32.9 million in 2009, according to the UNAIDS report. The number continues to grow because more people become infected every year and a growing number are gaining access to drugs that help them live longer.” [WSJ]

Health reform will halve Wyoming’s uninsured: “Health care reform will more than halve the number of uninsured in Wyoming between now and 2016, according to a report examining its impact on the state’s insurance market.” “The elimination of certain bare-bone, high-deductible plans could increase individual-market premiums by 30 to 40 percent. However, the new standards should also mean consumers pay less out-of-pocket costs when they seek care.” [Billings Gazette]