Morning CheckUp: December 8, 2011

Ben Nelson makes the case against repeal: “The ‘doughnut hole’ that is being closed will reopen,” Nelson said “Young people, age 26, on their family health care policy would not have that right. The pre-existing condition provision could be enforced against young people up to 18 years of age and in 2014 would not be extended to adults.” [The Independent]

Doc fix price: “The cost of fixing Medicare’s physician-pay formula for two years would be $38.6 billion, according to a new Congressional Budget Office score.” [Inside Health Policy]

Access to widen on Medicare data: “In an abrupt policy change, the Department of Health and Human Services will make its huge Medicare claims database more broadly available to the public, to help consumers and employers make better-informed decisions about medical care.” [WSJ]

65,000 MaineCare recipients to lose coverage under LePage plan: “More than 65,000 low-income residents will lose health coverage through the state’s MaineCare program under a sweeping overhaul proposed Tuesday by the LePage administration.” [Bangor Daily News]

South Carolina is blowing it on exchanges: “South Carolina Health Planning Committee is ignoring the forecast of swelling health care costs and increased demand for coverage by delaying the process of setting up our state’s health insurance exchange. Ignoring the oncoming blizzard and hoping for clear skies is setting South Carolina up to fail the people who need an exchange most — small businesses and middle class families.” [Palmetto Public Record]

Observing cancer gaining ground on surgery: “A federally convened panel of experts says most men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer should be offered the chance to put off treatment in favor of medical monitoring of their condition. In fact, the panel went so far as to say doctors should stop calling most of these low-risk tumors cancer at all.” [NPR]