Morning CheckUp: January 13, 2012

The public option did not die: “Unique in the nation for having public health insurance plans that are run by counties, California has plans that stretch from San Francisco to the Mexican border and cover 2.5 million residents.” [Kaiser Health News]

Republican opposes Rick Scott’s hospital cuts: “Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, came out strongly Wednesday against the governor’s proposed changes to Medicaid reimbursements, which would gouge $1.85 billion from hospital income statewide.” [Naples News]

Texas Democrats defend health reform: “Texas, via its Republican leadership, has already joined the two-dozen other states challenging the constitutionality of federal health care reform before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, 27 Democratic Texas lawmakers have signed on to try to defend it.” [Texas Tribune]

Lone Utah Democrat defends the law: “A minority in her own minority party, Rep. Rebecca Chauvez-Houck was the lone Utah Democrat to sign a legal document in defense of President Barack Obama’s signature health overhaul.” [Salt Lake Tribune]

Health reform tax credits go unused in New York: “Local small businesses may be missing out on federal tax credits now available under the 2010 federal health reform act. A panel of experts on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the group included the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — told Rochester-area business executives and health professionals Thursday that only a sliver of the 285,000 small businesses deemed eligible in New York state for health tax credits have been receiving them.” [Democrat and Chronicle]

9,000 oppose health cuts in Maine: ” A mental health counselor hand-delivered to lawmakers on Wednesday a petition with the signatures of nearly 9,000 people who oppose Gov. Paul LePage’s planned MaineCare cuts.” “LePage’s proposal to overhaul MaineCare is designed to close an estimated $220 million shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services budget. He has called for tightening eligibility guidelines, eliminating services and repealing coverage for 65,000 recipients to bring MaineCare closer to national averages for public health benefits.” [Bangor Daily News]