"Morning CheckUp: February 16, 2012"
‘Doc fix’ would cut prevention fund: “The proposal would cut Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers for “bad debt,” Medicare payments to clinical laboratories and Medicaid “disproportionate share” payments to hospitals that serve many poor patients, and divert $5 billion from the health law’s $15 billion prevention fund.” [Kaiser Health News]
Sebelius says health reform will bolster employer coverage: “In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday on the administration’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal, Sebelius said she expects the coming insurance marketplaces to bolster employer-sponsored coverage by allowing those companies to buy coverage there. The healthcare law’s exchanges “will increase incentives for small employers to stay in the marketplace” for insurance, she said. [Modern Healthcare]
Catholic bishops to launch ad campaign against contraception rule: “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to work with other religious groups, including evangelical Christians, on an election-year public relations campaign that may include TV and radio ads, social media marketing and a push for pastors and priests to raise the subject from the pulpit.” [Reuters]
Administration yet to reveal self-insure details: “The Obama administration thought it had found a way to ease mounting objections to a requirement in the new health care act that all employers — including religiously affiliated hospitals and universities — offer coverage for birth control to women free of charge….But the administration announced the compromise plan before it had figured out how to address one conspicuous point: Like most large employers, many religiously affiliated organizations choose to insure themselves rather than hire an outside company to assume the risk.” [NYT]
Oklahoma advances personhood measure: “Oklahoma lawmakers edged closer toward trying to outlaw abortion on Wednesday by approving “personhood” legislation that gives individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception.” [Reuters]
New Hampshire house approves health compact: “The New Hampshire House voted yesterday to make state law trump all federal laws regarding health care, potentially allowing the state to avoid the impact of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul.” [Concord Monitor]