Morning CheckUp: March 19, 2012

GOP prepares new Medicare reform plan: “Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), is fashioning a sequel to last year’s “Path to Prosperity” manifesto that ignited a firestorm over Medicare.” Ryan is scheduled to release the new Path on Tuesday. [AP]

AARP launches Medicare battle: “Against a backdrop of proposals to overhaul the popular social insurance program and a presidential campaign likely to address entitlement spending, AARP is launching “probably the biggest outreach effort we’ve ever done on any issue” to activate its 37 million members, said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president.” [Kaiser Health News]

Democratic senators may support IPAB repeal: “Several Senate Democrats up for reelection tell The Hill they haven’t ruled out bucking President Obama by voting to repeal the health law’s cost-control board.” [The Hill]

Women are still paying more for health insurance: “The new health care law will prohibit such “gender rating,” starting in 2014. But gaps persist in most states, with no evidence that insurers have taken steps to reduce them. For a popular Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in Chicago, a 30-year-old woman pays $375 a month, which is 31 percent more than what a man of the same age pays for the same coverage, according to, a leading online source of health insurance.” [NYT]

Business groups calls for health cost targets in Massachusetts: The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the state’s largest employer group, Associated Industries of Massachusetts called for Massachusetts to “hold all health care spending – including both government spending and private spending — to a rate of two percentage points below the state’s gross state product, or GSP.” [Kaiser Health News]

Texas sues over health funding: “Texas’ attorney general’s office sued HHS in federal civil court in response to the department’s decision to terminate federal funding for the state’s Women’s Health Program. HHS decided to phase out federal funding of the program because of a recently passed Texas law that effectively prevents women in the program from going to Planned Parenthood for healthcare.” [Modern Healthcare]