Morning CheckUp: December 13, 2011

Hospitals outraged over GOP’s doc fox bill: “Senate Democrats oppose paying for the package by charging wealthy seniors more for Medicare, while House Republicans say savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are fictitious. That leaves billions in cuts to Medicare provider payments on the table as lawmakers struggle to preserve payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and physician Medicare payments before year’s end.” [Julian Pecquet]

Insurance brokers hurt by health reform: “A new federal health insurance rule in President Barack Obama’s health care law was supposed to crack down on wasteful administrative expenses, but insurance agents and brokers say they’re about to become unintended casualties. And so far, they haven’t been able to get the Obama administration or Congress to do much about it.” [Politico]

Rebate rules finalized: “If an insurance company is not spending $4 of every $5 of a consumer’s premium on medical care, a health plan subscriber will not only get a rebate beginning next year, but it will be tax free, according to final rules out on so-called medical-loss ratios that are part of the health care legislation.” [NYT]

Republicans target exchange subsidies: “House Republicans hope to dip into a big but complicated pot of money in the health reform law to pay for payroll tax relief and Medicare payments to physicians.” [Politico]

The other Plan B: “The FDA denied a petition by a liberal advocacy group that sought to lift all prescription requirements for an older version of the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill on the eve of a federal court hearing on the issue.” [WSJ]

53,000 Wisconsinites could lose health care coverage: “Tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents could be forced off a state health program in July, following a statement by federal officials Friday that they likely won’t sign off in time on proposed health care cuts by Gov. Scott Walker.” [Journal Sentinel]