Morning CheckUp: February 13, 2012

Obama budget to cut $360 billion from health care: “President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget proposal will cut more than $360 billion from Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare programs over the next 10 years, according to a brief summary of the plan (PDF) the president will submit to Congress on Monday.” [Modern Healthcare]

Republicans continue to battle administration on contraception: “The Republican battle against the President Obama’s new birth-control mandate will continue until the policy is reversed, the top GOP senator warned Sunday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama’s rule requiring employer-based healthcare plans — even those sponsored by faith-based groups — to cover contraception infringes on the religious freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.” [The Hill]

Administration sticking with the rule: “I have to say that the solution that we came up with puts no religious institution in a position where it either has to pay for or facilitate the provision of benefits they find objectionable,” Mr. Lew said on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley. Mr. Lew said the president put out a solid plan, and when asked whether there is more room for compromising said, “No. This is our plan.” [WSJ]

Catholic bishops still oppose it: “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the administration’s plan still includes a “nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients.” … they made it clear that a “lack of clear protection for key stakeholders — for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals — is unacceptable and must be corrected.” [Politico]


Michigan presses for anti-abortion legislation: “Rallied by the approval last fall of a state law banning so-called “partial birth” abortion, Michigan abortion opponents are pushing for more in 2012 — from a “Choose Life” fundraising license plate to a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.” [AP]

DOJ says states are overacting to Medicaid expansion: “The Department of Justice told the Supreme Court Friday that the 26 states alleging the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional are exaggerating the burden they will feel from the expansion, and noted that the federal government will pay the large majority of the expansion’s incremental costs.” [Inside Health Policy]