Morning CheckUp: January 5, 2012

Santorum becomes millionaire after reelection loss: “Since his 2006 re-election defeat, the former Pennsylvania lawmaker has gone from being one of the poorer members of the U.S. Senate to earning $1.3 million between January 2010 and August 2011,” and has made a lot of his money from health care interests. [Bloomberg]

Drug research suppressed: “Drug research, even from clinical trials sponsored by the federal government, routinely is suppressed, harming patients and increasing health care costs, according to new data highlighting an ethical controversy that continues to plague the field of medicine.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Sebelius defends essential health benefits: “Insurance needs and health systems vary state to state, and experience tells us that the best way forward is not to mandate a one-size-fits-all answer,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius writes in the USA Today. “Instead, our approach gives states the flexibility to take their own paths, while ensuring they all end up in the best place possible.” [USA Today]

Florida hospital commission inconclusive: “A panel appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, who once headed the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, told him on Tuesday that it could not determine whether Florida’s public hospitals provide better or worse care than private ones.” [AP]


Government denies more MLR waivers: “Health insurers in Kansas and Oklahoma can’t take more than 20 percent of the revenue they collect in premiums for overhead and profit, after the U.S. today denied requests from the states for more generous limits. The government now has rejected requests by eight states for waivers from a provision of the 2010 health-care overhaul that requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium revenue on care, called a medical loss ratio.” [Bloomberg]

Preventive care critical for people with diabetes: Regular preventive care for diabetes patients “can mean the difference between a normal life and serious health problems like stroke, heart attack and amputation. But it’s not happening,” a new study finds. [NPR]