Morning CheckUp: July 13, 2011

Welcome to Morning CheckUp, ThinkProgress Health’s 7:00 AM round-up of the latest in health policy and politics. Here is what we’re reading, what are you?

$353B in reductions had been considered before Biden talks broke down: “The largest chunk — $100 billion — would come from altering the federal Medicaid matching rate, although GOP leaders also propose gleaning up to $53 billion by reforming Medigap, up to $26 billion by phasing out hospital bad debt payments and $50 billion from ‘post-acute payments’ and cost-sharing proposals for skilled nursing facilities and home health services.” [Inside Health Policy]

Sebelius spars with Ryan at House Budget Committee: She stressed that Congress “can make the healthcare reform law’s controversial Medicare cost-cutting panel obsolete by passing laws that rein in spending themselves” without relying on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). [MedPage Today]

Health advocates united against Medicare cuts in debt ceiling: “Budget negotiators have not found a way to avert a government default on federal debt obligations, but with their ideas to cut Medicare and Medicaid they have managed to provoke opposition from almost every major group that represents beneficiaries and health care providers.” [NYT]


Cuts are just a cost shift: “The $350 billion or so in potential cuts to Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years that were identified in budget negotiations would shift the cost of medicine to public hospitals, the states and individuals, but wouldn’t do much to tackle rising health-care costs themselves.” [WSJ]

Reid won’t touch health without a ‘grand bargain’: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he would consider cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security if they were part of a “grand bargain’ that includes tax increases.” [AP]

Republican Governor breaks with GOP: “Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is asking House Republicans to reject cuts to home healthcare that debt-ceiling negotiators say could save Medicare billions of dollars.” [Julian Pecquet]

Senators ask for minimal minimum benefits: “Two Republican Senate leaders asked the Institute of Medicine this week to include estimated cost increases in insurance premiums (PDF) within the calculations it is required to produce for coming standardized insurance packages.” [Modern Healthcare]

Employers seek to weaken free-rider provision: “In one of more than 200 submissions made recently to the IRS, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Gap Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., Hilton Worldwide Inc. and others have pushed for a lengthy grace period that could stave off penalties for a year or more after certain workers are hired. The result could undermine some of the law’s intent to insure those who can’t afford coverage.Large employers also have met with White House officials to press their case.” [WSJ]


Ohio’s post viability abortion bill headed to Governor: “A bill banning abortions once a fetus can survive outside the womb could clear its last legislative hurdle and head to Gov. John Kasich. The proposal is set for committee and floor votes in the Ohio Senate on Wednesday. It passed the Ohio House in June.” [AP]

Vandals attack NC abortion clinic: Vandals attacked the Planned Parenthood building in Raleigh, NC with the words You Shall Not Murder, “just under a week after Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to invalidate part of the new North Carolina state budget that cuts it off from federal or state funds for family planning.” [ABC 11]

Birth certificates for stillborn babies: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has signed a bill “allowing parents of stillborn infants to receive birth certificates for the first time.” Parents can now apply for a “certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.” [Philly Inquirer]

Kaiser execs enjoy benefits as workers take a hit: “Despite strong profits and robust executive compensation at Kaiser Permanente, workers for the Calfornia-based health care giant say they’re facing down cuts to their health and retirement benefits in pending contract negotiations.” [Huffington Post]

Liberal group to challenge Ohio’s anti-health reform ballot initiative: Protect Your Care will be “reviewing the petitions to make sure they’re up to legal snuff — and challenging them when in question. The group will be part of a coalition that includes health care advocates, labor, Democratic leaders and Progress Ohio, a state-based clearinghouse for political and policy action.” [Plain Dealer]

Men in sedentary jobs get more exercise than the unemployed: a new study finds that men employed in sedentary jobs “get more daily physical activity than men unemployed for reasons other than poor health.” The same does not hold for women, however. [WSJ]