Morning CheckUp: July 22, 2010

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?

Debt ceiling deal relying more on program cuts than tax increases: “An early version of the plan would lock in cuts in spending and social programs, as Republicans want, but appeared to defer decisions on increasing tax revenues until 2012. Under the proposal, Congress would take up comprehensive tax reform next year.” White House aides scrambled to tamp down a simmering Democratic revolt, insisting that Obama had not agreed to forgo an increase in revenues. [LA Times]

And may endanger the individual mandate: “The White House wants a trigger that would raise taxes on the wealthy; Mr. Boehner wants the potential penalty for inaction [on reforming the tax code] to include repeal of the Obama health care law’s mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance after 2014.” [NY Times]

McConnell-Reid plan also a no-go: “Sources on the Hill Thursday morning expressed a newfound — at times defeatist — sense of worry about the political prospects of the proposal, which would cut roughly $1.5 trillion over ten years while granting authority to the president to suggest (but not sign off on) future spending cuts as a condition of raising the debt ceiling now. House Republicans have told leadership that they are sour on the idea, with more than 90 members pledging to oppose it.” [Sam Stein]


Medicare/Medicaid in shutdown: Does Medicare keep making payments? If Social Security checks continue to go out, will Medicare premiums be withheld? Will states get their Medicaid dollars? Nobody knows. [Lester Feder]

Senate panel passes pay-for-delay reforms: “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday cleared a bill that would severely curtail pharmaceutical industry deals to delay the entry of low-cost generic drugs on the market. The bipartisan bill seeks to put an end to the practice of brand-name drugmakers settling patent challenges from generic manufacturers by paying them to delay their products.” [Julian Pecquet]

New Hampshire may lose federal funds: After revoking a Planned Parenthood contact, New Hampshire must now find a way to provide reproductive health services to low income women statewide. Federal authorities sent the department a strongly worded letter that directs the state to remedy that situation by August 15th. [NHPR]

House Foreign Affairs’ second abortion amendment: Aside from reinstating the global gag rule, the Committee also adopted an amendment stating, “It shall be the policy of the United States to declare sex-selection abortion a human rights violation,” and mandating that the State Department track and report on sex-selection abortion in every country. [RH Reality Check]

North Dakota judge stops an abortion law: “A Fargo judge on Thursday put the brakes on a new state law that some believe could stop North Dakota’s only abortion clinic from using medicines to induce abortions.” [NECN]


Going to the hospital more dangerous than flying: “Millions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care and going into hospital is far riskier than flying, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.” [Reuters]

Fearing electronic health records: A new poll finds that 83 percent of Americans “have concerns about digital medical records.” Two-thirds worried that “my” personal health information could be hacked, others said that “digital medical record files could be lost, damaged or corrupted (noted by 54 percent) and that personal health information could be misused (52 percent).” [Health Populi]

Kids don’t think smoking is dangerous: “The perception by teenagers and young adults that heavy cigarette smoking is a high-risk activity has declined in many states, according to a study on substance abuse and mental health released on Thursday. The perceived risks of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day dropped between 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 in 14 states among youths aged 12 to 17, and in 31 states among those aged 18 to 25.” [Reuters]