Morning CheckUp: March 12, 2012

White House affirms it will stop funding Texas Medicaid program: “The Obama administration confirmed Friday that it will stop funding a Medicaid family-planning and preventive care program for 130,000 low-income Texas women after the state barred Planned Parenthood and other ‘affiliates of abortion providers’ from participating. The Health and Human Services Department will ‘let Texas know that that waiver will not be extended,’ HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.” [The Hill]

Health care reform hearing to be Roberts’ signature case: “When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. takes his usual center seat on the Supreme Court bench on March 26, he will begin presiding over an extraordinary three days of arguments that will determine the fate of President Obama’s sweeping health care law. […] It will also shape, if not define, the chief justice’s legacy.” [New York Times]

Advocates call for a fix to ACA’s ‘family glitch’: “More than 100 national and state organizations, including medical groups, are urging the president and lawmakers to fix a glitch in the healthcare reform law that could prevent families from gaining affordable healthcare coverage. Several groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Children’s Hospital Association, pointed out that when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed, it contained a ‘family glitch’ that fails to take into account the cost of providing health insurance for an entire family versus a single employee.” [MedPage Today]

Specter claims Obama abandoned him after ACA’s passage: Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) writes in a new book that President Obama ditched him in the 2010 election after he helped Obama win the biggest legislative victory of his term by passing healthcare reform. Specter also claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not uphold his promise to grant him seniority accrued over 28 years of service in the Senate as a Republican.” [The Hill]


Defense Department plans new health care agency: Defense officials have asked Congress to approve a new governance structure for the military health care system to help curb runaway medical costs. The centerpiece of the plan is to elevate the TRICARE Management Activity to a more powerful Defense Health Agency (DHA) with new authorities to use the military’s direct care system more efficiently and to manage care purchased through TRICARE support contractors more carefully. [Daily Press]

Women disenchanted with GOP candidates: “In Iowa, one of the crucial battlegrounds in the coming presidential election, and in other states, dozens of interviews in recent weeks have found that moderate Republican and independent women — one of the most important electoral swing groups — are disenchanted by the Republican focus on social issues like contraception and abortion in an election that, until recently, had been mostly dominated by the economy.” [New York Times]