Morning CheckUp: March 21, 2012

IPAB repeal hits House floor: “The House begins debate on repealing the healthcare reform law’s cost-cutting panel on Wednesday after the bill cleared the House Rules Committee late Tuesday afternoon. A floor vote could happen Wednesday or Thursday. The Rules Committee approved six amendments to the bill, which ties repeal of the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to medical malpractice caps.” [The Hill]

The consequences of repealing the mandate: “On Monday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about whether the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, the justices will also contemplate a policy issue: Is it possible to reform the private insurance market, making affordable coverage available to all, without an individual mandate?” [Kaiser Health News]

Pennsylvania to pass anti-health reform amendment: “Pennsylvania legislators are poised to become the latest to offer voters a chance to say yes or no to a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, under challenges that have spread nationwide. A measure pending in the state Senate would let citizens ban laws forcing people to obtain health insurance, except under court order.” [Bloomberg]

Utah governor signs 72-hour abortion waiting period: “Utah Governor Gary Herbert has just signed the state’s proposed 72-hour mandatory waiting period for an abortion, making Utah the second state to attempt to force a woman to wait three days from her first visit to a clinic in order to terminate a pregnancy.” [RHRealityCheck]


High-risk pools program still struggling to attract enrollees: “The PCIP program, created under the 2010 health law, was allocated $5 billion to cover people nationwide until 2014. But premiums are expensive, and only about 49,000 people have signed up so far. At least nine states have asked for and received additional funding to cover their costs.” [Kaiser Health News]

Washington Democrats will make another push to advance abortion insurance bill: “Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday that they will try to pass a bill during the current special session requiring insurers who cover maternity care to also pay for abortions. The measure passed out of the House during the legislative session that ended March 8 but failed in the Senate after a dramatic attempt to bring it to the floor during a Republican budget coup failed by three votes.” [AP]