Morning CheckUp: March 7, 2012

House GOP back off contraception wars: “House Republican leaders are taking their foot off the gas, slowing down plans to pass legislation taking aim at the Obama administration’s contraception coverage requirement, according to sources close to leadership.” [Politico]

Utah senate passes bill to opt out of health reform: “State Senate Republicans sent a message to Washington on Monday that they hate federal health care reform and want out of it. But Democrats — plus one GOP senator — worried that the way they are doing it endangers Medicare and Medicaid benefits for Utahns.” [Salt Lake Tribune]

Oklahoma anti-abortion activist breaks into double digits: “Veteran anti-abortion activist Randall Terry won more than 18,400 votes, or 18 percent, in Oklahoma’s Democratic presidential primary Tuesday — a not insignificant showing in a year when incumbent President Barack Obama has nationally faced no serious challenge from within his party.” [ABC News]

How birth control saves taxpayers money: “While the controversy continues to swirl around radio talkmeister Rush Limbaugh and his admittedly inappropriate comments about Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke, an analysis from the left-leaning Brookings Institution adds an economic twist to the debate over coverage of contraception. Love them or hate them, contraceptives do save taxpayers money, Brookings concludes.” [NPR]


Washington state abortion bill fails to reach vote: “In yet another hurdle for a bill that would require insurers to provide abortion coverage, advocates were not able to get a floor vote in the Washington state Senate for the Reproductive Parity Act. But, according to the bill’s proponents, it isn’t entirely off the table yet.” [Kaiser Health News]

Massachusetts leader introduces plan to lower health costs: “House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Tuesday offered business leaders a preview of sweeping legislation aimed at reining in health care costs. WCIn a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, DeLeo said the goal of the House bill — which has not yet been introduced — would be to bring the annual growth in health care expenses more in line with Massachusetts’ overall economic growth rate of 3.7 percent.” [WCVB]