Morning CheckUp: November 2, 2011

Bowles supportive of raising Medicare age: “We did not have that in our plan,” Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, said in the hearing’s question-and-answer period. “As I have thought about it since that time, under the Affordable (Care) Act, we provide subsidies for people who have really chronic illnesses and people who have limited income so they can afford healthcare insurance in the private sector,” he said, adding that means people who are 65, 66 and 67 should be able to get insurance. “If I think about it, I could support raising the eligibility age for Medicare,” because other coverage is available. [Modern Healthcare]

Christie won’t say if he supports ‘personhood’ amendments: “Gov. Chris Christie won’t say whether he supports an initiative on Mississippi’s Nov. 8 ballot that seeks to declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.” [AP]

Supreme Court decision on ACA could rock election: “If the Supreme Court next year gets rid of the health reform law’s requirement to buy insurance, Republicans could gain momentum to get rid of the rest of the law — and President Barack Obama would suffer a huge embarrassment at the height of an election year. But Democrats and supporters of the law also see a silver lining: If the least popular part of the law goes away, they think what’s left could become stronger and more popular with the public.” [Jennifer Haberkorn]

Governors pursue implementation through executive order: “[G]overnors in five states — Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Rhode Island and now Minnesota — have used executive orders to move forward on the law. And when you count states that have pursued grant money through their executive branch, that number rises to 15, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” [Sarah Kliff]

Republican lashes out at Obama over drug order: Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) condemned the administration “for unveiling an executive order on drug shortages without warning his panel, which held a hearing on the issue in September.” “I am disappointed that the administration has spent more time strategizing a press rollout to politicize this deadly issue than working with Congress to resolve the problem,” he said. [Healthwatch]

Moderate drinking slightly increases breast cancer risk: A new study finds that “consuming the equivalent of three to six drinks a week was associated with a 15% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women in the study who didn’t drink at all.” [WSJ]