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Morning CheckUp: October 12, 2011

GOP candidates lied about health law in Bloomberg debate: Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann claimed that the health law would increase the deficit, ration care, and bankrupt Medicare in a debate last night in New Hampshire. [Bloomberg]

Romney went after Perrycare: “I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in my state,” Romney said. “We have the lowest number of kids uninsured of any state in America, you have the highest.” “We have less than 1 percent of our kids who are uninsured. You have a million kids.” [Politico]

Dems ask super committee to leave Medicare alone: “The top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce panel wants the deficit-cutting supercommittee to leave Medicare and Medicaid untouched and instead save money by extending drug rebates, according to a draft letter obtained by The Hill. The draft letter from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is being circulated among Democrats to get their input and has yet to be formally sent.” [Healthwatch]

Health insurers chase high ratings: “Three Boston-area health insurers are in a race for a decisive competitive advantage. They’re not seeking the usual industry plaudits, exclusive deals with high-profile medical providers, or splashy marketing campaigns. They’re after the highest mark on Medicare’s quality exam, a one-to-five star rating system that was an afterthought until the 2010 health law tied it to big cash bonuses. “ [Kaiser Health News]

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Health reform in a comic book: Do you like comic books with CBO scores, two-headed alligators and health economist superheroes? Then has Jonathan Gruber got a graphic novel for you! [Sarah Kliff]

HHS boosts nursing: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has “announced $82 million in awards to help bolster the country’s nursing workforce. Administered by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the awards will provide financial support to nurses and nursing students in exchange for service at health care facilities with a shortage of nurses.” [HHS]

Abortion debate makes a comeback: “After months of focusing on economic rather than social issues, the House this week is poised to take up a measure that will bring the abortion-rights debate back to the floor for the first time since May.” [Washington Post]

Republicans will consider the so-called ‘Protect Life Act’: It “would allow federally-funded hospitals that oppose abortions to refuse to perform the procedure, even in cases where a woman would die without it.” [Huffington Post]

Electronic health records can help elderly patients: “Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that primary care doctors could improve preventive care for elderly patients by creating reminders in their electronic records system.” [Boston Globe]

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Arkansas still considering exchanges: “Arkansas insurance officials held a summit Tuesday to discuss how to set up an insurance exchange required under the federal health care overhaul, prompting complaints from Republican legislators who have objected to the state seeking funds for the program.” [Forbes]