Morning CheckUp: October 3, 2011

SCOTUS kicks off term with Medicaid case: “The Supreme Court is dedicating the first case of its fall term Monday morning to hearing arguments over whether private parties have a right to sue states in order to block cuts in Medicaid rates.” [Modern Healthcare]

Virginia seeks SCOTUS review: “The Commonwealth has joined the fun, filing a petition for a writ of certiorari that asks the Supreme Court to review the Fourth Circuit decision holding that Virginia lacks Article III standing to challenge the ACA’s minimum essential coverage provision.” [ACA Litigation Blog]

Patients in high deductible plans have some control over health savings: A new study finds that “patients with health coverage that includes a high deductible and either a health savings account or a health reimbursement arrangement reduced their costs” by lowering use of name-brand medications, using less in-patient care and specialists.” [Medical News Today]

Smaller businesses see smaller premium increases: It sounds counterintuitive — since larger companies can often secure better deals than smaller ones — but according to Kaiser, smaller companies are investing more in high-deductible health plans and offer less generous coverage than plans at big companies. [NYT]


Drug shortages still a major problem: Drug shortages of such crucial medications as cancer chemotherapy agents, anesthetics, antibiotics, electrolytes needed for nutrient solutions mean a growing number of Americans aren’t getting the medications they need and drug companies and doctors are rationing the available medications in some cases. [NPR]

New Hampshire asks Obama to end Planned Parenthood funding: “A majority of the New Hampshire Executive Council is demanding that the Obama administration cancel a $1.1 million grant to Planned Parenthood that was awarded over the state’s objections. The council voted 3–2 in June to terminate a $1.8 million annual grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England over concerns about taxpayer funding for abortion. Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would directly contract with the family-planning clinics.” [The Hill]