The Morning CheckUp: June 28, 2011

Welcome to The Morning CheckUp, ThinkProgress Health’s 7:00 AM round-up of the latest in health policy and politics. Here is what we’re reading, what are you?

The GOP’s get out of jail free card on the Ryan plan: If Democrats and Republicans come to a deal which includes benefit cuts to Medicare, or anything that can be even marginally spun that way, Republicans can inoculate themselves from criticism that they voted to end Medicare as we know it. [David Dayen]

The rising costs of hospice care: “Medicare’s bill for hospice care rose to more than $12 billion in 2009 from $2.9 billion in 2000. Although the benefit is intended for patients who have no more than six months to live, 19 percent now receive hospice services for longer, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC. [NYT]

Republicans used to love Planned Parenthood: “Reagan, by the way, funded Planned Parenthood, as did Bush/Cheney. Barry Goldwater was a major Planned Parenthood supporter, and George H.W. Bush also championed its work.” [Steve Benen]


Health groups campaign to avert Medicare/Medicaid cuts: “A broad array of hospital groups on Monday launched a multiweek, national ad campaign against healthcare cuts made up of radio, television and print spots.” [Healthwatch]

Massachusetts lawmakers are getting serious about cost control: “Senate and House leaders who spoke on the first day of a public hearing sponsored by Governor Deval Patrick’s administration provided new details about the proposal they are writing.” A key component “would be to address inequities in what insurers pay hospitals and doctors groups.” [Boston Globe]

Oregon passes health-saving measure: “House Bill 3650 would attempt to transform health care in Oregon by creating coordinated teams of doctors, nurses, dentists and other providers focused on prevention and primary care. It passed 59–1 in the House with little debate and heads next to the Senate. “ Under the measure, the state would offer lump-sum contracts to teams that would be called coordinated care organizations with freedom in how they spend the money. [Oregonian]

Arkansas insurance commissioner pushes for exchanges: Jay Bradford said he hopes to win legislative approval next year to begin implementing a key part of the federal health care overhaul and warned lawmakers “that by not authorizing the state to set up its exchange, the power for setting them up will instead be ceded to the federal government.” [Forbes]

Planned Parenthood sues to prevent defunding in Kansas: The group is “contesting a provision of the recently approved state budget that requires federal family planning money to go to hospitals and public health departments, rather than to Planned Parenthood and similar groups. It says the provision would endanger the group’s ability to provide services in the state. “ [NYT]


Cigarette-like warning labels on abortions: A coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups are “petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put graphic warning labels on abortion.” [American Independent]