Healthcare News August 29, 2012

  • GOP platform embraces Ryan plans for Medicare, Medicaid

    The Republican Party’s official platform calls for deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, in keeping with controversial proposals from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

    The party platform, adopted Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., further ties the party to Ryan’s sweeping healthcare reforms, particularly his plans for Medicare.

    The platform says Medicare should be converted into a partially privatized system in which seniors would choose between the existing Medicare program or a subsidy to help buy private insurance. Ryan proposed a similar framework in his budget proposal this year after crafting a version last year that would not have preserved the existing program as an option.

  • Planned Parenthood slams GOP convention speakers as ‘anti-women’s health’

    Planned Parenthood’s political arm had strong words ahead of the Republican National Convention’s first speeches Tuesday.

    The group painted the speakers, which include former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, as a “‘who’s who’ of anti-women’s health politicians.”

    “The Republican platform and the speaker lineup for the Republican National Convention demonstrate a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), in a statement.

  • Poll: Most say abortion opponents should back birth control

    Most adults believe policymakers who oppose abortion should “strongly” support birth control, according to a new poll.

    The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 75 percent of adults hold this view while 21 percent disagree.

    The finding comes as debates over abortion and contraception see renewed vigor in U.S. politics. Teen pregnancy and sex education — both hot-button issues in the past — have been much less prominent.

    In its report, the National Campaign called recent debates about birth control “considerably less than enlightening.” 

  • Arlen Specter: ‘I’m battling cancer’ and ‘I intend to win’

    Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) has been hospitalized and is currently fighting cancer, the former senator said Tuesday.

    “I am battling cancer, and it’s another battle I intend to win,” Specter said in a statement, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. “I am grateful for the well wishes I have received and I am looking forward to getting back to work, to the comedy stage, the squash court and the ballpark.”

    Friends close to Specter had previously confirmed that Specter had been hospitalized with a “serious illness.”

    The former senator who served as both a Republican and Democrat underwent chemotherapy in 2005 to fight Hodgkin’s disease. The Daily News notes that in 2008 Specter was again diagnosed with cancer.

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