Healthcare News June 21, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Poll finds wide support for cheap birth-control access

    Feminist and abortion-rights groups touted favorable poll numbers on the birth-control issue Wednesday as the American Catholic hierarchy prepares for two weeks of activism and awareness-raising against the federal contraceptive coverage mandate. According to a poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood and the National Women’s Law Center, just under three in four voters support women’s access to affordable prescription birth control, including 55 percent who said they “strongly” agree with that access. Supporters included 54 percent of voters who identified themselves as “pro-life” and 66 percent of Catholics, the survey found.

    All supporters affirmed that “we should do everything we can to make sure that people who want to use prescription birth control have affordable access to it, and that cost is not an obstacle.” 

    A government report, meanwhile, linked the more effective use of birth control to declining pregnancy and abortion rates for American women in their early 20s — paralleling a similar trend recently discovered among teens. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the abortion rate for women ages 20 to 24 dropped by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2008, while the age group’s pregnancy rate fell nearly 18 percent. Stephanie Ventura, who authored the report, told Reuters that “abortion rates are down across the board.” She attributed the drop to a more deliberate use of one or more birth control methods.

  • Group: Uninsured Americans will die without healthcare law

    A prominent advocacy group that supports healthcare reform warned Wednesday that tens of thousands of Americans will die for lack of insurance coverage if the law is struck down.

    In a report, Families USA found that more than 130,000 Americans died between 2005 and 2010 because of their lack of health insurance.

    The group calculated that in 2010, the number of deaths due to a lack of coverage averaged three per hour and that the issue plagued every state. More than 3,000 people in California died in 2010 for lack of insurance, the report found. 

  • House cheers, approves FDA reform bill

    The House easily approved legislation on Wednesday that would reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration’s user-fee program for brand-name drugs and medical devices, and expand that program to cover biosimilars and generic drugs.

    After a brief debate in which both parties praised their rare and cordial bipartisan effort, members approved S. 3187, the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, in a voice vote.

  • Big ad buy targets Obama, health law in swing states

    A conservative women’s advocacy group has launched a multi-million dollar ad buy in several swing states targeting President Obama’s healthcare law.

    The move by Concerned Women for America (CWA) comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the law within two weeks.

    It indicates that, no matter the court’s decision, conservatives will continue using healthcare to hammer the Obama administration before November.

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