Healthcare News June 6, 2012

  • House GOP concedes ‘mess’ will result from partial healthcare repeal

    Republicans are grappling with what to do if the Supreme Court decides to repeal parts of the law. 

  • Planned Parenthood: Romney would slash women’s health funds

    Planned Parenthood attacked Mitt Romney on women’s health issues as he campaigned in Texas.

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP prepares for Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling

    House Republicans acknowledged Tuesday that they could have a “mess” on their hands in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark healthcare decision, which is expected by the end of the month.

    Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who are both doctors, reviewed the lay of the land Tuesday with reporters. Their remarks confirmed that Republicans might not offer a comprehensive replacement plan if the court strikes the Affordable Care Act. Price also reiterated that Republicans’ plan probably won’t include one of the most popular pieces of President Obama’s law — banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

    Republicans have said before that they’re likely to let those denials return.

    “Preexisting illnesses and injuries for children — there isn’t anything that we would do that would preclude a health coverage entity, an insurance company, from excluding those,” Price said Tuesday.

    Cost of repeal: The latest healthcare repeal bill would decrease the deficit, but its main policy objectives would both increase the deficit if passed on their own, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

    The House is voting this week on a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices and eliminate its restrictions on the use of health savings accounts (HSAs). Repealing the device tax would mean a drop in federal revenues of roughly $30 billion over 10 years, CBO said, and rolling back the limits on HSAs would cost about $8 billion. But those effects are offset with a separate bill that changes the way people have to repay excessive subsidies under the health law. Congress has tapped the subsidies before as an easy offset. The payments don’t start until 2014.

    The overall repeal bill, which pulls together all of those policies, would cut the deficit by $6.7 billion over the next decade, CBO said. The analysis can be found here.

    #winning: CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin — who proclaimed the Supreme Court’s arguments over the administration’s healthcare law a “train wreck” for the White House — isn’t buying all the talk about President Obama benefiting politically if the law is struck down.

    “This is nonsense,” he wrote in The New Yorker. “In the first place, in politics and the rest of life, it’s always better to win than lose. Winners win, and losers lose. Moreover, the invalidation of such a central achievement of his Administration would taint Obama’s Presidency forever.”

  • Michelle Obama isn’t ‘endorsing or condemning’ NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban

    First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday said she “applauds” local leaders for confronting the growing risk of obesity, but stopped short of endorsing a controversial proposed ban of sugary drinks sold in quantities higher than 16 ounces in restaurants and public venues within New York City.

    Obama “applauds anyone who’s stepping up to think about what changes work in their communities,” The Associated Press reported, following an interview with the first lady.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed a controversial ban of sugary drinks
    sold in quantities higher than 16 ounces in restaurants and public venues
    within the city, and Obama might seem a natural ally due to her work on anti-obesity causes. But Kristina Schake, the first lady’s communications director, said
    that Obama does not advocate Bloomberg’s specific solution.

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