KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Roundup: Maryland Long Term Care Costs Examined

CNN: Judge Rejects Restraining Order Against Indiana Abortion Law
A controversial new Indiana law limiting access to abortion services remains in effect after a federal judge Wednesday denied a request for a restraining order from Planned Parenthood. The brief ruling from Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in Indianapolis means the law signed hours earlier by Gov. Mitch Daniels, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, can continue to be enforced. The bill cuts off all government Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood and other private abortion providers in the state. … Pratt, who was named to the bench last year by President Obama and is the state's first African-American jurist, indicated she will need more time to consider whether the law should ultimately be allowed to stand. She said the process could take weeks (Mears, 5/11). 

The Baltimore Sun: Long Term Care Expensive In Maryland
If you have an elderly or disabled person that needs long term care, you might not be happy about the results of a new survey. The cost of assisted living facilities in the state is higher than the natural average and has risen in cost in recent years, according to a survey done by Genworth. The median annual cost of a long term care assisted living facility was $39,135 nationally, an increase of 6 percent over the past six years. The cost is $39,600 in Maryland, an increase of 6.2 percent (Walker, 5/11). 

MinnPost: Surprise Amendment Stuns Senate During Debate Over Health Care For The Poor
Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, introduced one of the GOP's plans for cutting Human Services costs by taking about 15,000 single adults out of MinnesotaCare and giving them vouchers so they can buy their own health insurance. Hann sang the praises of the bill: It will save the state money. It will give the poor more choices. It will improve the health care of the poor. ... Then, Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, ... offered a simple amendment to this GOP plan ... [to] require legislators to test the plan for two years, before the poor were forced into it (Grow, 5/11).

The Texas Tribune: House Gives Early OK to Dental Bill
House lawmakers gave an early OK tonight to a measure that would stop health insurance plans from requiring dentists to agree to discounted fees for services not covered by the policy. The bill has already passed the Senate. Right now, insurance companies can, as part of their contracts, get dentists to agree to cap rates for certain non-covered services, like tooth whitening or cosmetic procedures (Ramshaw, 5/11).

Kansas Health Institute News: Health Exchange Board Urges Legislature to Pass HIE Bill
Members of the board charged with regulating privacy and security in the exchange of electronic health information today sent letters to legislative leaders urging passage of a bill they said is urgent and essential to ease liability fears among Kansas doctors so they will join newly forming health information exchanges (Cauthon, 5/11).

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