First Edition: February 10, 2011
Today's headlines include news about how the legal skirmishes surrounding the health overhaul are heating up.
Kaiser Health News: Health Programs On Chopping Block As States Gird For Drop In Federal Aid
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: "Washington's quandary is shared by many states: Demand for health-related services is growing, voters don't want to raise taxes, payments to doctors, hospitals and clinics have already been reduced and states risk losing federal funds if they cut eligibility for the joint federal-state Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled" (Appleby, 2/9).
Kaiser Health News: Letter Text: House Democrats Call For Justice Thomas's Recusal On Health Law Constitutionality
KHN provides the text of a letter sent Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and 73 other House Democrats to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Wednesday, urging him to recuse himself from cases involving the health care overhaul (2/9).
Kaiser Health News: Letter Text: Republican Governors As For Faster Review Of Health Overhaul Lawsuits
KHN also has the text of a letter sent by GOP governors to President Obama asking him to foster faster review of the health care overhaul lawsuits so the Supreme Court can rule on their constitutionality "as soon as possible" (2/9).
The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Battle Intensifies As Parties Step Up Legal Attacks
Legal skirmishes over the health-care overhaul intensified Wednesday, as Republican officials urged the Supreme Court to intervene quickly and House Democrats called on Justice Clarence Thomas to sit the case out because of his wife's work for groups opposed to the law (Bravin, 2/9).
The Wall Street Journal Capital Journal: Health Care And The Supreme Court: It's All In The Timing
President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is headed for a showdown in the Supreme Court, and the timing still undetermined could be everything. If the high court doesn't rule on the law's constitutionality by the time voters go to the polls in 2012, the law will almost certainly be campaign fodder again, as it was in 2010. Republicans mostly want the Supreme Court to get and decide the case quickly. They like the high court's current composition and want those nine justices to weigh in on the issue before any change to the panel might occur. The Obama administration and most - but not all - Democrats want the case to move slowly on its way to the high court. They believe any change in the court's composition in the meantime won't hurt their chances, and might help them. Moreover, the longer the law remains in effect, the more parts that can be implemented (Brown, 2/9).
Politico: Dems: Thomas Should Recuse Himself
Seventy-four House Democrats are asking Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any health care reform cases, citing reports that his wife financially benefited from efforts to repeal the legislation (Haberkorn, 2/9).
NPR: Intellectual Backer Of Insurance Mandate Faults Alternatives
While some lawmakers and wonks are busy cooking up alternatives to the controversial federal mandate requiring people to have health insurance starting in 2014, one early backer of the approach insists it remains the best way to get more people covered at the lowest cost (Rovner, 2/9).
The Wall Street Journal: College Plans Required To Comply With Health-Care Law
The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that college health-insurance plans must comply with the central provisions of the health-care overhaul, ending any speculation that the nation's colleges and universities would be permanently exempted from the new law (Silver-Greenberg, 2/9).
Politico: GOP Targets Family Planning Program
Republicans are looking to wipe out funding for Title X, a 40-year-old family planning program. The cuts are part of the continuing resolution, a Republican spending proposal released Wednesday (Kliff, 2/9).
Los Angeles Times: Californians Approve Of Healthcare Reforms, Fear Effect Of State Cuts On Services, New Poll Finds
Californians are more likely to support President Obama's healthcare overhaul than the rest of the country and fear the impact of state budget cuts on health services, according to a poll released late Wednesday by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California (2/9).
The New York Times: Delay Of State Money For Merger May Force A Hospital In Brooklyn To Close
A struggling Brooklyn hospital is making plans to shut down in March after a decision by the Cuomo administration to delay grants to help finance a merger intended to rescue the institution, officials said on Wednesday (Confessore and Hartocollis, 2/9).
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