First Edition: April 26, 2011
Today's headlines include reports about the political ads and positions being inspired by the Ryan budget plan.
Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Some Church Groups Form Sharing Ministries To Cover Members' Medical Costs
In her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "Health-care sharing ministries aren't for everyone. In general, members must be practicing Christians - attested to by their pastor in some cases - and abstain from tobacco and illegal drug use. They must agree not to have sex outside marriage - and typically cannot seek help for any medical expenses that arise from such sexual activity" (Andrews, 4/25).
Kaiser Health News: Medicare Is Now Offering Some Free Tests And Services
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Washington Post, Susan Jaffe writes: "Despite tough economic times, there are some things the government can't give away. Starting this year, seniors enrolled in Medicare no longer have to pay for more than a dozen tests and other services to help prevent or control cancer and other costly and debilitating diseases. These benefits, which also include an annual wellness exam, are part of the new federal health-care law" (Jaffe, 4/25).
The Washington Post: Supreme Court Turns Down Va.'s Request To Expedite Review Of Health-Care Law
Monday's action on the Virginia request did provide one clue about the court's future deliberations on the health-care law: It appears that Justice Elena Kagan participated in the decision. Conservative critics of the law have suggested that Kagan might have to sit out review of the law because of her role as President Obama's first solicitor general (Barnes, 4/25).
The New York Times: Justices Reject Request For Fast Health Law Ruling
The Supreme Court on Monday turned back an unusual request from Virginia to put the state's challenge to the new federal health care law on a fast track. The court's one-line order offered no reasoning, and there were no noted dissenting votes (Liptak, 4/25).
Los Angeles Times: Democrats Continue Paul Ryan Budget Bash
Sensing a political opportunity, it appears Democratic operatives are going to keep pounding the Medicare drum as long as the beat keeps resonating (Oliphant, 4/25).
Politico: Don Berwick: Paul Ryan's Plan Is Real Rationing
The man Republicans have derided as the "rationer-in-chief" charges that Republicans' own budget proposals would end up rationing care to millions of Americans on Medicare and Medicaid (Haberkorn, 4/25).
The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: The Next Round Of Medicare Ads
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the author of a House-passed budget blueprint that would transform Medicare for Americans under the age of 55, is the target of another round of television ads that accuse him of ending guaranteed health-care benefits for seniors. This latest 30-second spot, which is running in Mr. Ryan's southeastern Wisconsin district, is sponsored by Americans United for Change, a Washington-based advocacy group with close ties to organized labor (O'Connor, 4/25).
The Washington Post: Poll Watchers: How Many Americans Support Medicare Cuts?
Two polls last week reported very different public reactions to cutting spending on Medicare. In one released Friday by CBS News and The New York Times, less than half - 45 percent - said they were unwilling to cut Medicare to reduce the deficit. But a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier in the week showed 78 percent opposed to "cutting spending on Medicare" for a similar purpose. What gives? (Craighill, 4/25).
DesMoines Register/Politico: Rick Santorum Says 'Obamacare' Will Deny Coverage To Disabled
Santorum said the new health care law, championed by President Barack Obama, will mean disabled people are denied care more often, and repealing it is the best way to address mounting national debt (Jacobs, 4/25).
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