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Today’s Headlines – August 24, 2012

Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports comparing presidential candidates’ Medicare plans and health reform views.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney-Ryan Medicare Overhaul Plan Could Give Rise to A New Family Dynamic: Health Care Envy
As the issue rises in importance in the presidential campaign, it’s leading to inevitable comparisons for couples and siblings who are just a few years apart — and sometimes perhaps a touch of envy. The proposal came from Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. But Romney has largely embraced it, throwing a brighter spotlight on the question of whether and how to revamp the retiree health care program (8/23).

The Washington Post: Ryan Vs. Obama: Who Protects Medicare More?
Which protects Medicare better, the Ryan budget or the Affordable Care Act? That’s shaping up to be the big policy question of the presidential election. Medicare’s trustees say that the cuts to the program included in the ACA will maintain the solvency of the Medicare hospital insurance trust fund for another eight years. Critics, such as Romney campaign adviser Avik Roy, argue that the ACA cuts don’t help the program’s solvency because they go to fund insurance coverage for low- and middle-income people. In the Ryan budget, Roy argues, the same cuts are preserved but used to shore up the trust fund (Matthews, 8/23).

For more headlines …

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney: Massachusetts Health Care Plan Better Than Obama’s Insurance Law
Claiming health care bragging rights, Mitt Romney said Thursday his plan to provide health insurance to everyone in Massachusetts was superior to the one it inspired, President Barack Obama’s much-debated national law. “My health care plan I put in place in my state has everyone insured, but we didn’t go out and raise taxes on people and have a unelected board tell people what kind of health care they can have,” Romney said in an interview with CBS’ Denver affiliate, KCNC (8/23).

Los Angeles Times: Health Plan Pays Record Settlement
A Long Beach health plan agreed to pay $320 million to resolve allegations that it was overpaid by the state’s Medi-Cal program going back to 1985, government officials said. Federal officials called the settlement from SCAN Health Plan the largest of its kind from a single provider in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor and disabled (Terhune, 8/24).

Los Angeles Times: Hospital Chain accused Of Kickback Scheme To Pay $16.5 Million
A Los Angeles-based hospital chain has agreed to pay the government $16.5 million to settle allegations that its subsidiaries paid illegal kickbacks for patients recruited from among the homeless and provided them unnecessary services in an attempt to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal, according to court documents (Zavis, 8/24).

The Washington Post’s Maryland Politics: State Unveils Name, Logo For Insurance Exchange Under The Federal Health Care Law
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) administration on Thursday released the name, logo and Web site for a new state government unit created to let residents purchase health insurance plans next year under the Affordable Care Act (Davis, 8/23).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Announces $123M Grant For Health Exchange
Brown also announced that the Maryland Health Connection will be the name of the marketplace. It can be found online at (8/23).