Today’s Headlines – January 30, 2012

Good morning! Monday’s here, but don’t fret, here are your headlines:

Los Angeles Times: GOP Leaders Pledge Quick Action On Payroll Tax Break
House-Senate negotiators are expected to meet this week on extending the tax break, which amounts to about $20 a week for the average worker, as well as continuing unemployment benefits and preventing a pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients (Simon, 1/29).

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Mitt Romney And Charges Of Medicare Fraud
Winning Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, has released another attack on rival Mitt Romney’s business practices. A one-minute “trailer” and a 30-second TV ad that amplify the themes of corporate malfeasance accompany the nearly eight-minute video, “Blood Money.” (The title refers to the fact that a company once partly owned by Bain Capital, Romney’s firm, was found guilty of charging Medicare for unnecessary blood tests.) We were highly critical of Winning Our Future’s “King of Bain” film, awarding it Four Pinocchios, in part because it focused on business failures in which Romney was only tangentially involved (Kessler, 1/30).

For more headlines …

The Washington Post: Entrepreneurs Try To Fill Gap In Online Medical Help
Recognizing a need for innovation, the government has made some of its raw data available on healthdata.gov., a central database where developers can get information for Web sites and apps. So far, the database includes everything from food safety recalls to fatality statistics, but the challenge remains the dearth of comparable information (ElBoghdady, 1/29).

The New York Times: Ruling On Contraception Draws Battle Lines At Catholic Colleges
Many Catholic colleges decline to prescribe or cover birth control, citing religious reasons. Now they are under pressure to change. This month the Obama administration, citing the medical case for birth control, made a politically charged decision that the new health care law requires insurance plans at Catholic institutions to cover birth control without co-payments for employees, and that may be extended to students. But Catholic organizations are resisting the rule, saying it would force them to violate their beliefs and finance behavior that betrays Catholic teachings (Grady, 1/29).