Today’s Headlines – Oct. 24, 2011

Good Monday morning! Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including speculation about how the Supreme Court might review the health law and what’s happening with the super committee.

Politico: High Court Call On Health Care
If the Supreme Court decides to review President Barack Obama’s health reform law, it will also have to choose which issues it wants to hear — and that decision could have a significant impact on the law’s final fate. There are four lawsuits pending before the court, and the Obama administration and five opponents of the law — a group of 26 states, Virginia, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Thomas More Law Center and Liberty University — have all filed competing petitions asking the court to take their cases and their issues (Haberkorn, 10/23).

NPR: Medicare Enrollment Comes Sooner This Year
If you’re a senior on Medicare — or an adult child responsible for a senior on Medicare — here’s something you should know: The annual “open enrollment” period for joining or changing prescription drug or private health plans is already under way (Rovner, 10/24).

For more headlines …

The Wall Street Journal: What’s Ahead For Health Plans
We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The key provisions of the federal health overhaul take effect in 2014, including a requirement for most people to have health insurance; a ban on insurance companies considering individuals’ health status when they sell plans; and the creation of new health-coverage marketplaces called “exchanges” (10/22).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Aging America: Long-Term Care Can Bankrupt An Average Family, Yet Few Carry Insurance
The Obama administration’s decision to pull the plug on a financially flawed long-term care insurance plan is likely to worsen a dilemma most middle-class families are totally unprepared for (10/24).

Politico: Lobbyists Swarm Supercommittee
It’s a stunning ratio of lobbyists to lawmakers but makes sense when you consider the high stakes faced by interests ranging from the health care industry to Native American tribes. The groups fear the supercommittee will find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction before Thanksgiving by cutting their funding or raising their taxes (Sherman and Palmer, 10/23).

Los Angeles Times: Medical Help For Illegal Immigrants Could Haunt Mitt Romney
The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance (Levey, 10/23).

The Washington Post: Rick Perry Challenges Opponents’ Abortion Stances At Iowa Faith & Freedom Dinner
Six of the eight Republican presidential candidates vying for the hearts of social conservatives filed on and off stage in a cavernous hall here Saturday evening to each proclaim allegiance to conservative evangelical principles (Rucker, 10/22).

Los Angeles Times: The Promise And Pitfalls Of Palliative Care
What if a new medication for severely ill patients had no role in curing them but made them feel much better despite being sick? Let’s say this elixir were found to decrease the pain and nausea of cancer patients, improve the sleep and energy of heart failure patients, prolong the lives of people with kidney failure, drive down healthcare expenditures and ease the burdens of caregivers? (Healy, 10/24).