Morning CheckUp: September 13, 2011

Ron Paul says govt shouldn’t help 30yo year old in need of health care: At last night’s debate, the Tea Party crowd — and candidates — stressed that they believe in self sufficiency when it comes to finding health care coverage for the uninsured. [CBS News]

Census data out today: “The Census bureau releases its 2010 numbers on uninsured Americans. Trends to watch for include whether the years-long erosion of employer-sponsored coverage has been reversed, how many people the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program are still covering in the continuing downturn, and whether the increase in uninsured Americans has finally slowed.” [Healthwatch]

CMS rolls out bonus plan for Medicare Advantage: “New rules will reward Medicare Advantage insurance plans that CMS has deemed high quality and punish those rated as lower quality, according to the program’s senior insurance regulator. Plans rated with five stars may market and enroll new beneficiaries throughout the year, beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, and not just during the traditional fall enrollment period.” [Modern Healthcare]

Berwick confident exchanges will move forward: “We have every intention of running the exchanges on time and helping states do the same,” CMS administrator Don Berwick said. “There will be federal exchanges, of course. Some states will choose that as a better way for them…Step by step, we have the money we need now to take the next steps.” [Modern Healthcare]


Health care savings from the deficit trigger: “An automatic 2 percent cut to Medicare would save the federal government roughly $123 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” [Sam Baker]

Overtreating older patients: Questions are being raised “about the overtesting of older patients, part of a growing skepticism about the widespread practice of routine screening for cancer and other ailments of people in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Critics say there is little evidence of benefit — and considerable risk — from common tests for colon, breast and prostate cancer, particularly for those with serious problems such as heart disease or dementia that are more likely to kill them.” [Kaiser Health News]

HHS rejects Delaware’s waiver request: “The Health and Human Services Department rejected Delaware’s request for an adjustment to certain healthcare reform rules — the second time HHS has issued an outright rejection.” [Sam Baker]