What We're Reading - July 17
Good morning, everyone! As the media continues to speculate over who will be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate, President Obama continues to campaign around the country promoting the health care law. Here’s what we’re reading this morning….
While campaigning, Obama discusses the importance of the Affordable Care Act. “President Obama highlights health care law on campaign trail” — “President Barack Obama on Monday gave a strong defense of his health care law, weaving multiple mentions of health reform into answers at an Ohio town hall and saying he doesn’t mind the ‘Obamacare’ label ‘because I really do care.’ Drawing attention to the parallels between his controversial legislation and the Massachusetts reform signed into law by Mitt Romney, Obama said, ‘It’s working really well there. He should be proud of it instead of running away from it.’ The president has mentioned the health law in his stump speech routinely since the Supreme Court upheld it last month, but he spoke about the controversial legislation more expansively in a town hall Monday. Several times, he worked health care into his answers to questions that weren’t specifically about health reform. For instance, he mentioned the health reform law when asked about supporting small business and again when asked about uniting the country in a second term. He used the forum to defend his law, critique Romney and mention his support for Planned Parenthood.”
Patients should be able to choose their preferred health care provider. “In new abortion battle, Planned Parenthood sues Arizona” — “AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) — Planned Parenthood on Monday sued the state of Arizona in an effort to overturn a law that blocks funding for its health clinics because the organization also performs abortions. The law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer in May, is part of a national campaign against Planned Parenthood orchestrated by conservatives Republican lawmakers who oppose abortions. In the past two years, 13 states have taken steps to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and the organization has filed lawsuits in six of them, including Arizona. Planned Parenthood says abortions account for only 3 percent of its services, which include cancer screening and birth control. ‘It is wrong for the state to tell Arizonans who they can and cannot see for their healthcare. The men and women of this state have the right to see the healthcare provider they deem is best for them,’ said Bryan Howard, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Arizona. The group, whose legal team for the case includes the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Arizona, according to Planned Parenthood.”
The ramifications of the Supreme Court health care ruling in the Hoosier state… “Battle Over Planned Parenthood Funding in Indiana May Be First Test of Coercion Theory from ACA Decision” — “The battle waging in Indiana to de-fund Planned Parenthood may become the first significant legal challenge to flow from NFIB v. Sebelius, and Chief Justice John Roberts' rewriting of the rules governing the conditions the federal government can and cannot attach to federally-subsidized state spending may have given conservative state lawmakers just the opening they had hoped for. In May, lawmakers in Indiana passed a bill that prevents Medicaid from contracting with any entity that provides abortions. The bill essentially stripped millions of dollars in funding from Planned Parenthood in knowing violation of the Medicaid rules and placed the state among others in a conservative crusade to kill off the women's health care provider. According to those rules, states largely get to design their own programs for providing health insurance coverage for low-income people, but they cannot ban providers from participating in the program solely on the basis of the range of medical services they provide -- especially family planning services. Federal law already prohibits the use of any federal funds, including Medicaid funding, from providing for abortions, so this would seem to be a settled issue.“