KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Republicans Take Aim At Planned Parenthood’s ‘Record’ Taxpayer Support

Also making headlines, a group of House Democrats are pressing the White House to retain funding for mental health, and some of New York's members of Congress are pushing to include cancer care in the 9/11 health program.

Fox News: Planned Parenthood Receives Record Amount Of Taxpayer Support
Planned Parenthood reported receiving a record $542 million in taxpayer support in fiscal 2012, marking a steady increase in government funding despite Republican-led efforts at the state and federal levels to cut off that stream. The funding figures were included in the abortion provider's annual report released Monday. The numbers showed roughly 45 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget now comes from taxpayer dollars. Pro-life groups quickly seized on the report to renew their calls for Congress to "defund" Planned Parenthood. "Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation's largest abortion business," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. Republican Tennessee Rep. Diane Black said the report "underscores the pressing need to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood" (1/8).

The Associated Press: Vt. US Rep. Welch Seeks To Ease Health Care Costs
Vermont U.S. Rep. Peter Welch says he wants to use the federal health care reform law to help control health care costs. Welch, a Democrat, outlined his plans Tuesday during a visit to a Montpelier doctor's office. Welch is a member of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal health care policy (1/8).

CQ HealthBeat: Retain Funds For Mental Health, Democrats Urge White House
Three House Democrats are gathering signatures on a letter that calls on the Obama administration to preserve mental health funding in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal. In the letter, Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, Grace F. Napolitano of California and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas describe the “five large scale shootings” that have occurred since 2007, including the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December. They also note that, from their understanding, the individuals behind the killings all suffered from mental illness, substance abuse disorders or a combination of the two (Attias, 1/8).

CQ HealthBeat: New York Lawmakers Continue Push To Include Cancer In 9/11 Health Program
A study calling into question the link between cancer and exposure to debris at Ground Zero hasn’t changed the opinion of three House lawmakers from New York City that the connection exists. Democratic Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, along with Republican Rep. Peter T. King, have fought for the last two years to have cancer treated under the health care program Congress created in 2010 for those sick or injured from working or living near the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (Scholtes, 1/8).

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