Today’s Headlines – February 21, 2012

Good morning! Hope you enjoyed Presidents’ Day! Here are your morning headlines to get you back in the swing of things:

USA Today: Court Action Could Prolong Health Care Fight
Next month’s challenge to the Obama-sponsored health care law could affect the care available to most Americans, alter the balance of power between Washington and the states and remain a flash point through this presidential campaign (Biskupic, 2/21).

The New York Times: Catholic Hospitals Expand, Religious Strings Attached
As Roman Catholic leaders and government officials clash over the proper role of religion and reproductive health, shifts in health care economics are magnifying the tension. Financially stronger Catholic-sponsored medical centers are increasingly joining with smaller secular hospitals, in some cases limiting access to treatments like contraception, abortion and sterilization (Abelson, 2/20).

For more headlines …

The Washington Post: Birth Control As Election Issue? Why?
[E]lections have a way of becoming national conversations, often unwieldy ones. … As is often the case in these matters, a variety of seemingly disparate issues get all tangled up — the Commerce Clause and Catholic doctrine, religious freedom and the right to privacy, feminism and liberty and conscience — at a time of economic uncertainty and vast demographic and societal transition (Gerhart, 2/20).

The Associated Press/USA Today: Evangelicals Join Catholics In Opposing Birth Control Rule
A group of evangelical pastors on Monday joined Roman Catholic clergy who oppose an Obama administration requirement that employees of religiously affiliated businesses receive birth control coverage (2/20).

The Washington Post: Different States’ Contraceptive Rules Leave Employers Room To Maneuver
When California adopted a law in 1999 requiring health insurance plans to include birth control if they cover prescription drugs, Catholic Charities of Sacramento was determined to fight (Aizenman and Sun, 2/19).

Los Angeles Times: A Push To Train More Primary-Care Doctors
[N]ew medical schools are opening with an emphasis on primary care and others are changing their curricula to boost the number of graduates interested in the field. Medical school professors are pairing students with family doctors and assigning them to community clinics so they see firsthand what it’s like to practice preventive care and manage chronic diseases (Gorman, 2/19).

Los Angeles Times: 10 Counties Expand Medical Coverage For Low-Income Residents
Nearly two years before the federal health reform law kicks in, 10 California counties have expanded medical coverage to more than 250,000 people who were previously uninsured, according to new state data (Gorman, 2/18).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Women Protest Anti-Abortion Bills In Va. By Locking Arms, Standing Mute Outside State Capitol
Hundreds of women locked arms and stood mute outside the Virginia State Capitol on Monday to protest a wave of anti-abortion legislation coursing through the General Assembly (2/20).