Archive for February 8th, 2012
As the editor of a “cover-the-coverage” publication, I have the opportunity to peruse hundreds of media sources daily, in an effort to bring our readers the best health policy news. Through that effort, I often discern trends in coverage.
One trend is that newspapers over the previous few years have begun dedicating fewer and fewer reporters to health policy coverage. That’s no surprise; newspaper staffs in general are waning, as evidenced by today’s report that the Washington Post will be offering certain staffers buyouts.
Because of that dearth of health policy reporters, it becomes more significant that those limited numbers of dedicated reporters provide an accurate picture of the health policy landscape. However, in the last week, I’ve noticed that there’s been an alarming imbalance in the health policy news, heavily focused on two main issues:
- The new requirements under the federal health reform law that health plans offer no-cost contraception coverage and the resulting backlash from religious groups; and
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision – and subsequent reversal – to halt funding to Planned Parenthood.
- “Pa. vending machine dispenses ‘morning-after’ pill,” AP/Contra Costa Times: Students can get the ‘morning-after’ pill ‘right-after’ or ‘whenever’ at Shippensburg University. Read the rest of this entry »
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday took aim at new federal contraceptive coverage rules and charged that the Obama administration is trying to restrict religious freedom.
The new rules — which are part of a provision in the federal health reform law — require health plans to cover contraceptive services for employees without consumer cost-sharing. However, not-for-profit employers do not have to offer the coverage if they have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose, primarily employ individuals who hold certain religious beliefs and primarily serve a population with those religious tenets.
Romney and many conservative politicians have sided with Catholic hospitals, universities and other organizations that had pressured HHS to create an even broader exemption that would allow them to refuse to cover contraception for their employees. However, the agency announced on Jan. 20 that it would not expand the exemption.