By Julian Pecquet and Sam Baker - 03/06/12 11:40 PM EST
It's not just in Washington that Democrats are exploiting the recent controversies over birth control and abortion for all they're worth. The liberal Think Progress web site has collected a rash of state bills and amendments poking fun at Republican efforts to limit abortion rights.
• Oklahoma's "Every Sperm is Sacred" amendment to legislation giving "personhood" status to the unborn;
• Ohio's bill requiring men to jump through hoops — including psychological screenings — before they could obtain Viagra;
• Virginia's amendment to an abortion ultrasound bill requiring men to receive a rectal exam to get a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication;
• Illinois's amendment to an ultrasound bill requiring men to watch a "horrific video" about the side effects of Viagra; and
• A Delaware resolution asking state legislatures and Congress to enact laws that "forbid men from destroying their semen."
Meanwhile, at least one Senate Republican who voted last week to allow employers to refuse to cover any preventive health service on moral or religious grounds is having second thoughts. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said over the weekend she'd vote against the amendment from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) if given the chance. Healthwatch has more here.
Bye-PAB: The Energy and Commerce Committee held a voice vote to repeal the healthcare law's cost-cutting panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Next stop, the Ways and Means Committee, which has scheduled a mark-up for Thursday. Healthwatch's Sam Baker has the latest.
Unsafe at any depth: The top Democrat on the Education and Workforce Committee pushed for new mine-safety legislation after a report Tuesday faulted a federal agency for failing to catch problems at a mine where 29 workers died two years ago. Republicans vowed to hold a hearing. Healthwatch's Julian Pecquet has the story.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defends her agency's budget request for FY2013 before the Senate Appropriations Health subcommittee.
The Education and Workforce Committee worker protections panel has postponed its hearing on proposed labor protections for home care workers following the Tuesday death of subcommittee member Donald Payne (D-N.J.).
In the morning, the National Health Law Program hosts a briefing on "The Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court: Inside the Issues and Their Implications."
And in the afternoon, America's Health Insurance Plans's "Preparing for Exchanges" conference hears from Rick Kronick, deputy assistant secretary at HHS's Office of Health Policy, regarding the healthcare reform law's essential health benefits. Here's the agenda.
State by state
A federal judge ordered New Hampshire's Medicaid program to provide hospitals, patients and the public a chance to comment on cuts the Legislature and governor have made to reimbursement rates since 2008.
Minnesota Republicans offered a free-market alternative to the healthcare law's state-based health insurance exchange.
The Oregon Senate approved a health insurance exchange.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation creating a National Neuromyelitis Optica Consortium to provide grants and coordinate research with respect to the causes of, and risk factors associated with neuromyelitis optica, an autoimmune disorder (H.R. 4138).
Community Oncology Alliance (self-registration) / Cancer drug shortages; Medicare reimbursement
The McManus Group / MEDNAX National Medical Group (national medical provider of neonatal, pediatric and anesthesiology physician services)
States across the political spectrum are getting billions of dollars' worth of federal waivers to help their Medicaid programs meet the goals of Democrats' healthcare reform law, Politico reports.
India's Supreme Court is set to hear a dispute on drug patents that could upend the generic drug industry, The New York Times reports.
The Washington Post says the threat of violence has deterred doctors from providing abortions.
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