First Edition: December 1, 2010

In today's headlines, reports that a Virginia judge dismissed Liberty University's challenge to the health care law.

Health On The Hill: Congress Passes One-Month Medicare 'Doc-Fix'
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with KFF's Jackie Judd about the latest Capitol Hill developments. Watch the video (Kaiser Health News).

Medicare Key To Conquering Deficit Dilemma
What provides health care coverage to 47 million Americans, consumes 12 percent of the federal budget, and accounts for $1 of every $5 spent on health care in the U.S. each year? (NPR).

Liberty University's Challenge Of Federal Health-Care Law Is Dismissed
A federal judge in Virginia ruled Tuesday that the new health-care overhaul law is constitutional, dismissing a lawsuit filed by Liberty University in Lynchburg that had challenged the statute (The Washington Post).

Judge Rejects Health Law Challenge
For the second time in two months, a federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of the new health care law, ruling on Tuesday that the requirement that most Americans obtain medical coverage falls within Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce (The New York Times).

Va. Judge Dismisses Challenge To Obama Health Care
A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Liberty University's lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's new federal health care law, declaring that a provision requiring most individuals to obtain insurance is constitutional (The Associated Press).

Judge Rejects Liberty University's Health Care Reform Challenge
A federal judge in Virginia threw out a case brought by Liberty University that claimed the health care reform law is unconstitutional and would allow the religious institution's insurance payments to cover abortions (Politico).

Delaying Vote, Debt Panel Splits On Taxes And Spending
The chairmen's plan would cap annual spending for both domestic and military programs; build on the cost-savings steps in Mr. Obama’s health care law; raise Social Security payroll taxes for affluent taxpayers and slowly increase the retirement age to 69 from 67; and reduce or eliminate a raft of popular tax breaks, including the mortgage interest deduction, in return for lower income-tax rates for individuals and corporations (The New York Times).

Commission Comes Up With New Deficit Plan, But Delays Vote Until Friday
It called for sharp cuts in military and domestic spending, and the elimination of more than $1 trillion a year in popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for home mortgage interest and the tax-free treatment of employer-paid health insurance. It also took aim at programs for the elderly - the biggest and fastest-growing category of federal spending - advocating higher Medicare premiums and smaller Social Security checks, particularly for the richest 50 percent of retirees (The Washington Post).

Supreme Court Weighs Calif. Prison Overcrowding
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that pits California's right to run its prisons against the Constitution's guarantee that those behind bars get basic minimum medical care (NPR).

California Prisons Frustrate Justices
Two decades have passed without a fix for California's inmate medical care, which the state has conceded violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments" (The Wall Street Journal).

Private Equity Firms Ignore Political Fracas And Invest In Health-Care IT
Health-care reform and stimulus spending were pilloried in the recent election, but the government's drive to digitize the sector has found support from private equity (The Wall Street Journal's Private Equity Beat Blog).

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