Daily check up: Consequences of the budget deal

A look at the morning’s top health industry news.

Budget deal consequences: Now that the debt deal has passed, there’s a lot of attention being paid to one big question: Where will the $1.5 trillion in cuts called for in the plan come from? Julie Rovner of National Public Radio has a breakdown of the challenges facing the 12-member supercommittee who will have to decide and how their choices could affect health care providers and patients. Globe reporters Tracy Jan and Theo Emery examine the projected cuts to Medicare payments.

Romney and abortion: The anti-abortion group Massachusetts Citizens for Life is petitioning to have a ballot measure to repeal the 2006 state health law put to voters next year. If the group succeeds, Globe reporter Michael Levenson writes, it could complicate efforts by Mitt Romney to convince conservative voters that he is against abortion. Romney, who signed the health law, ran as a supporter of abortion rights in his 1994 Senate campaign and 2002 campaign for governor, but changed position in 2004.


Breastfeeding dilemma: Daily Dose blogger Deborah Kotz writes about a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found only 4 percent of hospitals give mothers the support they need to begin breastfeeding and stick with it. In Massachusetts, nearly 78 percent of new mothers left the hospital in 2007 intending to breastfeed. That’s a bit higher than the national average of 75 percent.

Drug prescribed to veterans challenged: A new study found that antipsychotic medications are not effective at treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Benedict Carey of the New York Times reports that at least 10 percent of people who see heavy combat develop lasting symptoms, and about 20 percent of those who get treatment have been prescribed antipsychotics. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on Risperdal, but experts said the research could apply to the entire class of drugs and result in quick changes to treatment practices.

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