Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Back to Reality Edition

The election is over -- some good news, some bad. But now it's time to get back to the business at hand. So here's today's health news:

The NY Times says it wasn't just about health reform. Roughly half of all voters support health reform. Former budget director Peter Orzsag pleads for saving the health reform bill. He says it will save money in the end. Still, the Republicans promise a big fight over health reform -- again. Here's more on the GOP's agenda. And industry insiders start to plot strategy, focusing on the parts of reform that they would like to see repealed or amended. More on that here. Both President Obama and Harry Reid have already said they're open to amendments, although they tried compromise before and didn't get very far, says Politico. So we'll find out -- are the Republicans really interested in making things better, or do they just want to defeat President Obama at any cost?

Meanwhile, copays for preventive care are about to be eliminated due to the new law, says the LA Times. A lot depends on how your doctor bills for it, but when you get to the start of your next plan year, this provision of reform will kick in. The idea is to get people to go for regular check-ups to catch health issues before they get really expensive.

In the real world outside the beltway, Medicare Part D open enrollment begins this month. This is your annual chance to see if you're on the best plan for you. Take the opportunity to look around.

And here's a really interesting piece on how to control medical costs. When Medicare reduced reimbursement rates for a prostate cancer therapy that they say has no real clinical benefit for many patients, the people who needed it still got it, but the people who didn't really need it got it far less often. A way to control costs or a deprivation of care? You decide.

And don't forget to turn your clocks back this week-end. USA Today shares things you can do with the extra hour. I plan to use it to get an extra hour's sleep! Jennifer

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