Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hump Day Health News

Today is World AIDS Day. Here are some ways to commemorate the date. But here's a sobering statistic: More than half of all Americans have not been tested for HIV/AIDS. Really? What are you waiting for?

A judge in Virginia granted the government's motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to find the health reform law unconstitutional. He found that the law does not permit federal funding of abortion. So two judges have found the law to be constitutional. Two other judges, whose rulings are expected soon, expressed great skepticism at oral argument. That sets up the disagreement that will wind its way to the Supreme Court.

In a unique show of bipartisanship, the Senate approved the food safety bill. The House is expected to pass it before the end of the year. This should protect the public better from nasty things like salmonella.

Should we pay people to lose weight, stop smoking? Is monetary incentive the right thing to do to make people healthy? I don't think a dollar per pound would change the results of my weight loss efforts. What do you think?

Here's more about a new kind of insurance called value-based insurance. You get things we know have value -- preventive screenings, for example -- for free, but you pay more out of pocket for things that are of questionable value.

As you know if you've been paying attention, quite a while ago -- long before health reform -- Congress slashed reimbursement rates for doctors under Medicare. However, because the rate reduction was so big -- about 25% -- doctors threatened to leave Medicare in droves and seniors reacted predictably with worry. Since then, the effective date of the rate decrease has been delayed . . . and delayed . . . and delayed. Will the see-sawing itself cost Medicare a bunch of doctors? Apparently so, reports Arielle Levin Becker of the Connecticut Mirror. Is there a long-term solution? Maybe, but it's painful for everyone.

And that's your morning round-up. Have a good one. Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. They don't pay you in Texas to stop smoking but they do raise the price $1 pack every once in awhile until it just costs too much. I guess that's a different way to do it.