It's all about the State of the Union tomorrow night. President Obama is expected to defend the health reform law in his speech.
And the abortion battle heating up yet again under the guise of attacks on health reform. Here's a smattering of what else is on the front burner:
The GOP vows a Senate vote on health reform repeal. Sen. Schumer says the Dems will make the GOP vote provision by provision, so they'll keep the Medicare drug cuts, letting kids stay on their parents' policies to age 26, etc., so it will look like "Swiss cheese." And the requirement that small businesses file 1099's on any goods or services over $600 will go -- everybody agrees it should. But full repeal in the Senate is not expected to win, even as a vote seems more likely.
The GOP replacement bill -- which hasn't been written yet -- is expected to focus more on decreasing costs than it does on covering the uninsured.
Meanwhile, health reform implementation proceeds, even in states that are part of a lawsuit to stop it in its tracks. And the House GOP plans to start hearings on health reform implementation, including the granting of temporary waivers to companies like McDonald's, that provide only limited benefit plans, as well as on malpractice reform.
A new federal research center will help develop drugs to get them to market faster.
Arizona has requested federal permission to tighten Medicaid rules and eliminate enrollees. Many states are complaining about the rule that States not drop anybody from Medicaid between now and when expanded enrollment starts in 2014, so Arizona has passed a law directing the Governor to formally request a waiver. So more poor people lose benefits? And this is good why?
A study finds that electronic health records and other high-tech health care delivery systems don't provide the benefits that people expected.
Here's a neat story about a "country doctor" who makes house calls via helicopter or horseback!
And that's the start on the day! Enjoy! Jennifer