Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday SOTU Edition

Tonight is the State of the Union (SOTU) address. I trust you all will watch and listen. Meanwhile, here's the morning news:

Will the President talk about health reform tonight? If so, he's likely to maintain a compromising tone, saying he's willing to work on improving the law, but he's not willing to take a step back and start from scratch.

The NY Times published an editorial today calling on the GOP to do more than say no to health reform, but to come up with something in its place that covers the uninsured and controls costs.

The Wall St. Journal says there will be a repeal vote in the Senate, although it's not likely to succeed.

And $4 billion have been recovered in health care fraud prosecutions -- one of the revenue generating items in health reform.

Meanwhile, the GOP continues its critique of the law. The 1099 reporting provision will go -- Dems agree with this one. But their other targets? The individual mandate; the independent payment advisory board (to help decide what things are not cost effective and should not be covered by Medicare, this board has existed for a long time, but just hasn't done much); flexible savings accounts (they want over-the-counter meds covered, and the end of the year balance rolled into the next year); and elimination of the CLASS Act, which would help people save for long-term care costs.

And there's already a bill that would change medical malpractice rules. There's nothing in health reform that contradicts this, so this can be passed without repealing anything.

But free preventive care is starting to show dividends in the form of a healthier public.

Is infertility treatment an essential benefit that should be required to be covered in health insurance plans?

The Department of Justice has sued Arkansas for keeping people with disabilities in a large institution rather than in group homes in the community. The institution, called Conway, houses about 500 people with both intellectual and physical disabilities -- and some of their families want them to stay right where they are. But studies show that people with disabilities fare better in the community.

Get this -- insurance companies are scouring social media sites like Facebook looking for evidence of fraud. If you're on disability, you probably shouldn't be posting about your ski vacation -- even if it was your first vacation in 20 years, and even if you sat in the ski lodge the whole time while your wife was on the slopes!

When is a doctor too old to remain in active practice? For some, sooner than they'd like.

Here's a really interesting piece, trying to talk to Navajo about end of life decisions when, in their culture, death is never discussed. Reminds us of the cultural and ethnic divides that affect our health care. Couple this with a study that says that 40% of terminal cancer patients never discuss end of life care with their physicians.

Trying to teach the "gut brain" how to know when it's really not hungry. Sounds great to me if they can figure out how to make it work.

And that's the morning's news. Today's all about the SOTU. Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment