Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesdays Tidbits

And so it begins: the first health repeal vote will take place on January 12. The GOP has exempted it from their new rule that legislation must not have a negative effect on the budget, though. The Senate Dems vow to battle against repeal, especially because the Medicare drug doughnut hole is closed by one-half effective this year.

And newly sworn in Dem Governor Cuomo of New York plans huge cuts to Medicaid. Looks like the poor bear the brunt of budget cuts regardless of the Governor's political party.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of really interesting health news today outside of the political realm.

There's a new blood test for cancer, they say, coming to your doctor's office soon. How great would it be to have such a simple diagnosis?

California's starting to have some luck on reducing the number of unnecessary hospitalizations, although they're not there yet.

California also passed emergency regulations implementing the new medical loss ratio rules so they can enforce them. Remember -- starting this year, your insurer must spend 80 or 85 percent of premium dollars on health-related expenses or they owe you a rebate. Now, let's see which other states will undertake aggressive enforcement.

This is a fascinating article about why some people seem to have a lot of resilience when faced with life's obstacles, or mental toughness. Seems that you need some experience overcoming obstacles to get good at it, but of course, not so much experience that you are totally worn down. Interesting.

Speaking of obstacles, there continues to be a dispute over the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. For those who have it, this scientific dispute is about their lives, and it matters a whole lot.

And here's a sad tale of how hard it is to get treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders even if you have insurance, despite the law requiring mental health parity.

A new one-woman play by Anna Deveare Smith on the health care crisis.

How to conquer fear? Read here.

Have you ever had c-difficile? If you have inflammatory bowel disease, the chances are good that you have. What happens to kids who get this bacterial infection? It's very nasty stuff.

Have a healthy -- and informed -- day! Jennifer

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