Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Moaning

I'll be at the Legislative Office Building today testifying on several bills, including SustiNet, Connecticut's best shot a a "public option." I have to leave very early, but I set my alarm in time to give you this morning's news before I go:

President Obama's budget aims to correct the 25% cut in physician reimbursement rates by postponing it for two years and cutting payments to other providers to make up the difference. There will be a small increase for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) so health reform implementation can continue. The GOP have said they intend to defund health reform, setting up for a big fight, with some prepared to shut down the government if need be in order to defund health reform. Tea Partiers also would cut funding for food programs for low income women and children. But so far, nobody is aiming to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- yet.

Medicare Part D premiums go sliding scale, so those who can pay more do.

The LA Times says prepare for a good death with a living will and the right person to carry out your wishes. I agree.

States looking to cut budgets are eyeing retiree health insurance.

Concern for energy drinks and the risks they pose to kids. They're particularly bad for kids with medical problems. And kids who play outdoors have lower risk of near-sightedness.

And here are some clues for Celiac sufferers.

Some hospitals are not hiring smokers -- even people who smoke only on days off.

Have a happy Valentine's Day. And if you don't have a Valentine (like me), how about just picking Valentines at random and wishing them a happy heart day?! Jennifer

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