Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday's Health News

So now that the Republicans in the Senate lost their vote to repeal health reform in its entirety, and the Senate, by a large bipartisan majority, got rid of the burdensome 1099 record-keeping requirement that everyone agreed had to go, perhaps they can get down to the business at hand, making the law as good as it can be for the American people. After all, support for full repeal is not as strong as the GOP says it is. Indeed, according to some polls, it's a pretty small minority. And the arguments against repeal, as made by four Democratic Senators, is very strong.

Of course, the opponents of the law won't give up on repeal. But now they'll focus on the courts, predicts WaPo. Some are in favor of asking the Supreme Court to take the case up immediately. But Charles Fried, President Reagan's Solicitor General and a staunch conservative, says the health reform law is constitutional. Still, Florida is returning a $1 million grant it received from the federal government to conduct premium rate reviews. So for those of you in Florida whose rates continue to skyrocket, don't blame reform; blame your State for refusing to do anything about it!

And the House will continue to try to deny funding for implementation. Indeed, the House GOP have some people worrying about a government shut-down over the budget. The current funding expires in 4 weeks. In addition to defunding health reform implementation, there's talk about entitlement reform -- starting with limiting the growth of Medicare. There's also talk about repealing the tax on medical device manufacturers.

Is birth control a preventive service that should be offered for free under health reform? The question is under consideration -- and is very controversial since the Catholic church opposes birth control. I predict the Administration doesn't pick this fight.

And that's where we stand as of this morning. Jennifer

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