Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Views - Budget Edition

It's all about the budget. President Obama is cutting, but the GOP says not enough and the left says too much. That probably means he's doing about right. The health care numbers are here. Most notably, the Obama budget would cover health reform implementation and the GOP would not. More on the Obama budget for health reform here. More on the GOP on health reform here. Expect a huge battle over this, one that threatens to shut down the government. But Obama pledges that there will be no cuts to Social Security. The Obama budget will speed generic drugs to market.

Here's a detailed run down -- The Obama budget postpones for 2 years the Medicare cuts to physician payment rates; there are initiatives targeting the drug companies; the 1099 bookkeeping fix is partly in; but the budget eliminates funds to children's hospitals to train pediatricians. The GOP budget will go after entitlements -- possibly Medicare vouchers. Obama also would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, and for malpractice reform demonstration projects.

Health reform will result in insurance for 5 million uninsured Californians, says UCLA.

We're trying to move people from institutions to home, but there are over 300,000 people on a waiting list for a program that would do so. And it's hard living in the community on a Social Security check.

A push for clearer medication labels. Experts say this will help with medication adherence, which, in turn, will result in better health outcomes.

A five year study of recalled medical devices show that they received accelerated FDA approval.

Changes to intensive care may improve the health of patients when they leave the ICU.

Meditation and mindfulness may help your brain work better. And I know they contribute to your sense of well-being. Humor, music and spirituality may help your physical health.

Sleep's important, too. Women are more likely to be the one who gets up with the kids in the middle of the night. Do relaxation drinks work? The color of our computer monitors and TV screens may hurt.

Personally? I'm just tired. Have a good day. Jennifer

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