Friday, March 18, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

Ahhhh. Friday. I thought it would never come. And here it is, so let's go:

The House and Senate passed the 3 week budget extender with another $6 billion of cuts. A number of Republicans voted against it because it doesn't defund health reform and Planned Parenthood (is the budget about money and the deficit or social issues?). This raises the question of how a compromise can be reached. If the House can't pass a budget without defunding health reform and Planned Parenthood and the Senate can't pass a budget that includes that defunding, how will the deadlock be broken -- in 3 weeks -- with recess next week?

Secretary Sebelius (Health & Human Services) pledges that states will have maximum flexibility in implementing health reform. Some say that flexibility is still not enough.

Attention begins to turn to the CLASS Act, part of health reform that pays for long-term care, and part of Senator Edward Kennedy's legacy. Hearings suggest there is uncertainty and opposition. The feds say they are studying the details and will release regulations in the Fall.

A step backwards on chronic fatigue syndrome research -- maybe not a retrovirus after all.

Eating fish may protect your eyesight against macular degeneration.

And that's it for today -- but look forward to a busy week next week as we celebrate the first anniversary of health reform with lots of commentary and stories. Have a great day and a great week-end. Jennifer

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