Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

The House passed a 3 week extension of funding for the federal government. Congress now has until April 8 to pass a budget or the government shuts down. Several conservative Republicans voted against the extension because it does not defund health reform and Planned Parenthood -- thereby proving that this is not just about the deficit. There is real concern about the ability to compromise. A funding bill without defunding those two programs may not pass the House, and a funding bill with the defunding may not pass the Senate. This is not over, folks.

The federal government released a list of all the health reform waivers they've approved and denied. There had been allegations of favoritism, but it turns out that unions have been denied at a higher rate than others. And there is opposition building to a change in health reform that would count broker commissions among "administrative costs" for purposes of the medical loss ratio (percentage of premium dollars spent on health care). Several consumer groups agree.

Congressman Anthony Weiner embraces health reform and urges others to do the same. He argues that the government has not done enough to explain health reform, and that people will support it the more they learn about it. With the one year anniversary of reform coming up next week, supporters ready to celebrate while opposers push for repeal.

A new report says that the state medical boards fail to discipline doctors whose hospital privileges have been revoked.

Can we get a handle on health care costs when executives are earning huge sums?

Americans with Disability Act standards that were put in place in 2004 to guarantee accessibility kicked in this week. The rules gave public accommodations time to make the necessary physical changes to their layout and buildings, but now, they are the law.

And to close, here's an appropriate question: Is health news politically slanted? Read and decide for yourself.

Have a great day. Jennifer

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