Monday, March 14, 2011

Is It Monday Already?

Ugh, yes it is. And I'm running a bit late -- I really, really didn't want to get up today. But there's much work to be done, so I'd better get started on the news. Here goes:

The news is all about Japan, as it should be. The health crisis there that will follow the tsunami is devastating. And the threat of nuclear catastrophe lingers. We must keep our Japanese friends in our thoughts -- at least.

But the budget still dominates domestic news. House GOP are impatient with short-term extensions of the budget. And the 3 week extension barely touches health spending. But for the remainder of the year, Tea Partiers say the budget must cut $105 billion from health reform funding. This $105 billion represents funds that are already in the law to be spent, that do not require additional approval from Congress.

How will health reform play in the 2012 election? GOP will attack the law, which about half of all Americans don't like, and half of all Americans don't understand. The Dems will point out the lack of a GOP alternative and the benefits of the law to date. How will it play out? What will the courts do and when? More questions than answers -- but surely, the law will have an effect on the elections. The individual mandate has become the flash point, at least in the courts. Waivers allowing for mini-med plans and giving some states an exception are at the center of the debate. GOP says they show the faults in the law; Dems say they show the law's flexibility. GOP dislikes waivers even though their proposal would be to give states more latitude to create their own plans. Here are two Dem opinions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Senator Tom Harkin. And GOP counterpoint by Rep. Steve King.

A nice profile - Q & A with our nation's surgeon general, Regina Benjamin.

The ongoing dispute between patients and scientists over chronic fatigue syndrome.

And that's how the week is starting. Have a great day. Jennifer

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