Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Moaning

I really do hate Mondays. Let's see what the news is like today. War in Libya. Nuclear fears and tragedy in Japan. Sort of makes health care seem trivial. But for those of us who are sick, it's not. So here's the news:

Today starts a week-long celebration of the one-year anniversary of health reform. People are starting to feel the benefits of reform (check back here all week for stories and essays). But a majority are still confused about the law. And, of course, there are detractors. Progress in implementation has a lot to do with the politics of the states. And year two implementation will involve a lot of important issues, including the contents of the essential benefits plans, upon which all future insurance plans will be based.

I posted this over the week-end, but it's important that you know about the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan and the good it's doing for people under health reform.

Are health law waivers a good thing or a bad thing? Supporters say they show the law's flexibility. Opponents say they show the law by its terms is not workable.

The stimulus bill gave states extra Medicaid dollars, starting to phase out in April and expiring entirely in July. So states are rushing to pay their bills before time runs out. Medicaid will expand greatly under health reform in 2014, but will there be enough primary care physicians?

Unemployment has added 9 million to the ranks of the uninsured. Meanwhile, some states are cutting health coverage to deal with their budgets.

Should Social Security be in play as budget talks progress? Even though Social Security is paid for by its own fund, some considering the deficit would like to make changes to Social Security, too, to guarantee its long-term health. Democrats are split.

Transcendental meditation is making a resurgence. And tai chi helps depression in the elderly.

A lawsuit accuses Bristol Myers Squibb of huge health care fraud, bribes, kick-backs.

More later today as I begin a series of stories and essays marking the first anniversary of health reform. Jennifer

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