Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Moaning

Monday came extra early this week. My feet still hurt and my body is still tired after all the Team McCready partying on Saturday. I guess it's back to the grind, so here's the news:

According to a new study, Americans spend about 19.9% of an average family's household income on health care related costs. That number includes over-the-counter costs, alternative medicine, and so on.

And in another new study, it's shown that high deductible health insurance plans do cut health costs, but they also keep people from getting preventive care, immunizations, and other services that would improve their health. A good trade-off? Uninsurance to under-insurance? I don't think so

As Congress returns this week, we will be back to the budget. There's a lot of hand-wringing over the national debt. Still, the parties remain far apart. The Dems are coming up with more cuts, but it may not be enough to satisfy the GOP. As Ezra Klein reports, the hard part isn't the money; it's about the things attached to the budget bill, like defunding health reform and Planned Parenthood. Social conservatives say their issues are central to the economy. For example, they say health reform is a budget buster. And it looks like the GOP is ready to take aim at entitlements -- Medicare and Social Security.

And the states and cities are under the budget knife, as well. Health services are cut in municipalities plagued by the housing bust. And HHS offers the States a list of things they can cut from Medicaid.

A new report provides alternatives to the requirement that everybody purchase insurance.

Some of the rules for changing health insurance appeals have been put on hold -- the rules the insurers have been fighting about, like providing notices in other languages and handling expedited appeals in 24 hours.

So-called mini-med plans -- plans sponsored by employers with low wage workers like McDonalds that cover very limited benefits -- have been granted waivers under health reform until 2014, on the theory that some insurance is better than none.

The GOP going after AARP for its support for health reform? Not smart. And GOP presidential hopefuls are also going after health reform.

How innovation will help stop infections at hospitals and lead to better health care.

Celebrities with diabetes say if they can live with it, so can you.

And that's it for this Monday morning. Have a great day! Jennifer

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