I'm late, so I'm rushing to get this done before it's time to swim. Here goes:
Here's more about the deal to avert a government shutdown. It's a 2 week extension with $4 billion in budget cuts. The new deadline would be March 18 -- still not a lot of time to reconcile the major disagreements between the parties. The Senate is expected to approve the extension, although they wanted a longer extension to provide more time for negotiating a long-term budget through the end of the fiscal year. Some Republicans voted against the extension because it does not defund health reform. But this is just the two-week version; the big fights are still to come.
The NY Times has an editorial supporting the President for allowing states to come up with alternative health reform proposals and opt out of federal reform. States are now complaining about Medicaid instead.
Families USA released a report that shows that the out of pocket caps in health reform will save families many millions of dollars, making it more economical for them to seek health care. Still, Governors are testifying against the law because of its Medicaid expansion and other mandates, even though the feds are giving the states most of the money they need, at least in the short-term. Reports are split on the law's impact on the states.
Here's a great new website -- healthcareandyou.org -- doctors, nurses, other providers help explain the health care law to you. It looks great. Check it out.
States cutting budgets are cutting special insurance plans for low income adults who don't qualify for Medicaid. What are they supposed to do?
Hospitals are getting better; fewer ICU patients have blood infections now than in 2001. More here. Good news.
Smiling improves your health. So smile -- and have a great day. Jennifer