Friday, April 15, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

With no rest last week-end and a wicked cold this week, I could not be gladder that it's Friday. Here's the news:

The 2011 budget deal passed yesterday, although many Dems and conservative GOP voted against it. The cuts that will occur this year are relatively small, which explains the conservative opposition. Next comes raising the debt ceiling; some Republicans are saying they won't vote for it unless there are huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid at the same time. This is going to get ugly.

The House also voted to defund Planned Parenthood and health reform, although those won't pass the Senate. The Senate has already rejected the health reform defunding and also Planned Parenthood defunding. The GOP hopes these votes will haunt Dem Senators in 2012.

Today, the House will vote on Representative Ryan's draconian debt reduction measure, that would end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them. The President has put forward a different plan that includes tax increases for the wealthy. But Medicare is going to see some changes, it appears.

Finally, the repeal of the 1099 bookkeeping problem has been signed by the President. Glad we finally got that out of the way.

The Department of Health and Human Services has laid out several flexibility options for the states in administering their Medicaid plans -- changes that can be made without converting Medicaid to block grants.

Some big name Dems have started a new health advocacy group Know Your Care to help support a progressive health care agenda -- with big money behind them.

Catherine Zeta Jones has acknowledged she suffers from bipolar disorder, sparking more public awareness of this difficult chronic illness.

And that, my friends, is it for now. Have a great day! Jennifer

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