Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Moaning

Again, sorry about the Blogger mess up. Hopefully, we are back on track. Here's the news:

Medicare will run out of funds in 13 years. This is sooner than previously predicted. But the Linkpanel that is supposed to try cutting costs can't find members to get started.

The economy hangs in the balance as the parties fight over raising the debt limit. The debit limit will be hit today. The parties have done this sort of dance over raising the debt limit before. Members of both parties are looking at the idea of automatic triggers if the debt doesn't come down. They tried this before. They hated it. But there is no question that the debt has to be tackled. But the GOP refuses to put taxes on the table -- they want all cuts, and no raising of revenue. So he's ready to cut a deal today, but only on his terms. And Minority Leader McConnell says this is an opportunity to cut the debt; he won't raise the debt limit without deep cuts in spending. The Dems agree that we have to address entitlements, but would not do it through privatization.

Health reform created a panel to address the shortage in primary care, but their funding has been blocked and they can't even convene a meeting due to politics. Meanwhile HHS has granted waivers from the medical loss ratio rule to Nevada and New Hampshire. They've also granted more mini-med waivers. These waivers are temporary, until 2014 when the full law is implemented.

Newt tries to position himself as the moderate Republican, opposing Ryan's Medicare plan. He says it's right-wing social engineering. But does he have an alternative?

Rhode Island Medicaid is block granted, but has it saved money? Umm, no. Still, many argue that this is an experiment that shows that block grants work.

Nursing homes seek exemption from the health law. They pay their employees so little and they don't include health insurance -- and don't want to have to. Really?

How to get your own medical records. There are some links in this article that you should bookmark, including one that includes the fees in every state.

A mom with breast cancer was denied custody of her children. This is not the first time I've heard of illness being considered in making custody decisions. Does being sick make bad parents? Of course not. So is this justified?

Social rejection is painful -- and not just emotionally.

UCLA's CEO succeeds by putting patients first. Duh.

Doctors in Italy say some people with lactose intolerance really have a psychological illness. I'm so glad I had a lactose intolerance test. Can't blame this one on my psyche.

We know chronic Tylenol use can harm your liver. But did you know it could also cause blood cancer?

Scientists find the genetic "switch" for obesity. So can they figure out how to turn it off?

And that's the news today. Have a great day. Jennifer

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