Friday, June 17, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

Well, that was a late night in New York and I'm dead. I hope today goes quickly. Meanwhile, the news awaits:

Mental health care is always the first to go, the poor cousin of medical care. But then something happens -- a patient stops taking his meds, kills his caseworker -- and people start wondering where the system failed. Must it take a death to get us to think about providing care to people who are so ill?

VP Biden's debt reduction talks are continuing, and they are said to be productive. They plan to start working around the clock next week until they have a deal. Biden describes the talks as focused now on the nitty gritty details and deal cutting. Hopefully, he can do better than the House GOP, which passed massive cuts to food assistance to woman, infants and children.

Ezra Klein explains how better care coordination, especially for people who are very poor and very sick, would help cut the cost of Medicaid. And Paul Ryan -- the architect of the plan to end Medicare as we know it -- says he's willing to compromise and change his Medicare reform plan.

The Obama Administration released a plan called the National Prevention and Health Promotion Plan to try to prevent illnesses and promote healthier lifestyles. Haven't had a chance to read it yet but it sounds like a laudable pursuit. The plan would award grants to community-based health care programs. This is part of health reform, and if it works, it should bring down health care costs.

Med students are beginning to become more enthusiastic about primary care -- which is a very good thing in light of projected shortages of primary care docs.

You know that study that came out last week that said 30% of employers will stop providing health care coverage when reform takes effect? Well, Senator Baucus -- not exactly a left-winger -- says that it conflicts with many other studies, and he wants to know the survey's methodology to see if it's sound.

California has a new law that would set inmates free on a "medical parole" if they are too sick to commit a violent crime.

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

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