Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

As expected, the House rejected a bill to raise the debt limit without accompanying spending cuts. Lots of hand-wringing about what happens if we default on our debt, but the votes aren't there in the House. So the question is what the GOP will demand in exchange for their vote. Some say they will bank it all on Medicare reform. Let's see if Medicare is still recognizable by the time they get finished with it. Meanwhile, the Dems want to end subsidies to big oil.

And today starts debate on next year's budget. Look for cuts in pretty much everything except defense spending.

As was announced yesterday, the feds are cutting the premium price of the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans in the states where it runs the plans. However, many states have their own plans, and those prices tend to be higher and will not come down. In addition, you still have to be without insurance for 6 months to qualify. So this will be good for some people, but it doesn't come close to solving the problem.

States continue to struggle with setting up Exchanges. New York hasn't passed legislation yet. The Connecticut Senate voted in favor of a very weak bill last night. The debate seemed to focus on whether insurance industry insiders can serve on the Board of the Exchange. But some states are full steam ahead. This is such a great opportunity to make it easier for us to buy insurance -- we should all be watching this.

Under a new proposal, patients could gain the right to know who's looked at their medical records.

In California, health insurers fight legislation that would allow the state to reject rate increases. In Connecticut, the Insurance Department doesn't want to hold rate hearings. How is it that they seem to always get what they want?

Studies doubt that chronic fatigue is caused by a retrovirus. Back to the drawing board. But for Celiac patients, the gluten-free food is getting better.

The World Health Organization says cellphone use may increase the risk of brain cancer.

HPV (human papilloma virus) is turning up in head and neck cancer and causing some new focus on the disease and the vaccine for men.

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

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