Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday Themes

Yesterday was oral argument in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on the health reform law. Questioning was pretty sharp and lively. The judges did seem skeptical of the constitutionality of the law, but it will be months before we get a decision, and when we do, it will be headed to the Supreme Court. So this is far from over. Here's an explanation of the arguments from the wonderful Jonathan Cohn.

Americans are torn over raising the debt limit. Large numbers are concerned about default, but a smaller number wants to raise the debt limit despite that. A majority of respondents said they support raising the debt limit while also shrinking the size of government. But another ratings agency warned that it would downgrade America's credit rating if the debt it not paid. A very large payment is due on August 15. If that payment is made, the credit rating comes down, and interest rates go up, which costs us a lot more money to borrow. I don't see how anybody could think this is a good result. VP Biden continues his bipartisan negotiations. And what used to be the gang of six -- now a gang of five -- also continues to try to make headway on a compromise.

A new rule would inform patients of who had looked at their medical records. I like this idea. I want to know which doctors, others accessed my records.

Five US Senators have requested an investigation of physician-owned distributorships, middleman entities that allow surgeons to profit from the medical devices they use on patients.

Strangely, that's all I have for you today. So have a great day! Jennifer

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