Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Themes

I'm still reeling from the late release of the appeal regulations yesterday. Haven't quite made it through the 100+ pages of material (isn't there a shorter way to say some of this?). But I'll take a break to bring you the news:

Here's some press on the appeals regulations. This piece explains some of the highlights. More on the new rules (in addition to a quote from me) is here.

The debt reduction talks seem to be getting more complicated, with Dems requiring jobs programs like spending on our broken infrastructure, and GOP signing a pledge to vote against any plan that doesn't involve major cuts. Dems are worried that the White House will concede too much to the GOP, slashing social programs with no tax increases. But the GOP is relentlessly pressing for huge cuts. House Dems warn that Social Security cuts are a non-starter. And lawmakers not directly involved in the talks are getting restless, wanting to know where things stand. And spending caps would hurt the elderly and the poor in the form of huge cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

Meanwhile, new figures came out on Medicare's unfunded obligations. The GOP say this supports an overhaul. But they ignore the fact that the numbers are FAR worse if health reform is repealed. And now, the GOP are bashing President Obama's Medicare cost-cutting plan, which relies on an independent advisory board to make suggestions for changes to the benefit package.

A bipartisan bill would provide stronger home health benefits under Medicare.

A brave woman, Marsha Linehan, who works with the mentally ill "came out" and told her own story of struggling with mental illness. It meant a lot to her patients to know she was one of them. And now you know why I openly talk about my illnesses.

More young adults are living with diabetes.

A young boy dies from sudden unexplained death from epilepsy (SUDEP), and his Dad takes on a mission to make it better for others. Stories like this amaze me.

And that's it for this morning -- a light health news day. Have a great day. Jennifer

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