Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

Yesterday, I posted the executive summary of the deficit reduction deal that's currently attracting so much attention. The President supports it. But the GOP led House of Representatives hasn't weighed in yet. Indeed, Politico reports that they oppose the deal because it involves restructuring the tax code. Instead, last night, they passed the cut, cap and balance bill that they like, imposing large spending cuts, spending caps, and a balanced budget amendment -- which the President has already said he will veto. Speaker Boehner says this new deal falls short. And it doesn't address raising the debt ceiling, so that thorny issue still has to be addressed. Harry Reid says they are still working on the McConnell plan, which transfers authority to raise the debt limit to the President. The general consensus seems to be that this legislation cannot be drafted and voted on before August 2. So they still have to vote to raise the debt ceiling. If they don't, not only will the US credit rating be down-graded, but so will that of five states. None of you will be surprised, of course, that even the conservative GOPers who want to slash spending drastically are not prepared to give up money coming into their home districts. Supposedly -- according to Politico -- the deal on the table involves reform of Medicare physician payments, ending the CLASS Act (long-term care), and malpractice reform. But there are these words "cuts to Medicaid and Medicare" that are vague -- I need to know the details, as I'm sure you do, too. Social Security appears to be on the table, as well.

The non-partisan Institute of Medicine has been asked to make recommendations about what treatments are "preventive," and, thus, free under the health reform law. Yesterday, they recommended that contraceptives be among the preventive, free care.

Kaiser Health News posts a round-robin discussion on curbing health costs.

Michelle Bachman has migraines. Does that mean she's unfit to be President? Be careful how you answer, those of you with chronic illnesses.

And that's the morning's news. I have a crazy day today, but if there are major developments, I'll do my best to update you. In the meantime, have a great day! Jennifer

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