Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday Themes

Morning already? I could have used a few more hours. Oh, well. No point in complaining. Here's the news:

The President is looking to forge an ambitious debt reduction plan when he meets with members of Congress today. The Dems are nervous that the President is actually going to cut more than they anticipated, especially in Medicare, Medicaid, and yes, Social Security. You heard me -- Social Security. The papers are reporting that the President is going for $4 trillion in cuts rather than the $2 million they've been talking about, and he's including a fix of Social Security. And there may be an overhaul of the tax code that happens over time. The Dems continue to blame the GOP for protecting millionaires. But the deadline looms large -- can the President broker a deal that nobody likes? GOP leaders are signalling an acceptance of closing tax loopholes for the first time -- although they want corresponding tax cuts. Dems are saying they'll agree to cuts as long as there's some concession on taxes. Bipartisan Senators suggest putting a tax reform schedule in the bill as something that will occur over time. Business groups are urging Congress to raise the debt limit before the failure to do so harms the markets.

A new study shows that when you give poor people access to health care through Medicaid, they are far less expensive to treat because their illnesses are treated and controlled. So is cutting Medicaid a good way to bring down our debt?

And although this is not surprising, good communication is key to good health. When doctors and patients communicate well, patients are more likely to follow doctor's orders and so their health outcomes are better.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is repaying customers $4.2 million -- the amount of a controversial severance package paid to a CEO.

Expatriate insurance is health insurance for people who spend chunks of time overseas. But insurers who sell it want exemption from the medical loss ratio rules (requiring that insurers spend 80 or 85% of premium dollars on health care). CIGNA is threatening to move its sales jobs overseas to get around the problem, thereby costing American jobs.

Getting drugs for rare diseases through the FDA approval process and onto the market is difficult. Some are pushing for accelerated approval.

One in three people skip colon cancer screening -- a lifesaving test. Are you 50 or over? If so, time for your colonoscopy!

And that's it for today's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment