The President gave a somber speech last night, and for good reason. Speaker Boehner's plan is a two-step plan that would force us to revisit the debt ceiling only 6-8 months from now. Does anybody think it's a good idea to maintain this level of instability for another 6 months or so? The credit rating agencies may still downgrade the US if we adopt only a short-term fix. Majority Leader Reid's plan -- which involves cutting spending and no new revenue -- appears to be dead on arrival, although it's exactly what the GOP has been asking for. But now the GOP wants a balanced budget amendment; the conservatives in the House oppose Boehner's plan. Neither the Dems nor the GOP may have the votes out of this stalemate. We have 7 days left -- they can't write legislation for entitlement reform by then. Every day, we inch closer to calamity. The parties came close to a deal last week, but it looks like any chance for large-scale reform has passed. What ever happened to the art of the deal? Many -- especially the far right -- take pride in blocking any compromise. There was a time when compromise was a prized skill. Now, it's all about who get the blame for this mess. They're rocking the world's economy and chancing our own fragile markets and for them, it's all about politics -- who wins the next presidential election -- not about what's right for the American people. Americans are sick of it.
The President asked that we contact our members of Congress if we prefer a balanced approach that includes revenue and spending cuts, so the richest Americans and the corporations they run also contribute to spending down the debt. You can find your Senators here. You can find your member of the House here. Don't assume your call won't matter -- they are counting the calls they get, and you can be sure they matter.
Meanwhile, the feds are going to start auditing the health insurance premium rate review process of 10 states to see if they're up to par. Seven states -- Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming -- have no rate review process in place at all. In Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the feds will only look at small group rates.
A rock band comprised of gynecologic oncologists? Yup. N.E.D. (no evidence of disease) is a rock band made up of doctors who treat cancer. They do it to raise awareness about gynecologic cancers. But I think they like dressing up like rock stars, too.
Emergency rooms haven't done a great job of addressing pain, but that may be changing.
Chicken pox can kill. Take it seriously.
And that's this morning's news. Scary times we are living in. I am no economist and my opinions are just opinions, but I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea to have to go through this same misery 6 months from now. What do you think? Jennifer