Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

Wow -- try moving offices AND still doing your job full time. It doesn't quite work. Oh, well. Only three more weeks. And until then, the news ....

The markets are still going nuts. Mitt Romney says he wouldn't raise taxes as President, even on corporations, because "corporations are people too," said the man who would be King. Now that Nancy Pelosi has named her picks, the super-committee is all set -- here's detail on their background. Is the committee make-up a recipe for gridlock or compromise? Interestingly, the way the law works, if the super-committee doesn't come up with the whole $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, the trigger -- massive spending cuts -- kick in only as to the difference between what the super-committee does and $1.2 trillion. So, for example, if the committee agrees on $800,000 in deficit reduction, the trigger would apply to the remaining $400,000.

Standard & Poor's says that part of the reason it downgraded our credit rating because of the skeptics who didn't believe how serious a default would be. Thank you, Michelle Bachmann.

The GOP Presidential field debated last night. Not much about health care, but a lot of inaccuracy. Michelle Bachmann gets her own fact-checker since she's so good at rewriting history. The candidates did go after each other a bit, making for good theater. Romney is still taking heat over health reform -- too bad he can't just tell the truth, that roughly 98% of people in Massachusetts have insurance, and everyone can get insurance, some with government help. Too bad he's running away from something that really worked.

Town Halls are popping up while members of Congress are on recess. Voters are telling both Dems and GOP to fight harder for what they believe in. Pretty interesting -- not compromise, but fight harder. Hmmm. No question they are angry, though. The President is urging voters to ask their members to work together, to compromise. And Dems are urging the President to get more involved.

Will Wisconsin's ultra-conservative Governor Scott Walker implement health reform? He's the only remaining GOP Governor to accept early innovation funds to create an insurance exchange (marketplace). Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is highlighting the fact that every Exchange will offer a nationwide (actually, multi-state is what it says) insurance plan(s) that allows people to access a nationwide network of doctors.

When there are tough medical decisions to be made, it seems that patients would just as soon have the doctor decide. Not me. I cling to my autonomy, no matter how sick I get.

A new -- definitely experimental -- cancer treatment, the hot chemo bath. Doesn't sound pleasant to me, but whatever works with this afwul scourge. Just don't expect your insurance company to pay for it.

Finally, Kaiser Health News has gathered some suggested week-end reading. I don't know about you, but I need a break from this stuff on the week-ends. But there are some interesting pieces here -- how the new rules prohibiting medical residents from working 30 hour shifts is working; a profile of the architect of the health reform law, MIT's Jonathan Gruber.

And that's the morning's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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