Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

Well, the President signed the debt deal -- and said now, he can shift his focus to jobs and the economy. That would be good. After all that, though, the estimates are that we haven't really shrunk the deficit -- just cut the rate of growth. But the President says it's only the first step, and we need to raise revenue to get a balanced approach. So now we will have a super-committee that has to come up with the next phase of debt reduction by November 23 or the trigger -- automatic, horrible cuts -- will kick in. Imagine the lobbyists lining up to talk to these 12 members of Congress. Expert economists say we cannot solve this problem without a tax overhaul. There's very little confidence in Washington, so stocks went down and foreign governments who have funded our debt are not convinced we have done much to solve the problem. However, the ratings agencies are maintaining our AAA credit rating. Interestingly, the Tea Party isn't taking credit for this deal; the old Republican guard in the guise of Mitch McConnell won the day. McConnell says there won't be clean votes on debt ceiling increases ever again. But the real driver of debt is health care spending, and nobody knows how to get that under control -- and certainly not by November 23. Medicare and Medicaid growth continues. The super-committee will have to address health care somehow.

Here's a new study that says employers are unlikely to drop health insurance coverage because of health reform.

Republicans want HHS to do something to encourage insurers to offer child-only policies even though they have to cover pre-existing conditions under health reform.

When we forget about focusing on mental health, tragedy is all too likely.

Colon cleansing is unhealthy. I've been saying this for a long time, but it's all the rage. For those of you who think it's cool, I hope you will read this.

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

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