Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hump Day Headlines

Well, the phones are in, so the move has officially started. I can't wait to see the furniture on Friday -- that's when it will start looking like an office. But first, the news....

The supercommittee (now being called the debt panel) is made up of 12 members, 6 Dems and 6 GOP. Here's an outline of who's there and what they're likely to want to do. I hear their staff is already at work. Members are preparing their constituents for the unpopular decisions they're about to make. Former Senator John Danforth says the real problem with the economy is the cost of health care. I'm so worried about what I fear will be serious cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

Meanwhile, the Administration may give states a second chance to start up their own Exchanges (marketplaces). Only 11 states have taken federal money to set up their Exchange. So the feds are thinking about a "partnership" Exchange run by states and the feds together. Bottom line is that the feds do not want to have to operate Exchanges in 40 states.

Unsurprisingly, the insurance industry has commenced a lobbying effort to try to get the tax on insurance plans repealed. It goes into effect in 2014 and is expected to generate $8 billion in revenue.

Medicare is going to test a new payment system that bundles payments to doctors, other providers, to pay for a health care "episode" rather than being paid for each individual doctor visit. Meanwhile, states are trying to get people to stop going to the emergency room, while hospitals are inviting them in.

Here's another report on the impending bankruptcy of the Social Security disability system, as people who are out of work flock to get benefits.

Here's something to look forward to -- Michelle Bachmann is going to release her own health care plan in the coming weeks.

High salt and inactivity are bad for your brain. For awhile, I had gotten into the habit of eating a Lean Cuisine for dinner -- low-cal and quick/easy. By the end of the week, my ankles and feet were like footballs. Since I've gotten sick again and am now eating pretty much only soup, the swelling is better. That's my lesson on eating too much salt. Now, what to do about all the Lean Cuisines in my freezer? And what to eat instead -- if I ever get past this flare, of course? Bill Clinton became a vegan. I think I could live without most meats, but no eggs or cheese? I don't think there would be much left that I can eat. Nutrition is a constant battle for many of us with chronic illnesses.

Have high cholesterol? Try soy and nuts to help lower it. Oatmeal, too!

Women sleep better than men and, thus, are healthier. If only.

And that, my friends, is the morning news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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