Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hunp Day Headlines

Good morning! 22 days until moving day! But first, here's the news:

Stocks rebounded a bit yesterday, but there's still global uncertainty. And this gives rise to talk about significant cuts in entitlements -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Creating jobs means spending money -- something the Republicans are unwilling to even consider. So the focus is on cutting instead. But cutting spending doesn't help grow jobs. The President, then, is in quite a quandry -- one that could cost him the election, and cost us health reform. I've never been more scared about what's happening in Washington in my adult life. It's like watching someone you love in free-fall and not being able to reach them to help.

The first three Senators have been named to the super-committee -- Dem Harry Reid has named Patty Murray, John Kerry, and Max Baucus. Max Baucus. The same Max Baucus who tried so hard to compromise with the GOP on health reform that he gave away the public option. Oh, boy.

Kansas returns millions of dollars to the feds that was meant to fund the new health insurance exchanges. It is now the second state to return a large "early innovator" grant (the other is Oklahoma). They say they don't want strings attached to their design of their exchanges. I hereby predict for the record that large insurers dominate the Boards of their exchanges. Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says the super-committee has a chance of reining in spending with Medicare cuts.

HHS awards $28 million in grants for community health centers. Medicaid is going to run a pilot program to expand mental health coverage. The feds are also doing outreach to sign up low-income seniors for Medicare Part D help.

As we near the 10th anniversary of 9/11 -- 10 years, wow -- thousands struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the horrors of that day. And there's still no program to cover their health care costs.

California's medical board failed to discipline 710 doctors who had been taken to task by hospitals and other health care organizations in the state.

But California health insurance premiums are lower than in many other states. This info comes from a Kaiser Family Foundation report that said that the average health insurance premium is $215. This baffles me; I don't know anybody with a premium that low in any state. The average in Vermont and Massachusetts is $400. That's closer to reality. Of course, children's insurance is included here, which is why the numbers are low. But still, people are better off than I thought, with my $1225/month premium.

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

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