Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Themes

It's scary times, watching the stock market go up and down, wondering when it will end, how it will end when our "leaders" don't seem to be interested in compromise. The GOP has named it's representatives on the super-committee, but in order to get a deal, one member of either party has to cross party lines and vote for a compromise. Do you think they remember how to compromise? It doesn't look great. The committee is stocked with seasoned veterans. Some say that bodes well for the chance of success. It's going to mean changes to Medicaid and Medicare. Meanwhile, it keeps us transfixed on the debt and not focused on jobs or stimulating the economy. We really need the President to come out with a proposal and fight for it. Here's a profile of the committee members and who funds them. The Republicans are happy with their choices. Upton is all about cutting health care spending. Some liberals are worried that John Kerry may give up too much in entitlements. Toomey is the "de facto" voice of the Tea Party. Deficit hawk Alan Simpson blasts pretty much all of them. Connecticut's own John Larson calls for a super-committee on jobs, too. Gotta love him.

Should the President be going on vacation in the midst of all of this? Part of me says it's unseemly to see him spending $50,000 per week on a rental in Martha's Vineyard when so many people are hurting. Part of me says vacations are important times to recharge batteries (although how would I know? This is just something people tell me). If he comes back energized, it will be worth it.

Nonprofit hospitals are cash-strapped and face their own threat of credit rating downgrades. And states are cutting health care to children.

Here are smartphone apps that help you to relax, meditate, and calm your weary self.

A new report looks at patterns of health care spending by people with private insurance. Very different than the patterns of spending by people with public funding for health care (Medicare, Medicaid).

There's a new treatment for leukemia that shows some promise. Every time I read something like this, I'm optimistic -- if they find something that works for one illness, maybe it will hold clues for others.

A pastor and 2 others were found guilty of Medicare fraud in the amount of about $14 million from false claims of selling power wheelchairs.

And that's the news on this solemn day. Make it a day that counts. Jennifer

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