Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Themes

Two weeks from today, we move -- but miles to go before that. Of course, it's one client emergency after another, so I just keep getting further behind in my work no matter how many hours I put in. Oh, well. I guess we'll review the news -- one thing I can get done.

The super-committee has a huge job ahead, with the pressure to make a deal and the partisan rancor that has characterized all debates. The President is going to make a major jobs speech after Labor Day, and he's going to call on the super-committee to include jobs programs as well as deficit reduction. Details of the President's jobs plan are leaking -- he wants tax cuts for employers who hire workers, new spending for roads and construction, coupled with even greater deficit reduction than the committee is required to make. The House GOP is already criticizing the President's plan for not being specific enough. Um, maybe wait until he actually outlines his proposals?

Yesterday, the government issued proposed regulations to require health insurers to make standard-form disclosures of all aspects of their policies so consumers can compare and make intelligent choices. The key is it has to be in plain language, which is great. Now, how to distill all the critical information about a policy in four pages?

The health care sector has been one of the few industries to continue to grow during the recession. Will cuts to Medicaid and Medicare undermine that pro-jobs economy?

There's a shortage of drugs that is leading to unscrupulous price gouging. However the Wall St. Journal notes a trend in "repurposing" drugs -- using them to treat conditions other than those for which they were FDA approved. However, they missed mentioning the fact that insurers routinely decline coverage for this sort of off-label use. And members of Congress are concerned about the proposed merger of Express Scripts and Medco -- would it save money, or would it just give them the monopoly power to control the market's prices?

That's it for today. With Washington on recess, there's less chatter -- and as far as I'm concerned, that's okay with me. Have a great day! Jennifer

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