Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Themes

I begin where I left off last night -- mad as hell. The Board of the Connecticut Exchange has been announced. Although the statute provides that no insurance company executives could be chosen, three slightly former insurance executives were appointed, and not one representative of consumers -- despite the fact that this is contrary to federal law. Arielle Levin Becker broke the story on the Connecticut Mirror. The Administration seems to be saying they couldn't find any consumer advocates with the necessary expertise. Yeah, right. Hello?!!!

And now to other news.

The debt panel is talking. Considering how fractured Congress has been lately, the fact that they're talking is in and of itself a sign of progress. But they still need to establish staff and their rules for meeting. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the budget cutting will do some good in bringing down the deficit -- but those savings would be completely offset if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are renewed again -- something President Obama has pledged not to allow.

Connecticut is not the only state that's bowing to the will of the insurance industry. California is debating a law to regulate health insurance premiums -- and it's running into opposition in the state Senate. And Michigan is moving to cut health coverage for state employees.

One of the provisions of the health reform law on Exchanges is that there have to be multi-state plans -- a Republican provision that progressives oppose for fear that this will circumvent state laws that require coverage of certain things, from overnight stays for mastectomies to ostomy supplies. Well, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says no such luck -- multi-state plans will still have to comply with the law of the states in which they are selling insurance. This is an excellent, pro-consumer stance. See -- was that so difficult?

But the Republican in New York vying for the seat than Anthony Weiner vacated says he opposes health care for 9/11 workers. His campaign says he didn't mean it, though.

I'm sure you've all heard or read that Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple's CEO. It's due to his battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. We wish him comfort.

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

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