Friday, September 16, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

Short week-end for me -- I'll be speaking to the Manhattan Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America on Sunday. But I'll take even one day off. But before I get there, here's the news:

I'd like to celebrate a group called the Caring Collaborative -- they help each other out, pick up their meds, cook a meal, accompany each other to the hospital -- making life a little less lonely. Now, if only all of us would do this. If only.

In contrast, there was Speaker Boehner telling the super-committee that the GOP will not accept any tax increases. He's vetoed the revenue side of the equation before the committee ever did a thing. So the gridlock is back, making it much less likely that a deal can be made. Meanwhile, the President has taken Social Security cuts off the table.

Premiums for Medicare Advantage Plans are dropping. Don't forget -- you get what you pay for. But really, this proves that the cuts to these Plans that were part of health reform did NOT make things more difficult for seniors, who are enrolling at increasing rates. Meanwhile, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is asking Congress not to change Medigap plans. There has been some push towards higher copays and deductibles to discourage Seniors from getting so much health care. Yeah, you read that right.

Health reform regulations that determine which plans are grandfathered and, thus, exempt from parts of the law are under House GOP attack. They want more plans to be able to opt out of the reform requirements. Just so we're clear, the requirements affected by grandfathering are things like the phase-out of annual limits on benefits, the new appeal requirements -- in other words, consumer protections.

The National Practitioners Databank -- the database of doctors who have been disciplined or sued for malpractice -- no longer is available for public access. The public access version always had names and addresses hidden; it was used by reporters and researchers for statistical purposes. And now it can't be used at all.

In a fascinating study, researchers found that by exploring the genome of a family of four, they were able to make very specific findings, including the daughter's tendency to blood clots, allowing her to get preventive care.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of African-American children who were knowingly exposed to lead paint as part of a research study.

"Venture philanthropy" -- a wealthy family making donations to try to find medical cures -- turns to chronic fatigue syndrome. This is great news.

And that's today's news. Have a great day and a great week-end. Jennifer


  1. Have you heard anything about taxing soup kitchens?

    My new doctor did some type of testing and I found out I have several factors for blood clotting. I had two at 32 and nobody knew why.


    But it's so funny I just read about someone from hs having this done and she's related to Marie Antoinette-my doctor won't tell me anything like that. Just the medical.

  2. Taxing soup kitchens? That's totally nuts.

    It's good to know that genetic info so you can take preventive steps. J