Friday, September 30, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

And I really mean it. I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth, only one more day to get through before REST. So let's get to the news!

This is a really thoughtful piece about the two sides of the legal argument on health reform. There was opposition to a public option like Medicare for All. Conservatives were the ones who wanted to use the insurance companies to expand care instead. In order to do that, the individual mandate was created -- and it was a GOP idea! And now, it's under attack, whereas all sides agree Medicare for All would have been entirely legal. Who will win? You'll know by next June, when the Supreme Court's term ends. But what about the politics of health reform? Since the decision will come down in the midst of a Presidential campaign, the politics of it is important. The fact is that, although the country is divided on whether they like health reform, a majority of Americans don't want to see it repealed, and a lot of them want to see it expanded. And Dems are pressing for an investigation into Justice Thomas, who mistakenly forgot to report all of his wife's income from efforts to defeat the health reform bill. But why would the Obama Administration want to speed this up despite what it might mean for his re-election campaign? Here are a series of possible answers.

The House passed a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government open for FOUR DAYS! That's what we've come down to -- four day budgets. This was because Congress is on vacation this week and rather than scuttle vacation to deal with the people's business, they punted for four days and will take up a longer short-term fix into November when they get back.

Meanwhile, the GOP has released a 2012 budget proposal that cuts health care and education. It would also cut job training, National Public Radio. And it pretty much defunds health reform implementation. Really? Have these people not gotten the message that the American people are sick of this partisan bickering? Why else would they keep promoting proposals that cannot pass or would be vetoed? Is it all just posturing? I, for one, am getting really tired of it.

The Wall St. Journal reports that managers in the Social Security disability system have asked Administrative Law Judges to slow down so they can shift cases into the next fiscal year, which starts Monday, so they can meet targets and collect bonuses. People are struggling mightily, waiting for a hearing, and these folks have the nerve to slow things down just so they can get a fat bonus? I'm thoroughly disgusted.

The marvelous Dr. Pauline Chen on why doctors order so many tests. It's interesting to hear a doctor's perspective.

This is truly amazing. I'm doing several insurance appeals on a rare and controversial childhood illness called PANDAS -- an autoimmune disease triggered by strep. I never heard of it before and it's very rare, but here it is, a long article explaining one family's odyssey through diagnosis and treatment of PANDAS.

All of us who've spent time in an Emergency Room will find this story to be familiar.

Can you use Twitter to track people's moods? A study says yes. I'm still confused about how to use it!!!

And that, my friends, is the Friday news round-up. Have a great day and a great week-end. I know I will. "To sleep, perchance to dream." Jennifer

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