Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Musings

I'm so tired. I overslept this morning. Had fun speaking to the Manhattan Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America yesterday, but my body really notices when I don't get my full week-end in -- and I have to work this Saturday, too. Oh, well. First, a quick read on the news:

The President will offer a plan to cut the deficit by $3 trillion. Half will come in the form of tax increases on the wealthy, but there are steep cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, as well. The word is that the Medicare cuts will NOT come from raising the eligibility age. $1.1 trillion comes from ending the war in Iraq. The President is forecasted to announce that he will veto any deficit reduction plan that doesn't balance cuts against revenue. The GOP already are calling this class warfare. But cutting spending on the poor and seniors through cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would seem to balance out tax increases on the rich -- everyone hurts. And the high income tax - known as the Buffett Rule (after Warren Buffett, who's been leading a charge among millionaires and billionaires to advocate making them pay their fair share) -- says that the rich shouldn't pay tax at a lower rate than their employees.

It's almost Medicare open enrollment time. How to shop for a Medigap plan? Read away!

The feds are getting worried that states are not doing what they need to do to set up exchanges in time for enrollment in October 2013, but rather than take over the job in those states, they are pushing state-federal partnerships.

A pilot program has paramedics checking on the chronically ill before they call for an ambulance. I'm not sure this is the most cost-effective way to avoid emergencies, but the concept of getting to people before an emergency is a good one.

Schools struggle on how to deal with "new" disabilities like chronic fatigue syndrome, which result in many absences. I don't know -- we work with schools on issues like this every day. It's not difficult if you want to do it.

A Princeton economist (not Paul Krugman) explains the role of prices in health care spending.

Virtual colonoscopy -- a tool whose time has not quite come. But I can't wait until it does!

And that, my friends, is Monday's news. Have a great day. Jennifer

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