Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday Themes

It seems to me that the death penalty is the ultimate health care issue. I hope we will reflect on what we as a society just did, and keep doing.

In other news ..................

As reported late yesterday, the House rejected a measure that would have funded the government through November 18, largely because funds for disaster relief were tied to spending cuts -- a notion that offended both Dems and GOP. Another count-down to another shut-down. The Senate passed a bill last week that contained twice as much disaster relief. Will the House pass it? We shall see.

The Federal Reserve is shifting some debt around to push down long-term interest rates, only a day after the GOP called on them not to engage in any further stimulus.

Young adults are becoming insured at an unexpectedly fast pace as health reform allows them to stay on their parents' policies to age 26. One million young adults have become insured since this part of the law took effect about a year ago.

One of the Medicare proposals floating around has been to change Medigap policies so consumers have to pay more, thinking that they won't get unnecessary medical care as a result. Yesterday, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners urged against this bad policy, saying it will be disruptive to seniors.

Low income people on disability may, in some states, be on both Medicaid and Medicare. They are known as "dual eligibles." The failure of the two programs to coordinate has cost a ton of money. Congress is getting impatient with the inability of these two programs to get their act together and coordinate care. As much as $125 billion could be saved by better coordination.

Hundreds of people with disabilities protested yesterday against cuts to the Medicaid program on the federal level which, when combined with state cuts, would severely limit access to medical care for poor Americans.

Economists expect health care costs to grow at the slowest rate since 1997 next year -- but the cost to employees will still outpace any increase in their income.

Companies are pushing workers to use lower cost health care -- but will that sacrifice quality?

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was intended to make new technology -- smart phones, tablets, etc. -- more accessible to the disabled. But manufacturers of technology are pushing back, urging the FCC to gut the law with regulations. Members of Congress are urging the FCC to resist these efforts and stay strong.

Health insurers in Connecticut deny coverage to up to one-third of the people who apply for individual coverage.

Wealthy donors contributed $42 million to the University of Chicago to create an institute to teach medical students how to better handle the doctor-patient relationship. Can you teach compassion? I hope so.

Meanwhile, hospitals are working on patient satisfaction, with one Florida children's hospital hiring Disney as consultants to teach them how to better keep patients happy.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT! I already got mine!

Wow -- busy news day! Have a great day! Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment