Friday, September 2, 2011

WE DID IT!!!! Edition

Good morning! The move is complete. We are in, unpacked, cleaned up. I just have to hang some art on the walls and we're good to go. Snazzy computers with HUGE monitors, great equipment, great furniture -- it has all just gone perfectly.

But we live in the real world, so that means I start with the news:

There's lots of speculation about President Obama's speech on jobs next week. Will he go big or bow to the whim of conservatives and do another deficit reduction dance? Unsurprisingly, Speaker Boehner will give his own jobs speech on September 15. I think it's good for the American people to see the contrast. Meanwhile, if Congress doesn't reauthorize a transportation budget, many highway construction workers will be out of a job.

Ezra Klein lays out four possible fates of the health reform law -- redemption (people finally figure out how much it will help them), repeal, resistance, or reform. I'll take some redemption, perhaps with a grain of reform.

Starting yesterday, insurers have to provide justifications for health insurance premium rate increases over 10%, courtesy of the health reform law. In Connecticut, our state's Healthcare Advocate Vicki Veltri is seeing a lot of increases at 9.5%, although the state's largest insurer, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, said they are increasing premiums by 12.5% on individual policies.

I already wrote about the end of the COBRA subsidies. Here's some more detail of how it will impact people here in Connecticut.

If we know a patient is going to die from, say, terminal cancer, who should decide whether to extend his life through experimental treatments? In one case in California, a man bought himself 1.5 years more after his insurance company's denial of coverage was overturned.

After a disagreement about money (of course) between Atlanta's public hospital and the largest dialysis provider in the United States, about a dozen patients in renal failure are denied care. They have to go without, and wait until they are sick enough to get emergency care at an emergency room -- and then keep doing that over and over.

A study suggests that firefighters at Ground Zero on 9/11 have a higher cancer risk. And yet we still haven't given them the health care they need.

And that, my friends, is today's news. Have a great day and a GREAT (PJ20) week-end! Jennifer

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