Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Should the supercommittee be meeting in secret? People want transparency, but the committee says they want to be free of politicking. If they met in public, not only would lots of other politicians comment on every iota of a decision they make, but they themselves would have to start justifying their decisions. On the other hand, they probably need to think about how they're going to get other members to vote with them -- and the public can't really have a say if they don't know what to comment on. How does this weigh for you?

What if the individual mandate is struck down by the Supreme Court? What then for health reform?

What health reform pilot projects will work -- and what to do in the meantime?

16 states fall short of health reform requirements for health insurance appeals. They are Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They have until 2012 to contract with 3 outside organizations to handle their external appeals -- or contract with the feds to oversee their program. Most of these states do have external appeals, but they don't meet the law's requirements. This is one of the really big consumer protections in the health reform bill, so it's good to see some enforcement when states fall short.

States are adding drug testing as a hurdle for benefits. I actually get this; we don't want to provide cash benefits to people who will use them to buy drugs. But what about the kids?

An app for people applying for disability benefits.

LA County adds free health care for the uninsured to help thousands.

An outside panel agrees with the government panel that says prostate screening does more harm than good.

What's the difference between a baby's brain that is learning two languages and one learning only one? Fascinating.

Do programs that pay people to lose weight work? I would love to give that a try. I don't know if it would work, but it sure is a powerful incentive.

How would you feel if you got cancer? Really bad cancer? I would stop working, start writing full-time, and spend every minute I have with Emily. Here's what another person is doing.

California requires coverage of controversial treatment of autism. They are also banning tanning beds for minors.

A new thought-controlled program for people with paralysis allows them to control robots with just thought.

Breast cancer (any cancer, any serious disease) is awful when you're dealing with it and going through treatment. But what about when the treatment ends? In another story, we read how cancer patients can benefit from rehabilitation. And in still another story, we read about the cost of cancer treatments.

That's it. Have a great day. Jennifer

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