Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hunp Day Headlines

Not Friday yet? Bummer. But unions won in Ohio and women won in Mississippi, so it's not all bad news. Here's what's new in health:

A conservative leaning panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that the health reform law is constitutional. While this probably doesn't have much of an effect on what the Supreme Court will do, the Courts of Appeals are now split, and this decision was written by a Reagan appointee, which may give us some indication of where the most moderate Justices -- particularly Justice Kennedy -- might go. Or so I hope.

However, Ohio voters approved a measure that says they can't be required to buy health insurance. Of course, this has no effect since federal law trumps state law, but it's a sign of the lack of popularity of the individual mandate. Then again, I remain convinced that if people truly understood how the health reform law works as a whole, they would not feel this way. It's a messaging problem that the White House has not done enough to address.

GOP members of Congress offered a tax deal to break the deadlock in Washington. The deal would have reformed the tax code to raise revenue -- but it also included new tax CUTS for the wealthy. The Dems say this is no compromise. The supercommittee canceled a meeting and the general mood appears to be that there is no path to compromise. Not good at all. Dems are concerned about all the secrecy. And a Congressional Budget Office report says that cuts alone will not get the deficit under control. Indeed, some GOP-ers are disavowing their no tax increase pledge. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Obama is hoping that the subcommittee fails. So how about making him wrong, then, and compromise a little!

The Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that poorly designed and organized electronic medical records may pose a risk to safety. The report called for an investigation of how to make the transition to electronic records in a matter that is both safe and cost-effective.

Hillary Clinton announced a campaign to create a world-wide AIDS-free generation. You go! And Ellen DeGeneres is named a new global AIDS ambassador.

As people with developmental and other disabilities live longer, more siblings will participate in their health care later in life.

A new study shows that a surgery that was supposed to prevent strokes doesn't work. Back to the drawing board.

Walmart may start providing primary care services. Talk about one stop shopping!

Five Foundations are teaming up to conduct a huge survey about health care here in Connecticut. It's great to see them coming together like this for the common good.

And that's today's news. Have a great one. Jennifer

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