Friday, December 23, 2011

Finally Friday Edition

One. More. Day. And then a 3 day week-end -- YAY! But in the meantime, the news:

The House GOP finally agreed on a 2 month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment, and the Medicare reimbursement hike. The House will try to pass this with unanimous consent today; if there is objection, he'll call the whole House back in session next week for a vote. Politically, the victory goes to the Dems, and President Obama in particular; he needed to not back down this time. But really, the winners are the American people, who won't face a tax hike on January 1. However, the unemployed will take a hit as the 20 week Extended Benefit Program ends. Dems call this a necessary concession. I'm not buying the necessity of it.

South Carolina accepted a $1 million grant from the federal government to look into creating a health insurance exchange, but there's word that, instead, they used the money to try to get around creating an exchange. The state justifies this on the ground that it opposes health reform. Um, then you can't take the money.

A Christian school in Colorado has sued the Obama Administration for requiring coverage of contraceptives under their health insurance plan.

The GOP is going after AARP for making money off of the insurance products it promotes, including its very popular Medigap plans sold through UnitedHealthcare. They are questioning the group's tax exempt status.

The feds are adding funds for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan in California and New Hampshire, where enrollment is higher than expected.

The rate of Medicare spending growth has slowed, but enrollment is about to expand dramatically as the baby boomers hit age 65.

It's been 40 years today that Congress passed the National Cancer Act, and many cancers are now chronic illnesses rather than death sentences.

A study linking chronic fatigue to a virus has been retracted due to faulty study protocols. Back to the drawing board.

The developmentally disabled in NY State's care have been heavily dosed with antipsychotic drugs. This needs to change -- now.

A medical school like Hogwarts? Dr. Pauline Chen writes about Vanderbilt Medical School, where a student wellness program aims to alleviate stress by encouraging students to have some fun and relaxation.

Sort of wacky. A guy in California offers his services as a sperm donor via the internet. He doesn't get paid for it. He says he's just being a pal. The FDA says he's a sperm donor bank. Hmmm.

And that, my friends, is today's news. Have a great day -- and a wonderful holiday week-end. Jennifer

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