Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Themes

All h*ll has broken loose in Washington over the fate of the payroll tax cut, unemployment extension (which actually would reduce the number of weeks a person can be on unemployment), and delay of the reductions in Medicare provider reimbursements. Congress has gone home for the holidays while President Obama stays in Washington and hopes that someone comes back to cut a deal. The House GOP refuse to bring the two month extension to a vote; instead, they held a vote on whether to reject the proposal and begin negotiations -- but the Senate was already gone, the deal was too complicated to get done by the end of the year, and even most of the House left town. Most of the blame -- even coming from Republicans -- is on the House GOP. Even the Wall Street Journal editorial board warned that the GOP might be handing the President his re-election if they did not cut a deal. The President and Senate Dems are imploring the GOP to pass the two month extension and allow time for deal-making. The GOP has rejected their pleas. No matter who you blame, it appears unlikely that these issues will be resolved before the end of the year. And that means the payroll tax cut would expire, meaning most of us will see a pay cut in our first check of 2012 -- and that could harm the economic recovery. And House Tea Party freshman don't care about the politics; they are dug in. In my opinion, the real loser here is Speaker Boehner, who can't get the radicals on the right to compromise.

Anxiety increases as substandard silicone breast implants were placed in tens of thousands of women, and they are rupturing at an alarming rate. These implants were not used in the United States, but the French government is deciding whether to recommend removal from 30,000 women. What a mess.

People with heart rates over 70 are at a greater risk of heart problems, says a new report.

For the developmentally disabled in Connecticut, a shift from public residential treatment to smaller, private community-based care.

And that's the news this Thursday morning. Have a great day. Jennifer

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