I was so tired yesterday that I left work at about 4:15, went and got a sandwich for dinner, came home and went to bed. And stared at the ceiling. Woke up to over 40 emails -- the consequence of trying to take even a couple of hours off. Oh, well. At least it's Friday. And here's the news:
The GOP is warning that there may not be a payroll tax cut extension since Congress can't agree on anything. Unemployment extension hangs in the balance, too, as does Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. A whole lot of people get hurt badly if this doesn't get resolved by the end of this month. Congress is now off for a 4 day week-end (isn't that nice for them?) and a recess is planned starting February 20. That doesn't leave a lot of time for a resolution, although reports are that staffers will work through the week-end to try to reach a deal.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration released the final regulations that require insurers to provide an easy to understand, uniform summary of benefits and coverage. It's not everything we wanted, but it's a big step forward towards consumers really being able to understand how their health insurance works. By using a uniform format, consumers will be able to compare plans to choose the one that best suits their needs, too. This has been a hard-fought battle against an industry that really didn't want any part of this. Although we didn't win on every point, this is progress. Here's more detail and illustrations of what parts of the forms will look like.
Attorneys General from Virginia and Massachusetts acted out the Supreme Court arguments in the health reform case yesterday. Don't miss the comments below the story.
United Healthcare is following Anthem and Aetna, changing the way they pay doctors, providing extra reimbursement for care coordination and chronic disease management.
The war over contraceptive coverage continues, helping the GOP to firm up its base. VP Biden says a compromise will be worked out. Senate Dems have called for compromise. It's a never ending battle between reproductive rights and religious freedom. The Senate GOP attempted to attach an amendment to the pending transportation bill that is full of jobs, and Majority Leader Harry Reid urged them to calm down.
What happens to a marriage when illness strikes? So tough.
And that's today's news. Have a great day and a great week-end! Jennifer