Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Themes

Start your day off by reading my op-ed on the anniversary of health reform and the upcoming Supreme Court arguments. As always, trying to give a voice to those with chronic illness.

Here's an outline of some of the commerce clause issues that are involved in the health reform case. And here's Nancy Pelosi's defense of the health reform law. The law not only helps young Americans stay on their parents' policy, but it keeps them insured longer, says a new report. What does health reform mean to you? Here's a consumer guide.

Meanwhile, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is under House GOP attack. The IPAB is designed to cut Medicare costs by comparing treatment outcomes to see what really works and what doesn't. Congress could reject any recommended changes the IPAB wishes to make. But the GOP calls it rationing. What gets me is that the GOP wants to dismantle Medicare entirely, instead giving us vouchers to buy insurance (as if there is insurance for people over age 65 with pre-existing conditions, which most seniors have), but they're ready to go to the mat to get rid of the IPAB. Doesn't that tell you it's not about principles; it's about politics?

As you know, Massachusetts already has health reform that's pretty similar to the federal law. But I bet you didn't know that the other state that has an exchange -- but a very different one -- is Utah. How much flexibility will the feds allow Utah if it wants to stick with its bare bones exchange? That's the question.

The GOP budget proposal passed the Committee and now heads for the full House. I think it's interesting that the GOP yelled and screamed that they didn't have enough time to read and study the health reform bill before the votes, but they pass the Ryan budget -- many thousands of pages long -- after only one day. Health care, education, transportation all take huge hits. I just don't believe that a majority of Americans want this.

Disabled people in New York are found to be at needless risk, warehoused and abused. This has to stop -- but how, especially among all the budget cutting?

More men are moving into the nursing profession as manufacturing jobs dry up and health care jobs stay in high demand.

Researchers are close to a test that would predict when you were about to have a heart attack. Wow!

Hospital stays can speed the cognitive decline of the elderly. Yet another reason we have to find a way to let people get care in their homes.

I'm not sure I understand this one -- doctors treating a heart defect in a four year old little girl make an important discovery about stem cells, causing the body to regenerate new cells.

Antibiotics do no good for most sinus infections.

And that, my friends, is that. Have a great day! Jennifer

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