Thursday, April 19, 2012

Almost Friday (YAY) Edition!

One more day and I'm off to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's largest educational program in Chicago, where I will be giving two speeches -- one to parents about school law, and one to the large group, an overview of disability law.  But first, the news:

Conservative policy analysts are encouraging states not to create health insurance Exchanges.   Their goal is to destroy health reform even before it really gets started.  But the law says that, if a state doesn't create an Exchange, the federal government will do it for them.  The whole idea of Exchanges is to create a marketplace where consumers can shop for and buy health insurance, while also applying for Medicaid or subsidies to help cover the cost of private insurance.  Even if you drop the subsidies, though, how is it not a good thing to help consumers get accurate, reliable information so that they can make informed decisions about health insurance?  There's been an Exchange in Utah for years now -- not exactly a hotbed of political activism -- because it's just smart to help consumers make good purchases.  So even if you are against some aspects of reform -- the individual mandate primarily -- why not use the good pieces of it?

A new study shows that people remain unaware of key aspects of the health reform law.  

Once you become uninsured, you're likely to stay uninsured for awhile, says a new study.  31 percent of those surveyed say they can't find insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

Bills introduced in the House and the Senate would change the rules on generics, allowing manufacturers to update information on risks, and thereby allowing patients to sue generic manufacturers if something goes wrong. This would overturn a Supreme Court decision holding that makers of generics cannot be sued for product liability.

The health insurer WellPoint (Anthem BCBS parent company) is the focus of an aggressive demand for corporate disclosure of political activity, including large donations to the Chamber of Commerce.  In this case, it's members of WellPoint's Board of Directors who are demanding transparency.

Here's another installment of the journal of a young woman undergoing a bone marrow transplant for leukemia.   She's totally amazing, if you ask me.

New breast cancer classifications may help to design custom treatment that will, thus, be more likely to succeed in treating the disease.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs is increasing its mental health staff in response to a surge in need for mental health services among those returning from war.  About time.

Exercise lowers Alzheimer's risk

And that's today's early morning news.  Have a great day. Jennifer

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