Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Off on a Flight to Mars!

The day has finally arrived.  I leave here shortly before noon, headed to the airport and the trip across the country to see my friends, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and his wife Ashley O'Connor.  It's going to be a long, physically difficult trip, but I wouldn't miss seeing Mike and Ashley for anything.  Tomorrow night's Flight to Mars show at the Troubador should be something to remember.  I think of the Troubador as the West Coast's version of CBGB's or something, so getting to go backstage there should be a blast, thinking of all the careers that started there.  And Mike's playing a special, private acoustic show on Saturday night that I think will be great fun, too!  All I need is the energy to get through it!

But first, I have a few hours of work left to do, starting with the news.

The ultimate betrayal.  For more than two years, the GOP have been saying that they would repeal health reform and replace it with a different package of reforms.  However, they have backtracked.  "Repeal and replace" has now become "repeal -- period."  So no relief for people with pre-existing conditions.  No checks on the massive premium increases we've seen over the past 10 years.  No closing the doughnut hole for seniors.  No free preventive care.  No coverage of kids to age 26.  No exchanges to allow people to shop for health insurance.  Just get rid of it all and retreat to the status quo ante, the status of things before March 23, 2010, the day health reform was signed.  Understand this, folks.  It's what you like to call "Obamacare" or it's back to the way things were, which was unsustainable, with 50 million uninsured and growing, and many more underinsured.  I hope the American people are going to realize that imperfect health reform is better than doing absolutely nothing.  Oh -- and by the way, the insurance industry stands to lose as much as $1 trillion if health reform is struck down.  So who gains from repeal?  Just some noisy politicians.

Fourteen states are setting up searchable databases of health care costs so consumers can shop for the best prices.  Health care is the one thing we buy without knowing the price, without comparing our options.  Should our decisions be motivated only by price?  Absolutely not -- our decisions should be motivated by quality of care, as well.  But consumers should be deciding how to balance price and quality, not leaving it all to chance.  And it may be that, when prices are public and transparent, outliers who charge a lot more will be forced to bring their prices down.  So I think this is a great trend.

Are you ready for another battle over raising the debt ceiling, right before the elections?   Sure, Speaker Boehner.  Bring us to the brink of fiscal disaster yet again.  Watch our credit rating fall again.  And do it all in the name of preserving the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- part of what pushed us into this recession.  I think the voters will really love you for this.  Not.  And yet, the Senate GOP is all in for this battle, too.  I don't get it.  Don't they realize the majority of Americans hate this partisan bickering and just want them to get down to business?

An FDA advisory panel has approved a rapid, take-home HIV test.  Hopefully, this means more people will be tested and diagnosed and treated as early as possible.  Great news.  Next, the whole FDA has to act on this recommendation, but hopefully, this will be on the market early next year.  Another milestone in the fight against this awful epidemic.

A new drug will be tested on people with a high risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.  Can we prevent it in our lifetime?  Hurry up!

And that's the news for today.  Hope you have a great day and a great rest of the week!  Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Jean Mills AranhaMay 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Jennifer, have a great trip and enjoy! You certainly deserve it.