Friday, June 8, 2012

Finally Friday!

Not a lot of time again today, so let's get right to it.

Some are guessing that the Supreme Court decision on health reform. might come down as early as Monday.   What will happen?  Here's some guess-work.  A new poll shows that a majority of Americans want some or all of the health reform law to be repealed.  I'm thoroughly convinced that, if people understood that, if the individual mandate goes, so, too, goes coverage of pre-existing conditions, they would feel differently.  Then again, Politico is reporting that the most likely scenario is that the Court will strike down ONLY the individual mandate and NOT the prohibition against excluding pre-existing conditions -- a scenario that would leave Congress and the President scrambling to figure out how to make the law work without the mandate.  Some states, like Vermont, will enact their own mandatesThe Wall Street Journal says the Supreme Court decision won't make much of a difference in the way employers deal with health insurance.  Meanwhile, the House voted to repeal the medical device tax, attempting to derail health reform at any cost.

And contrary to GOP assertions, a study of the Massachusetts health reform law shows that health reform will NOT cost jobs.  In light of the explosion of hiring in the health care sector, this certainly seems right.

Meanwhile, one of the health reform programs that's been great for Americans is the Consumer Assistance Programs or CAPs.  These programs have saved consumers $18 million, according to HHS.  Initially, the funding went away -- but yesterday, a new round of CAP grants was issued.  Great news.

And approximately 6.6 million young adults have gotten coverage under health reform that they otherwise would not have gotten.  Really?  A majority of Americans want this to go away?  I don't believe it.

The life expectancy gap between whites and African-Americans is closing -- are we beginning to deal with racial disparities in health care?

Do you know about CaringBridge?  It's a social networking site where people can create individual pages about health crises and connect with friends and family.  It's been around for 15 years and it's really a great tool.  Check it out. 

Doctors used to treat patients both inpatient and outpatient.  We've been moving towards the use of hospitalists more recently -- doctors who only treat inpatients, leaving the outpatient doctors to focus there.  Here's a piece by one doctor who feels this is a good development.  I strongly disagree.  There is no continuity of care when the inpatient doctor has never seen you until you land in the hospital.  They often have no idea what's going on with the patient.  Patients suffer as a result.  This doctor's rationale -- it makes it easier on the doctors -- rings hollow for me.

And that's it for this morning.  Have a great day and a great week-end.  Jennifer

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