Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Morning

What a lovely week-end.  I had a great visit with friends, and then attended my younger niece's high school graduation.  We had the benefit of great weather and good spirits.  Lots of laughs and smiles, and a happy tear or two for my niece.

But now it's Monday, and that means back to the grind.  Starting with the news.

First, I was remiss on Friday night, leaving here without giving you the answer to last week's NY Times puzzle.  It turns out the rash was from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  It's a potentially life-threatening reaction to some stimulus that triggers the immune system to attack the skin and mucous membranes.  The trigger is usually a drug.  In this case, they think the trigger may have been ibuprofen.  Wow.  Who knew?

Now, to the real stuff.

A hospital in Brooklyn, NY says it's already made major changes due to health reform, and they don't believe that the Supreme Court decision will change the need for hospitals to work on controlling health care costs.  Indeed, rolling back the clock would be both hard and short-sighted.  Hopefully, the Supreme Court will take that into consideration.

Similarly, UnitedHealthcare is saying that it won't stop offering important consumer protections that were required by the health law, even if the law is repealed.   It will continue coverage of kids to age 26, the elimination of lifetime limits, and preventive care.  It also will continue to use the new appeals process.  However, it can't cover pre-existing conditions for children unless the rest of the big insurers agree to do the same.  And it's not even talking about eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions of adults.

Still, there is much at stake for consumers in the Supreme Court decision.   Pre-existing condition coverage would be the biggest loss, but there is a lot more in the law that would be missed.  And depending on what the Court does, there will be some chaos.  There are so many reasons for us to hope that the Court does not take the drastic step of overturning the entire law.

Will small states have trouble running their own exchanges?   Delaware is concerned that market size isn't sufficient to achieve economies of scale.  A small exchange means less income to use to operate the exchange. 

A new study shows that intestinal fungi play a role in Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.  This suggests relatively benign treatment with fluconazole.

Lack of sleep increases the risk of stroke.  Which is why I'm determined to try to get out of here at a reasonable hour this week.

After all, tomorrow is my 55th birthday.

Have a great day.  Jennifer

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