Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The lead headline in Huffington Post today:  LOOMING!  With a picture of the Supremes, you don't have to read the article to know what they're referring to.  It may be today, but more likely next Monday or even next Thursday.  But soon the waiting will be over -- and then, the work of trying to understand the implications of whatever the Court does will begin.  And then we will have to clean up the mess they make and see if we still have meaningful health reform.

The anti-reformers surely are doing their best to turn people against the law.  About $235 million in advertising has been spent by opponents of the law.  All of the good news has been drowned out -- the 3 million college kids who are now insured, the savings for seniors through the Medicare drug plan, external appeals that have helped us win cases we never otherwise would have won.  Indeed, this year, insurers will pay $1.1 billion in rebates because of the law's medical loss ratio requirement (percentage of premium dollars spent on health care as opposed to administrative costs).   130,000 people died between 2005 and 2010 due to a lack of health insurance. This law aims to change that. All people know is that they think they're going to have to buy something they can't afford.  They don't know about subsidies.  They don't know that the mandate is waived if insurance is unaffordable; indeed, the mandate would apply to only about 2 percent of people.  But 77 percent of people want health reform -- they just don't like this particular law.  I'm thoroughly convinced that it's largely because they believe the lies.  For example, not only is health reform not a job killer, but the health care sector is growing in leaps and bounds.  Most pundits now say, though, that no matter what the Supreme Court does, the battle for universal and affordable health care will go on

Here's a helpful -- and accurate -- guide to the law's effect on consumers.  That's the link to send to your friends and colleagues who don't understand all the good the law has done and will do if it is allowed to move forward.

The HIV infection rate has nearly doubled for African-American women in DC.   What an intimidating statistic.  Just shows that HIV is still an epidemic and we can't abandon vigilance.

Heart attack victims are more likely to have PTSD, which then increases the risk of another heart attack.  Interesting. 

And here's the next installment from the cancer patient who's blogging her experience having a bone marrow transplant.  I particularly like this post.  She talks about how it's strange to "battle" something that's inside of you -- you vs. you.  I often think of my illnesses as a dragon that lives inside me, which makes it tricky to kill it since you might kill part of yourself in the process. 

That's it for this morning.  If the Court rules, we'll hear just after 10 am.  I'll have analysis as quickly as possible.  Have a great day!  Jennifer

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