Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Quickie

So much to do; so little time.  So so tired.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Florida will not participate in the Medicaid expansion.  And so my prediction -- Mississippi, Florida, Texas -- looks pretty dead on right now.  See, these three states are the states from which we get the most calls, the hardest calls, the calls for which there are no answers.  Because these states do nothing to help the sick and the poor now.  Why expect them to do something for the poor next year or the year after?  Even though it would come with billions of dollars of federal financial assistance.  When are the people of Florida going to rise up and say NO?  It scares me to think that the people of Florida may even agree that these poor sick people are not worthy of our compassion.  Wake up, Florida.  Ezra Klein says this is just talk, that the deal -- the feds pay for all of the Medicaid expansion and it phases down to 90% federal funding, but never lower -- is just too good.  But if you know how bad it is in these states and you know they've done nothing so far to make a difference, then you know that they may well follow through on these threats.  Rick Scott says the health reform law is devastating for patients.  Are people in Massachusetts suffering?  Nowhere near as much as people in Florida. 

A tax or not?  The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate on the ground that it is within Congress's taxing power to require people who don't have insurance to pay a penalty.  But is it really a tax?  President Obama says no.  The GOP says yes -- they're screaming about President Obama betraying his promise to the American people by imposing a new tax after he promised not to raise taxes on the middle class.  But here's how weird American political theater is -- Governor Romney agrees with the President that it's not a tax.  Why?  Because he did the exact same thing in Massachusetts, so if it's a tax now, it was a tax then, and he doesn't want to be seen as having raised taxes.  More signs of the complexity of Romney's anti-reform position.  Why is he so against it now when he was so for it in Massachusetts?  How will he answer that question?

And if it's a tax, can the GOP repeal it in the Senate with only 51 votes?   That's what they're talking about.  Vigilance, people.  Where do your members of Congress stand on health reform?  If you don't know, then you need to find out.  And if you disagree with them, make your voice heard.  A majority of independent voters want the GOP to leave it alone now that the Court has ruled. If you're part of that majority, I think you're going to have to speak a little louder -- they aren't hearing you. 

Here's one worth watching.  Premera Blue Cross (Washington state) has begun selling a policy that only covers generic drugs.  The state Insurance Commissioner is trying to stop them, while their competitors are following their lead, making it harder to buy individual insurance with broad drug benefits.  If this is a trend, it's really scary. 

A medical puzzle.  A woman starts to fall apart.  Jet lag?  Hectic life?  When her doctors couldn't find an answer, they sent her to a shrink (of course).  Sneddon's syndrome.  Moral of the story?  When you know you're sick, don't let them tell you it's in your head.  And don't expect all the answers to come from the medical community, either. 

Glaxo Smith Kline is paying $3 billion to settle a health care fraud case.  Rooting out fraud continues to be one important way to deal with health care costs run amok. 

I didn't need a study to tell me this.  Treat your kids badly and you leave emotional scars.  I'm not talking about what we think of as abuse -- I'm talking about spankings.  Physical punishment causes mental illness

Interesting - body rhythms help diagnose disease.  Hmmm.

Kids born even two weeks early test lower in math, reading

And that's it for today.  Have a great one -- stay cool. Jennifer

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