Sorry I'm late this morning. I slept an extra hour, which really is a good thing. But let's get right to to the news.
As you know, when Congress was unable to agree on a plan to raise the debt limit and prevent a global economic crisis when the United States defaulted on its debt, they created a super-committee to figure it out. When the super-committee was unable to get anywhere, automatic cuts were scheduled to kick in in 2013. Now, people are unhappy with the automatic cuts -- the GOP is fretting over defense cuts, and the Dems are fretting over cuts to social programs. This one's going to be painful for us all. The GOP wants to scuttle the deal now, but the President says they made their bed and now they need to lie in it. I agree -- but I hate that poor, sick Americans are going to suffer even further for Congress's misdeeds. Head Start, AIDS programs, child care all on the chopping block. I don't know where this is going, but I find it hard to imagine a happy ending.
Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee voted to defund health reform. If you can't repeal it, defund it. But whatever you do, make sure those "unfortunate people" with pre-existing conditions don't get what they need.
The Governor of Maine not only wants to reject the Medicaid expansion; he plans to cut thousands of people from the Medicaid rolls, believing that the Supreme Court decision allows him to do so. The health reform law prohibits cutting Medicaid eligibility and the Supreme Court did not address that part of the law at all. But setting aside the constitutional questions, ARE YOU NUTS?!!! Why would a state want to take away health care for the very poor? What do they plan to do when those people get sick and can't get care?
Most Americans believe that the Supreme Court's decision in the health reform case was based on the Justices' personal politics more than the law. The thing is that personal politics, biases, proclivities inform all of our judgments one way or the other. Supreme Court Justices are no different. That's part of why it matters so much who's on the Court. If it were a totally objective process, you could just use a computer to get a decision! Justice Scalia denies that decisions are politically motivated, though. And in case you were worried, he says he and Chief Justice Roberts are getting along just fine despite the Chief Justice's decision on health reform.
Here's a bit of a surprise. Bill Frist, former GOP Senator and also a doctor, says Exchanges are innovative, market-driven, and constructive and the GOP should stop opposing them. They used to listen to him -- I wonder if they will do so now.
Lack of exercise kills as many people as smoking. Oh, boy.
The study of the human genome continues to spawn new understanding on a path to new treatments. One large study has given researchers some hints about colon cancer that may lead to new treatments. Very exciting.
However, another study is questioning surgery for early detected prostate cancer, finding that people who have surgery don't do a lot better than those who don't.
Regular, moderate consumption of alcohol may reduce women's risk of rheumatoid arthritis? Really? I don't know that I'm ready to bank on this one.
And that's it for today. Have a great day! Jennifer