Friday, July 27, 2012


Finally, it's Friday.  One more day and I get to rest, to make up for traveling instead of resting last week-end.  I'm completely spent.  I actually walked out of my office at 6 pm last night -- I didn't have another hour in me, not to mention another day.  I need to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and just get through this day so I can rest.  And have a really good, big, sobbing cry for all I lost this week.  But first, the news:

Congressional leadership is trying to cut a federal funding deal that would avert a government shut down before the election. According to The Hill, conservatives feel they have the most to lose in another funding stand-off leading up to the election.  They're arguing about whether to extend three months, until the end of the year (the current funding runs out at the end of the fiscal year, which is September) or six months, which would put off hard choices until after the new Congress and, potentially, President are sworn in.  Of course, the big fight at the end of the year will be the expiration -- or not -- of the Bush tax cuts. President Obama wants to extend the cuts for people earning under $250,000; the GOP wants to extend them for all income levels. 

Health reform has saved seniors more than $4 billion in prescription drug costs.  The doughnut hole continues to shrink -- a very good thing.

Hospitals receive federal funding to cover the cost of charity care.  That fund gets cut in half by health reform.  Yet, since illegal immigrants aren't eligible for Medicaid or subsidies to help them buy insurance, they will still seek care in emergency rooms.  But there won't be as much federal funding to go around.  Hospitals are worried. 

But they are doing the right thing by the victims of the Colorado shooting.  For those patients who are uninsured and underinsured, hospitals are writing off the charges.  You have to give them credit for doing the right thing in this case.

Los Angeles has banned medical marijuana dispensaries, and some say the beneficial effects of pot are overstated.

Did you know that the heat wave could be affecting the way your medication works?  I didn't.  This explains a lot.

Disability rights advocates have sued Walmart for placing payment machines out of reach of people in wheelchairs and scooters.  I'm not a Walmart shopper, so I'm not sure what these payment machines look like -- but I support efforts to ensure accessibility for all. 

The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine says Michelle Obama is focusing too much on exercise and not enough on good nutrition.  This got them a little press, but really, hasn't she been talking about growing your own veggies, teaching kids to like veggies, changing school lunches, all along? 

And there you go.  Have a great day and a great week-end.  Jennifer

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