Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hump Day Headlines

More on the dueling Medicare fixes.  Today's report is that Romney's proposal to restore the $716 billion he claims President Obama "robbed" from Medicare would actually hasten Medicare's insolvency.  Of course, there's also the fact that Ryan's plan would have cut the same amount from Medicare, but instead of putting the savings toward providing health insurance for middle-income Americans, he would apply it to the deficit.  And the fact that Romney's proposal would cost seniors hundreds of additional dollars now, undermining his claim that his plan doesn't affect current seniors.  Experts cited by the NY Times such as John McDonough, the director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at Harvard, say either Romney/Ryan don't understand Medicare or they're deliberately not being candid with the American people.  I suspect we are going to be hit over the head on this issue pretty consistently between now and November.

A federal court of appeals has allowed Texas to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the Women's Health Program.  Planned Parenthood did not perform abortions as part of that Program.  Instead, they provided cancer screenings and other women's health services.

How do we control health care spending without rationing?  We hate that word, "rationing."  But we already provide more health care to those with insurance than those without, more to those who can afford it than those who can't.  And if you think insurance companies making decisions about what to cover isn't rationing, you're very wrong.  How can we reduce spending without inequity?  That, says this writer, is the question.

Montana's Senator Jon Tester has introduced legislation that would give states authority to review and block rate increases.  Some states already have such laws, but they aren't always applied vigorously.  Other states don't have such laws at all.  It's a very important idea whose time has come, as insurers keep raising rates as if there is no end to what they can charge.  Especially in states with limited competition because of the small number of insurers in the state, this is so important.  I knew there was a reason Pearl Jam is playing a concert for Senator Tester! 

The new Alzheimer's caregivers: men. Really, it's not just Alzheimer's, and there's nothing new about this.  My dad certainly was my mom's caregiver at the end of her life.  But we think of caregivers as women.  It's good to be reminded that they're men, too.

A few years of music lessons improves mental functioning, even years after you've stopped the lessons.  Yet another reason your kids should learn an instrument.

And that's it for this morning.  Have a great day!  Jennifer

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