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Monday Musings

Posted Oct 17 2011 6:04am
Monday already and a short week for me. I am speaking at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Miami educational seminar on Saturday, so I'm traveling on Friday -- and then staying an extra day to soak up a little vitamin D. But first, the news.

Medicare's annual open enrollment period started early this year -- so don't forget.

Some states are looking for more flexibility to push the health reform law even further . Oregon and Vermont will be ahead of federal timelines and want to do more -- Vermont is going for single-payer universal care. They will need federal waivers to do it, but I'll bet they get those waivers, just as some states have gotten waivers that allow them to do less than the law requires.

The supercommittee is weighing cuts to public health programs . Medical research. Disease prevention. It's so wrong. Even if you set aside health concerns, these are jobs! And a lot of these are among the automatic cuts that will occur if the supercommittee can't reach agreement . But so far, the supercommittee co-chairs appear to be getting along . I suspect that's easier when the work is being done in secret. Meanwhile, House GOP are readying for another budget showdown with conservatives in their own party.

As you know, the Obama Administration has pulled the plug on the long-term care portion of the health reform bill known as the CLASS Act. This week, HHS expects fall-out . The GOP wants a hearing on why it took so long for the Administration to end this plan . Others in the GOP say this is an indication of problems with the law as a whole . I can't really find a good explanation of why, but apparently, the CLASS Act was expected to represent nearly $100 billion in savings from the health care -- although it was killed largely because it was unaffordable.

Now that the Senate Dems didn't have the votes for President Obama's jobs bill as a whole, he's now starting to push pieces of it, starting with $35 billion for teachers and first responders .

How many of us spend time researching our symptoms on the internet ? Doing so can cut the wrong way, creating fear where it's not necessary.

Today the Connecticut Supreme Court hears argument about whether a woman with disabilities met the definition of "physically helpless" when she was sexually assaulted . The Appellate Court said no -- she could have kicked or scratched or bitten. But we don't require healthy women to bite in order to claim sexual assault. The woman was unable to speak, and had to sign out on a communication board that she'd been attacked. But the standard for finding that she was assaulted may end up being higher than for a healthy woman. And that's just wrong.

Scans on your phone? There's an app for that, too . Very cool.

Nationally, Black babies are twice as likely to die as white babies . What a horrifying statistic.

Johnson & Johnson won a suit on Friday when court found that it adequately warned doctors about the risk of harm to tendons associated with the antibiotic Levaquin .

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics allows diagnosis of ADHD in children as young as 4 years old .

And that's the morning's news. Have a great day! Jennifer
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