Berwick to leave
. . .and his work just started []
GOP Govs Point To Medicaid Flexibility As Means To Reduce Spending
Kaiser Health News.jpg Cuts to Medicaid are among the GOP's strategies for bringing their state budgets under control, according to a report issued by the Republican Governor's Association. But at what cost for the nation, as cuts fall on the backs of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and for whom the federal program has become a lifeline to treatment, rehab and recovery? Kaiser Health News has summarized coverage of this story. []
Health Industry Could Feel Pinch, Then Pain From Default
Kaiser Health News.jpg Unprecedented default would sorely affect people who depend on Medicaid or Medicare as a result of a disability or while in recovery from a mental illness. This article from Kaiser Health News explains some of the implications for states, hospitals, nursing homes, and individuals who depend on the reliability of government payments to avert disaster. []
Budget passions, decisions delayed
The stalemate continues and a sample of tweets and clips show the frustration of voters. []
Study Details How GOP Budget Plan Would Cut States' Medicaid Funding
Kaiser Health News.jpg The Ryan proposals Republicans endorsed for block grants that will change the current funding of Medicaid are estimated to cost states an average of one-third of their federal funding and seriously undermine the continuation of a safety-net for poor, uninsured and disabled people, according to an analysis of Kaiser Health News. []
Reactions to Ryan's proposal
. . .fast and furious []
CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan
Republican plans to cut Medicare, and "scrap the health care law's Medicaid expansion," and cost more. An article on Kaiser Health News has analysis of the CBO report, with links and videos. []
Berwick nomination in doubt
. . .unfortunate for health reform []
Battle Over Medicaid Block Grants Could Have Far-Reaching Impact
Kaiserlogo.jpeg Medicaid, part of the social contract to make sure that people with health needs are not abandoned, has been discussed as a candidate for block grants to states. Proposals stem from a need to make spending more efficient and effective, and to curb entitlements. The implications for people with a psychiatric diagnosis, or other chronic health needs, could be profound. This article by Kaiser Health News outlines how the Republican party proposals for health and budget reforms enlist block grants, first used by Pres. Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. And what the political debate implies. []
Ronald Reagan, mental health, and spin
. . .man behind the myth []
Of guns, myths and common sense
Debates over the Second Amendment have galloped forward since the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the mayhem in Arizona leaving six people dead. Particularly insightful articles come from Truthout discussing the consequences of the paradoxical conversation about rights, guns and health care. From Stateline comes an update about carrying concealed weapons into state offices. []
KHN Column: 'Multiple Fictions' Drive Opposition To Health Law
Kaiser Health News.jpg "The health reform debate is not about a fictional war between market-based health insurance and government regulation. It is about whether to provide adequate subsidies to cover the uninsured and whether to begin a process of leveraging change in the delivery and payment systems through which one-sixth of the U.S. economy is devoted to health care," writes Henry J. Aaron, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. []
How The Health Reform Game Has Changed
Enthusiasts of health reform should not overlook the power of interest groups, or of the states, to influence next steps. "Many of the key implementation decisions won't be made at the federal level because insurance is regulated to a large extent by states," write economists Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll for Kaiser Health News. []
Repealing Health Reform: For Heritage Action, It Would Be A 'Grand Slam'
Kaiser Health News.jpgRepeal of the health reform law is gaining traction among Republican lawmakers who have gathered 170 signatures. Leading the campaign is the Heritage Foundation, arguing that the majority of Americans have rejected health during the debate, and more so since it was signed, and is willing to wait until Republicans can effect a reversal. Kaiser Health News interviewed Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America. []
New York and Calif. big losers
One of the consequences of the Senate's failure to pass an extension of unemployment insurance is the cost to Medicaid in each state. Of the $15 billion at stake, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, California stands to loose $1.9 billion and New York $2.2 billion. Every state will lose something, and the range is $22 million for Wyoming to the high in New York. To see the full table, click here. []
Threats to Medicaid in Senate vote
June 16 Update The Senate Finance Committee released details of modifications of a bill (HR 4213) the Senate failed to pass yesterday extending federal benefits to help states pay for Medicaid, to continue Medicare physician reimbursements through 2011, and to extend COBRA for people unemployed during the recession. The details of the changes can be downloaded here: Summary of Modifications and Additions []
Threats to Medicaid in Senate vote
June 16 Update The Senate Finance Committee released details of modifications of a bill (HR 4213) the Senate failed to pass yesterday extending federal benefits to help states pay for Medicaid, to continue Medicare physician reimbursements through 2011, and to extend COBRA for people unemployed during the recession. The details of the changes can be downloaded here: Summary of Modifications and Additions []
British campaigns ban mental health derision
britishflag.jpg
Politicians in Great Britain have struck a deal not to engage in accusations, slurs about a candidate's mental health status or treatment. It is intended to permit greater conversation about mental health issues without recrimination. . . []
Passing health reform energizes advocates
Historic, jubilant, transformative were among the adjectives enunciated in the on-going celebrations of Sunday's historic pass of health reform in America. Recalling his mother who battled insurance companies on her deathbed, Pres. Barack Obama said passing this law represents the "core principles that everybody should have security." . . []
Catholic nuns, liberal politicians boost health reform prospects
Capitol(iStock).jpg
Democrats got a boost from Catholic nuns representing 60 orders, and defying Bishops of the Catholic Church to endorse health reform. . . []
Patrick Kennedy explains decision not to seek re-election
KennedyPatrick.jpg
Rep. Patrick Kennedy announced he will return to private life after representing Rhode Island for 15 years. Kennedy was open about his own addictive and mental health disorders, and tenacious in the fight to end discrimination. . . []
Whistleblower says Prop 63 not working in Cal.
roseking.JPG
In 2004 California voters passed Prop 63 to raise money by taxing millionaires for services for people with a mental illness. Many considered it a model law. Five years later, Rose King, political adviser and champion of mental health, filed a Whistle Blower complaint. What went wrong and how can it be corrected? Read her explanation. []
Health reform bills differ in closing gaps
If, as the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows, crafting health reform has produced some of the more unlikely. LGBT groups, faith-based groups, insurance companies, and the Black Caucus Health Brain Trust are among the diverse interests agreeing on one thing: It's time to end disparities . . . []
Mental health in background of upcoming political campaigns
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Political candidates are no longer ducking mental health issues as if they disqualified them from office. []
Historic House health reform bill squeeks by
Houseapproves3962.jpg
It took barely 8 minutes for 218 Democrats to pass the controversial House bill (HR 3962) for health reform Saturday night. The final vote, 220 to 215, included a single Republican from Louisiana. At 11:14 pm, when the vote closed, applause greeted the results and Speaker of theHouse Nancy Pelosi read the results to further applause. She dropped the gavel to end the session []

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