Tuesday, November 27, 2012

FEDERAL FRIDAYS



Fiscal Cliff:  The Graph.  The Washington Post has published a very informative graphic about the possible impact going over the so-called fiscal cliff would have on the economy. 

D├ętente?  There appears to be a thaw happening over this issue between GOP leadership and the president.  Senate budget committee chair Senator Kent Conrad is optimistic that a deal will be reached.  Meanwhile legislators are working on an omnibus bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year budget.  Here is the outline from one group to achieve over $300 billion in health care savings.

ACA Challenges Ahead.  There are five primary targets for slowing down or stopping parts of the Affordable Care Act:  Medicaid, Subsidies, Taxes, IPAB, and Insurance Rules/Regs. 

52,000.  That’s the number of primary care doctors that will be needed in the U.S. by 2025.

Obama Cabinet Changes.  It is expected that many cabinet secretaries will be changing in the coming months including Treasury, State, Defense, and Justice among others.  No word yet on a possible change at HHS.

New ‘Polling’ Methodology.  For two election cycles now, Hibbing MN native Nate Silver (FYI – Bob Dylan is also from Hibbing) has been spot on with his election predictions which have a different methodology than traditional polling, and is proving more accurate than traditional polling.

Ballot Initiatives.  Many states already allow for medicinal marijuana even though it is still a violation of federal law.  During the election two states passed initiatives to legalize recreational use (Washington and Colorado).  One issue relating to medicinal use centers on insurance coverage.

Exchanges, etc.  HHS is in the process of issuing or has issued regulations on a host of health reform topics including essential health benefits and health insurance exchanges.  Here’s an article explaining exchanges.  Here is a consumer’s guide to the health law that is helpful.

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