Suspect denies killing Rocky Mount woman – Source: WRAL

Windsor, N.C. — A Rocky Mount man on trial for strangling a woman more than two years ago took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday, telling jurors that he did not kill her – even though prosecutors say the evidence points only to him. (Read more)

See related:

Murdered and Missing Women

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Is The Economy As Bad As It Appears To Be? I Am Glad I Can Add 43 Plus 1.

If I didn’t read all the bull manure, see all the bull manure on tv about how bad the economy is I would be blind to that facts.

Hell gas is high as hell but I see a lot of cars on the road, going to restaurants and anywhere they want to go.

I am so glad I can see what is going on around me for myself and don’t have to rely on others to tell me how bad the economy is and that "our" President is the root cause. I am glad I can add 43 plus 1.

Black Folks Who Are Democrats And Are President Obama Haters, How Do You Just Connect With The Enemy?

I understand holding the President accountable for his actions but to not give the man 2 terms in office is just ignant on these black folks behalf who are lining up with others against him.

I have always seen black folks as our worst enemies when it comes to politics.

And then if they don’t like the President and they are Democrats why in the hell don’t they support another Democrat? How do you just go on the side and connect with the enemy?

I just don’t get it.

Breaking News Alert – Obama Administration Asks Justices to Rule Quickly on Health Law

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 — 4:20 PM EDT
—–

Obama Administration Asks Justices to Rule Quickly on Health Law

The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear a case concerning the 2010 health care overhaul law. The development came unexpectedly fast and makes it all but certain that the court will soon agree to hear one or more cases involving challenges to the law, with arguments by the spring and a decision by June, in time to land in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department said the justices should hear its appeal of a decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, that struck down the centerpiece of the law by a 2-to-1 vote.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/us/justice-dept-asks-supreme-court-for-health-care-ruling.html?emc=na

THE HILL’S OVERNIGHTS – Healthcare: Supreme Court asked to rule on healthcare law

There’s hardly anything standing in the way of the Supreme Court taking up the 26-state challenge to the law’s individual mandate. Every party in the case asked the high court Wednesday to decide the issue — and quickly.
The Justice Department filed its petition late Wednesday, saying the 26-state suit is the right vehicle for the high court to weight the mandate and that a decision should come sooner rather than later. That most likely means the court will rule in the summer of 2012. But a DOJ official said the push for a quick hearing had nothing to do with the possibility that a Republican president would quit defending the healthcare law in the courts.
Healthwatch has
more on the Justice Department’s brief. Be sure to also read our story on the Supreme Court appeal posted earlier in the day by the 26 attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Food for children: The food industry sighed in relief Wednesday after the Obama administration appeared ready to scale back voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children. Advocates said they’re still confident regulators will adopt strict guidelines to fight childhood obesity.

The group working on the issue "anticipates making significant changes to both the marketing and nutrition principles" that have raised industry’s ire, administration officials wrote to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). The letter also praised a new industry self-regulation effort as complementing the group’s work. Healthwatch’s Julian Pecquet has the letter — and the story.

Cutting Medicare: Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are pressing the deficit-reduction supercommittee to consider their proposal to cut more than $500 billion in Medicare spending over 10 years. Read The Hill’s story.

Ryan’s plan: Meanwhile, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is touting his proposal to replace Medicare and federally subsidized employer-sponsored coverage with tax credits for everyone to buy insurance on their own. The Hill’s Justin Sink has more here.

Failing patients: Hospitals across the country are doing a dismal job making sure their patients stay healthy after their discharge, according to a new report released Wednesday. Healthwatch’s Julian Pecquet has more.

Abortion coverage: Proposed regulations for state health insurance exchanges would allow taxpayer support for abortion coverage, Americans United for Life argues in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"No matter how foolproof the segregation requirements, you can’t change the fact that the law goes against the status quo and subsidizes abortion coverage with tax dollars," argues AUL attorney Mary Harned. "In spite of repeated attempts by the Administration to persuade us otherwise, pro-life Americans know that the Affordable Care Act is not ‘fully consistent’ with other federal laws pertaining to abortion funding. Further, the new regulations proposed by HHS do not resolve one of the Act’s fundamental flaws — insurance plans eligible to receive federal funds are still permitted to cover abortions, in stark contrast to existing federal law, including the Hyde Amendment."

Mr. Medicare rights: The Medicare Rights Center has named its client services and program counsel, Doug Goggin-Callahan, as its new director of Education.


State by state

Arkansas Republicans don’t want the state to apply for federal funds to set up an insurance exchange.

Iowa just got a $3 million wellness grant under the healthcare reform law, but still wants it repealed.

New Hampshire is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 10 New Hampshire hospitals contesting steep cuts in Medicaid reimbursements.

A federal judge has dropped Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback from a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that stripped federal funds from a Planned Parenthood chapter in the state.


Fraud fight

Hill-Rom Co., one of the nation’s largest suppliers of durable medical equipment, will pay $41.8 million to settle charges it submitted false claims to Medicare.

A former pharmacy director at an Indian Health Service facility was sentenced for stealing pills that weren’t picked up by patients.

A Kentucky doctor agreed to pay $349,860 to settle allegations he double-billed Medicare for a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.


Reading list

The libertarian Cato Institute slams HHS’s new "Soviet-style power grab" of a media policy.

The conservative NewsBusters rips all three TV networks for reporting on the rise in insurance premiums without any mention of the role played by the healthcare reform law.


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Spotlight back on healthcare law

Rep. Schwartz urges supercommittee to tackle "doc fix"

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch

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Republicans step up voter suppression efforts in run up to 2012 – Source: Daily Kos

The future of the Republican party is threatened by one simple thing: demographics. But instead of recognizing that fact, and adjusting to it with policies that are more in line with a younger and less white electorate, they’ve settled on a solution of stacking the deck at the voting booth. (Read more)

Federalism: Much discussed, badly understood – Source: The Herald Sun

Because the Republican Party has positioned itself as the party that values federalism, we would expect that candidates for the Republican presidential nomination would know what federalism is. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as there is only one candidate who understands that federalism means those closest to the problem are best equipped to deal with the problem. (Read more)