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Letter from the Editor: ACA Redux and Temporary Medicare Formula Fixes

This week we had a chance to see why government moves at the speed of dirt. It does not matter which party you favor: you have to wonder about our leaders and the way they waste money and time in order to get even. The GOP took over the House of Representatives in the recent election and the first action they took was to vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act. They decided to do this knowing that it was a futile effort as the Senate will not even consider repeal and so the bill will never make it to the President’s desk. With all the problems we have right now it seems that our leaders could use their time more wisely.

One day after voting to repeal ACA, the House passed — in a 428 to 1 vote — an amendment to the resolution calling for a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate formula that Medicare uses to set physician reimbursement. If not for a last minute vote, reimbursement rates for medical visits would have decreased by 24%. Interestingly when you read the amendment there is no solution only a directive to fix it permanently. Again another example of our government at work.

This week we focus on the value of getting off the couch or up from the chair and moving around and I went to Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM, to see what she could add to all the good data that Steve found for us. Sheri was happy to see all the attention given to getting off the couch but also reminded me that we have plenty of muscles we can use while sitting in a chair. Check out Upper-body resistance training exercises, and how you can answer the patient who tells you they can’t walk.

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Many of you have helped patients avert diabetes disasters and we can all learn from them. (See our Safety and Error Prevention Topic page for a complete list.) If you have a “disaster averted” then send it in and if we use it in our Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series you will receive a Visa Gift Card worth $50.00. Congratulations to our readers who have been sent gift cards for their contributions! Click here to let us know the details. (You can use your name or remain anonymous if you prefer.)

Announcements:

TCOYD Conference and Health Fair, Santa Rosa, California, Feb 12, 2011

The TCOYD team starts their regular conference and health fair schedule this year in Santa Rosa, with Special Guest, Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist. Features and Events include: top physicians, diabetes educators, foot specialists; state-of-the-art technologies and advances in diabetes care; afternoon workshops; and physical activities for everyone.

dLife.com: January 23, 7PM ET on CNBC

Topics: Vietnam veterans who developed Type 2 diabetes after exposure to Agent Orange recount their struggles. Plus, Chef Michel Nischan in the dLife kitchen with a cheesy veggie favorite, and Jim Turner in the dentist’s chair. Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Catch up on dLife.com.

Please answer this week’s poll (in the right-hand column): When you recommend a blood glucose monitor, which brand do you recommend the most?

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Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief