US downplays Iranian nuclear advancements as 'hype'


Fwd: Doc Fix

'Congress has struggled with how much the US should pay doctors who serve Medicare patients ever since the program for seniors was created in 1965. Congress blew through two reimbursement formulas before settling in 1997 on the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which linked payments for physicians to the rate of growth of the economy.

But health costs are increasing at a faster rate than is the overall economy. As a result, the SGR was $1 billion short of covering the actual costs of caring for Medicare patients by 2003. Ever since, Congress has approved short-term funding, or the so-called doc fix, to fill the gap – often several times in the same year.

Last year Congress passed five emergency doc fixes, including a one-year, $19 billion fix in December to keep physician payments stable through 2011. House Republicans now propose a two-year, $14.9 billion doc fix, expected to keep physician salaries stable plus a 1 percent raise through 2013. It is expected to cost $39 billion. If Congress doesn't act, Medicare payments to doctors will drop 27.4 percent, beginning Jan. 1.'



RE: below two miles of ice...

The only reason that it is liquid water (I suppose) is that the tremendous pressure changes the state?  Or ice simply floats on water?

John Coffey

From: Trout, Larry R

‘In the coldest spot on the earth’s coldest continent, Russian scientists have reached a freshwater lake the size of Lake Ontario after spending a decade drilling through more than two miles of solid ice, the scientists said Wednesday…

Lake Vostok, named after the Russian research station above it, is the largest of more than 280 lakes under the miles-thick ice that covers most of the Antarctic continent, and the first one to have a drill bit break through to liquid water from the ice that has kept it sealed off from light and air for somewhere between 15 million and 34 million years.


Isn’t this how a few horror movies start out.

I just hope we don’t release something our immune systems have never seen before J