A short diary and heads up

Amidst all the sturm and drang is a story that I haven’t seen mentioned but affects us all:

HHS rules on health marketplaces give states flexibility

This is what caught my attention:
“Despite lobbying from consumer groups, insurers will be allowed to hold seats on exchange oversight boards and states won’t be required to negotiate with plans on price or benefit offerings.”

If you have a henhouse, why in the world would you invite a fox into it?

“Although there’s a deadline of Jan. 1, 2013, for states to show they’ll have exchanges up and running a year later, the proposal offers some wiggle room: States that show progress will be granted “conditional approval.”

Wonder what the ‘conditions’ will be for ‘conditional approval'; reminds me of the ‘stress tests’ for banks that were so much kabuki.

“Industry groups, consumer advocates and others have 75 days to weigh in with comments on the proposed rules. Final rules are expected later this year.”

Speak now or forget about it; your choice.

Related: White House admits marijuana has ‘some’ medical value

“In 2007, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it partnered with Otsuka to bring “Sativex” — or liquefied marijuana — to the U.S. The companies recently completed Phase II efficacy and safety trials testing and began discussion with the FDA for Phase III testing. Phase III is generally thought to be the final step before the drug can be marketed in the U.S.

Sativex is the brand name for a drug derived from cannabis sativa. It’s an extract from the whole plant cannabis, not a synthetic compound. Even GW defines the drug (.pdf) as marijuana.

Yet as the FDA is poised to approve the drug for Big Pharma, state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that provide relief for thousands of Americans are under attack by other federal agencies.”


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