health care senateWith a special delivery due at the White House by Christmas, Senators have a lot more on their plates than just turkey and cranberry sauce. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) committed Monday to opening debate this week on a healthcare bill, notwithstanding the seemingly insuperable procedural obstacles some members of his own party have promised to place along the path.

Nobody wants to disappoint President Obama on the eve of the holiday season, so all the stops are going to be removed in order to deliver a comprehensive healthcare bill to his desk by Christmas. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag reckons that procedural and political obstacles notwithstanding, a bill creating a new system of national healthcare will be ready for President Obama’s signature before the end of the year.

Harry ReidAnxious to find a revenue source rich enough to fund the proposed government-supported healthcare behemoth, Senate Democrats are considering dipping their buckets into a familiar well — the pockets of the “wealthy.” According to aides familiar with Senate deliberations, Senator Harry Reid and others are prepared to raise Medicare payroll taxes from 1.45 percent to 1.5 percent in order to meet the substantial fiscal demands of the overhaul. Presently, the Medicare tax amounts to 2.9 percent of wages, with half contributed by the employer and the other half paid by the employee.

Have you ever gone to your doctor for a prescription to clear up a bad cold?  The evidence is that antibiotics do not work against colds and flu, which are caused by viruses — not bacteria. And routine prescriptions may be causing a health crisis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recalculated its original estimates and is now indicating that over 4,000 Americans have likely died from problems linked to the H1N1 swine-flu virus.