money flagThe congressional Republican leadership has agreed to White House demands to raise the national debt by as much as $2.4 trillion and continue deficit spending into the indefinite future. The deal would trim about $900 billion from the anticipated $7 to 8-trillion deficit over the next 10 years — a little more than 10 percent of the total — and allow total federal spending to continue to grow rapidly. It would also set up a bipartisan commission charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.

medical devicesA report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. medical device regulation, challenging the FDA to broaden government oversight and enact stricter approval standards for thousands of devices — ranging from artificial hip and knee joints to bypass-surgery devices.

gavelA federal judge ruled July 27 that the U.S. government can continue funding embryonic stem-cell research. Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the District of Columbia District Court, threw out a 2009 lawsuit by researchers Dr. James Sherley and Theresa Deisher, of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, that challenged President Obama’s expansion of funding for the research which pro-life leaders point out destroys human embryos. The funding had been severely limited under the Bush administration.

 walletAt the very last minute, county commissioners in Jefferson County, home to the metropolis of Birmingham, Alabama, decided to postpone a final decision on whether or not to declare bankruptcy over their excessive indebtedness. The bonded indebtedness incurred to build a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant exceeds $3 billion, far beyond what the county can afford to service. And raising sewer fees for a fourth time in ten years isn’t an option as the outrage from the last increase still reverberates.

healthcare costThose who predicted that ObamaCare would do nothing to reduce healthcare costs but would increase government control over healthcare have been vindicated by a new report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. According to the report, published in the journal Health Affairs, by 2020 the United States will be spending $4.6 trillion — nearly a fifth of the gross domestic product — on healthcare, almost half of which will come from government. What’s more, ObamaCare, far from reducing healthcare costs, will actually contribute significantly to the increase in spending.