Well, that was unexpected.It had been well over a calendar year, 427 days in fact, since the ArizonaCardinals won a game away from University of Phoenix Stadium.But a string of 11 straight road losses came to an end on Sunday with a 21-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.John Skelton, making his 2nd straight start at quarterback for the injuredKevin Kolb, threw three touchdown passes, including a 5-yard scoringstrike to Early Doucet with 1:53 remaining in the game to lift the Cardinalsto the victory. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share And when there was a chance to win a game by making a play, Skelton gotit done–an area where Kolb has failed four times this season.Of course, Kolb still has that contract, so there’s no way there will be aquarterback controversy with this team. When Kolb’s ready to go, the job ishis.And how about that defense? – The Cardinals defense did a nicejob against two of the league’s most dynamic offensive talents on Sunday.Michael Vick was average at best, throwing for 128 yards and 2 picks. Andeven though Vick ran for 79 yards, that yardage wasn’t a big factor in theball game. LeSean McCoy had 81 yards, but was held 22 yards under his seasonaverage. I’d call that a victory. Top Stories The Eagles last-ditch attempt to answer that score ended when A.JJefferson picked off a Michael Vick pass on 3rd down and 20 with just :33remaining.With the win, the Cardinals improve their record to 3-6 and notch back-to-back wins for the first time since beating Detroit and St. Louis in weeks 15and 16 back in 2009. And “The Dream Team”, err, I mean the Eagles fall to 3-6 and has droppedtwo straight.The Player of the Game – Two words. Larry Fitzgerald. One ofthe big story lines heading into this game was Fitz vs. the Eagles’secondary. No contest. Fitzgerald caught 7 balls for 146 yards and twotouchdowns, and made an unbelievable over-the-shoulder catch at thePhiladelphia one-yard line to set up Arizona’ go-ahead score.A little closer to a QB controversy -I’ll give John Skelton thismuch.He wins football games. Skelton did throw two crippling interceptions onSunday, one that was returned for a touchdown by Asante Samuel in the2nd quarter, and the other was a horrible throw that was picked off byNnamdi Asomugha deep in Cardinals’ territory that led to a 4th quarterfield goal that put Philly up 17-14.But Skelton obviously did some nice things too, including directing threetouchdown drives, all that were at least 84 yards in length. And he’s donea great job of targeting Fitzgerald more than Kolb had been. In Kolb’s lasttwo starts prior to his injury, Fitz had 15 balls thrown his way. In the lasttwo weeks, Skelton has thrown 25 to Fitzgerald.
First Edition: December 13, 2012 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s headlines include news stories about how proposals to cut Medicare and other entitlement programs are playing with Democrats, and how a new poll shows overwhelming support from the public for a compromise deficit deal. Kaiser Health News: Medicare Silver Bullets: What’s The Best Way To Control CostsKHN asked a range of health policy experts the following question: If you could make only one change to Medicare to control costs, what would it be and why? (12/12). Read edited excerpts of their answers.The Wall Street Journal: Spending-Cut Proposals Drawing Democratic FlakOne big question in Washington’s budget talks is whether Republicans will make more concessions on taxes. This week, the counterpoint has started to come into play: What will Democrats swallow on spending cuts? The prospect of cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs is making many Democrats anxious. Of particular concern is Republicans’ call for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67, an idea that could split Democrats (Hook and Lee, 12/12).The Associated Press/Washington Post: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Vexing Official Washington As Both Sides Show Little Inclination To CompromiseRepublicans still aren’t budging on Obama’s demands for higher tax rates on upper bracket earners, despite the president’s convincing election victory and opinion polls showing support for the idea. Democrats in turn are now resisting steps, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare, that they were willing to consider just a year and a half ago, when Obama’s chief Republican adversary, House Speaker John Boehner, was in a better tactical position (12/13).Los Angeles Times: Boehner: Obama’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal ‘Mainly Tax Hikes’ Republican leaders kicked off Wednesday with a fierce critique of President Obama’s handling of “fiscal cliff” negotiations, part of the political posturing on both sides that has characterized efforts to avoid across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts before a January deadline (Little, 12/12).The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Confident They Have ‘Cliff’ LeverageThe Democrats’ buoyancy isn’t limitless, and there are signs it will soften as talks enter a more intense phase. With the end of the year approaching, more Democrats are saying they recognize they will have to agree to safety-net cuts to get a deal, and some on the party’s left worry that is what will happen (Bendavid, 12/12).The New York Times: News Analysis: Income Malaise Of Middle Class Complicates Democrats’ Stance In TalksMany Democrats have derided the expiring tax cuts as irresponsible since President George W. Bush signed them a decade ago. Yet the party is united in pushing to make the vast majority of them permanent, even though President Obama could ensure their expiration at year’s end with a simple veto. That decision reflects concern over the wage and income trends of the last decade, when pay stagnated for middle-class families, net worth declined and economic mobility eroded. Democrats who generally would prefer more tax revenue to help pay the growing cost of Medicare and other programs are instead negotiating with Republicans to find a combination of spending cuts and targeted tax increases for higher incomes (Lowry, 12/12).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Poll Finds Big Support For Compromise Deficit DealA large majority of Americans of all political persuasions says Congress should craft a compromise to reduce the federal budget deficit, even if that means making cuts to Social Security and Medicare and increasing some tax rates, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds (King, 12/12).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fla. Gov. Scott, 10 Other Governors, Seek Meeting With Obama To Discuss New Health Care LawEleven Republican governors, including Florida’s Rick Scott, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Arizona’s Jan Brewer want to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the federal health overhaul, including ways to make expanding the Medicaid rolls and setting up online health exchanges more affordable for states with tight budgets (12/12).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Pa. Governor Says State Won’t Set Up Health Exchange Under Affordable Care ActPennsylvania will not set up its own health care exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act, at least not for now, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday, putting the state on a course to join others led by Republicans that will let President Barack Obama’s administration run its exchange (12/12).The Washington Post: Obamacare Everywhere: U.N. Votes In Favor Of Universal Health CoverageThe United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a draft resolution supporting universal health coverage, signaling the importance of universal healthcare to the international development agenda (Khazan, 12/12).Los Angeles Times: A Shift In How Healthcare Is Paid ForThis simple shift in how healthcare is paid for — long seen as key to taming costs — has been occurring in pockets of the country. But nowhere is it happening more systematically than in Massachusetts, the state that blazed a trail in 2006 by guaranteeing its residents health insurance. Now Massachusetts, a model for President Obama’s 2010 national healthcare law, may offer another template for national leaders looking to control health spending (Levey, 12/12).Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Of California Seeks Rate Hikes Up To 20%Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums (Terhune, 12/13).The New York Times: Nursing Homes Told To Reinstate WorkersA federal judge in Hartford has ordered a Connecticut nursing home chain to reinstate nearly 600 workers who have been on strike since July 3, and to rescind the pension and health care cuts it had imposed (Greenhouse, 12/12).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.