African-Americans are the racial group most affected by HIV in the U.S., and many black churches are stepping in to do something about it. Pastor Timothy Sloan of Texas talks with host Michel Martin about destigmatizing the disease from the pulpit.
Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:07 am
Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.
Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.
Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.
A new study shows cancer rates are higher in downstate Illinois. Smoking may be the reason.
A report from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Public Health of public health says the southern two thirds of Illinois have higher cancer rates and lower survival rates than those in the northern part. The study looks at two decades worth of cancer statistics. SIU Med School's David Steward says the likely culprit is lung cancer, which is especially higher in Men.
In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?
When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.
Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."
Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."
Calling the improvements "night and day" from October, the Obama administration says it has met its goal of getting the troubled HealthCare.gov site working for a "vast majority" of users. But that's only part of a complex technology system that is designed to end with insurance companies providing coverage for millions of consumers.
Mississippi is one of those states with a large number of uninsured, yet only a fraction of people have signed up for coverage. Some of the problems are related to the website, but it's also been a challenge to just get the word out. So, to get people onboard, one insurance company decided to take enrollment on the road. Jeffrey Hess with Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports on the insurance buses now rolling across the state.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. While many Americans are enjoying a four-day holiday this weekend, computer programmers have been working furiously to meet a White House deadline to improve the government's troubled Affordable Care Act website. As of today, most of the fixes were supposed to be done, meaning the site can handle as many as 50,000 users at once. In a press conference this morning, the administration declared victory. Here's Jeff Zeints of the White House.
The Obama administration set a self-imposed deadline of the end of November to have the major kinks worked out in HealthCare.gov, the website at the center of implementation for the Affordable Care Act. In the hours before its deadline, the site was taken offline for repairs. But the White House says the site is in much better shape than it was two months ago, when it launched and promptly failed to work for most users.
Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 9:21 am
The experience has been mixed for three people who signed on to the website to buy insurance. Scott Simon asks an office manager, a family therapist and a social media manager if they think the process has improved.
Saturday is the day the Obama administration set as its deadline for making HealthCare.gov a "smooth experience" for most users.
A tech-savvy team of engineers, database architects and contractors has been working through the holiday to ensure the White House makes good on that promise, but judging the success of their efforts may take some time.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. Tomorrow is judgment day for healthcare.gov. The Obama administration has repeatedly said that by November 30, the troubled website will be up and running for the vast majority of users, and officials say they're on track to reach that goal.
Now, we'll introduce you to someone who did successfully sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov. Michael Lappin of Atlanta, Georgia had a reason to shop for insurance early. His husband has health care needs that made buying their insurance on the individual market difficult and expensive.
Jim Burress, from WABE in Atlanta, profiles the small business owner.
And here's one take on how the Affordable Care Act might be doing some good. It'll save young adults money - cash which they can then use to buy liquor and birth control. That's part of the message from a provocative new ad campaign in Colorado. In this encore broadcast, Eric Whitney has that story.
ERIC WHITNEY, BYLINE: You know your ad campaign's having an impact when a U.S. congressman is haranguing a White House cabinet secretary about it at a hearing on Capitol Hill.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We hope many of you are enjoying some time off for Thanksgiving, maybe doing some shopping, but meanwhile work is continuing on the website for the federal health care exchanges.
Ari Shapiro talks to Karen Pollitz, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, about Affordable Care Act talk at the Thanksgiving table. How will parents make their case? And will more people sign up over the long weekend?
Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.
As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 8:08 pm
Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.
As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.
Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.
On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.
A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.
The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey today. Now the question is whether the government's new health insurance website will also get a reprieve. After a disastrous rollout eight weeks ago, the White House says it's on track to have the site working smoothly for most users by this weekend. Many consumers say they have seen improvements to the site. But others are still hitting roadblocks.
Madison Fitzgerald, 20, holds her baby, Jake, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Jake, who was born 16 weeks too early, receives donor breast milk every three hours by mouth.
Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.
Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.