Health Desk

When insurers pull out of the health law marketplaces, will customers buying plans outside those exchanges lose access, too? And do families have to meet two deductibles if each spouse has a separate insurance plan? Here are the answers.

A man moves to a city in Florida and decides he wants to be mayor. He wins the election. He's happy. Then he's told his city is slowly going underwater. Not financially. Literally.

James Cason had settled in Coral Gables, a seaside town near Miami, six years ago. He ran for mayor on the Republican ticket and, soon after he won, heard the lecture by scientists about sea level rise and South Florida that left him flabbergasted.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR — together with member stations from across the country — has been reporting on troubles with the Veterans Choice program, a $10 billion plan created by Congress two years ago to squash long wait times veterans were encountering when going to see a doctor. But as we reported in March, this fix needs a fix.

The jet sitting at Air Hollywood's studio near the Burbank airport in Southern California was once the charter plane of the Los Angeles Lakers. These days, it serves a much different role — mostly as the set for movies and TV commercials.

But the group walking on board the day I recently visited wasn't there to film a scene. They were part of a two-day class for fearful fliers.

For participant Ronnie Michel, it was the first time in six years that he'd seen the inside of a plane.

Mosquito season is just getting underway. And many parts of the country have mosquitoes that could potentially transmit Zika.

Health officials expect to see cases here in the next few weeks. So we decided to figure out who needs to break out the bug spray and what other precautions they should take.

By now, you've probably heard that pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant — face the biggest danger when it comes to Zika. The virus can cause devastating brain damage in fetuses at any point during a pregnancy.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When it comes to the issue of religious rights versus no-cost contraception, the only thing the Supreme Court could agree on was not to decide.

In an unsigned opinion issued Monday, the court sent a series of cases back to a raft of federal appeals courts, with instructions for those courts and the parties in the lawsuits to try harder to work things out. "The Court expresses no view on the merits of the cases," the opinion said.

Feminine products are having a moment. With some calling for a red wave to take the taboo out of menstruation, politicians across the country are trying to make tampons and sanitary pads as affordable and accessible as possible.

Five states have eliminated sales taxes on pads and tampons: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Minnesota. In New York, a bill awaits the governor's signature, and other efforts to improve access to sanitary products are underway.

As researchers work to understand the human genome, many questions remain, including, perhaps, the most fundamental: Just how much of the human experience is determined before we are already born, by our genes, and how much is dependent upon external environmental factors?

Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross the answer to that question is complicated. "Biology is not destiny," Mukherjee explains. "But some aspects of biology — and in fact some aspects of destiny — are commanded very strongly by genes."

Pork shoulder, cauliflower and cheese curds are all trending in 2016, according to Google's tracking of food-related searches. That list might either nauseate you or make your mouth water.

What's the best way to help out someone in need? Just give money? Or try to make sure they'll spend the money effectively?

That's a dilemma that's faced anyone confronted by someone begging on the street. And it's an international problem as well. When rich countries give aid to poor countries, how do they know the money will go to good use?

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has come up with one strategy. MCC, as it's called, is a U.S. government foreign aid agency created by Congress in 2004 to fight global poverty.

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.

For Tim Goliver and Luther Glenn, the worst illness of their lives started in the same way — probably after having a stomach bug.

Copyright 2016 WABE-FM. To see more, visit WABE-FM.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tukaram Jadhav was barely surviving off of his tiny cotton farm when he killed himself last September. His widow, a petite mother of two, pulls her purple sari tightly around her, and says she discovered her husband as he lay dying.

"I was the one who found him. I was sleeping and woke up to the powerful smell of pesticides that we use to farm," Bhagyashree Jadhav says. She says she thought there had been a spill. "I asked my husband if he smelled it, then I realized he couldn't speak. He'd swallowed the pesticide." Tukaram languished in the hospital for two days before dying.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In Hindi, the saying goes that to survive, you need three things: roti, meaning bread or food, kapda or clothing, and makaan, shelter.

India has a roti problem. While the country has catapulted to No. 3 in the world for obesity, it's also the hungriest country in the world.

Reviving Memory With An Electrical Current

May 14, 2016

Last year, in an operating room at the University of Toronto, a 63-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease experienced something she hadn't for 55 years: a memory of her 8-year-old self playing with her siblings on their family farm in Scotland.

Sughra Hussainy makes her own watercolors — which she uses to paint intricate miniatures in the traditional Persian and Afghan styles. Her favorite hue is blue — made from powdered lapis lazuli gemstones.

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday it will move to prevent its drugs from being used in lethal injections.

Susannah Mushatt Jones, who was believed to be the world's oldest person at 116, has died in New York. Known as Miss Susie to her friends and family, she reportedly had a penchant for bacon and lingerie.

The Gerontology Research Group (which verifies and tracks the most elderly people in the world) says that now, Emma Morano of Italy is the world's oldest living person — and, the last person alive to have been born before 1900.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Brandy Beck considers herself lucky. As a breast-feeding mom, the Frontier Airlines pilot has experienced severe breast pain, engorged breasts, clogged ducts, decreased milk supply, three interruptions while pumping at work, and pumping in airport and airplane bathrooms.

The leading cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. is road accidents — killing nearly 5,000 American kids between the ages of 10 and 19 in 2013.

Suicide also emerges as a risk when puberty hits — affecting more than 5,000 teens and early 20-somethings in the United States alone in 2013.

In Latin America and Mexico, homicide kills the most young adults between the ages of 20 and 24, while in sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS kills the largest number.

And in China, drowning tops the list of causes of teenage death.

More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage

May 13, 2016

Bolstered by the federal health care law, the number of lower-income kids getting health coverage continues to rise.

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