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.
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.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:29 pm
The Obama administration announced it is delaying until November 2014 a requirement that small businesses shop for health insurance via the troubled federal HealthCare.gov site, which has been blamed for many problems since its launch last month. The shift applies to businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 12:57 pm
An aspect of the Affordable Care Act is meant to rein in exploding health care costs. To do that, the law has created hundreds of experiments in which hospitals have volunteered to participate. Our Planet Money team went to one hospital in Ohio that's trying to get doctors more involved in understanding hospital economics.
Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:45 am
After years of wide spread fretting about the size of the federal debt and angst about new federal regulations for health care, one federal program is enjoying widespread popularity: Medicaid. Morning Edition examines this political paradox.
We've been reporting a lot lately on the troubled rollout of President Obama's signature health care law. But at the same time, there are rumblings of a major shift in the way companies offer private health insurance to workers.
It involves what are called "private health care exchanges." These are similar to — but completely separate from — the public exchanges you've heard so much about.
Some experts say this new approach soon could change how millions of Americans receive their health care.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 9:10 pm
By the World Health Organization's official tally, the flu pandemic of 2009-10 killed 18,449 people around the world. Those are deaths of people who had laboratory-confirmed cases of the so-called swine flu.
But a fresh analysis says the real toll was 10 times higher — up to 203,000 deaths. And maybe it was twice that, if you count people who died of things like heart attacks precipitated by the flu.
President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.
In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers who offer health care services to provide a range of preventive care, including no-copay contraceptive services. Religious nonprofits were exempted from this requirement, but not for-profit corporations.
Even as the Supreme Court takes up the issue of emergency contraception coverage, a new study suggests the most popular form of the drug might not work for most American women. It seems one formulation of the popular drug loses effectiveness in women who are obese or who weigh over a certain amount.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, this being the day after. One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is, I think, the leftovers. Don't they always taste better? Well, my next guest is here to tell us how we can get the most flavor and nutrition out of those leftovers and our food all year round.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:13 pm
The decision to give up entire food groups can be a radical attempt to reform an unhealthy diet, as former President Bill Clinton demonstrated when he revealed in 2011 that he'd gone vegan, after heart bypass surgery.
But more often in this day and age, eschewing animal products is political.
And so that's why we were interested to read that former Vice President Al Gore, one of the world's most famous environmentalists, had — like his former boss — gone vegan, too.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases brought by companies who say they have religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they offer employees health insurance that includes contraception benefits.
In a statement released late Tuesday morning, justices say they have consolidated four related cases and will hear one hour of oral arguments. That will happen next year, likely in late March.