Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (left) is welcomed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing about mental health parity rules Thursday. A new rule issued by the Obama administration aims to increase parity for how insurers handle mental health issues.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:28 pm
Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.
A doctor vaccinates a child against polio at a health clinic in Damascus, Syria, on Nov. 6. To stop the disease from spreading beyond Syria, health officials plan to vaccinate 20 million children in the region.
Credit Jamal Saidi / Reuters /Landov
A Syrian refugee girl helps her brother walk as their mother watches at a mosque compound near Shebaa, Lebanon, on Oct. 28. The family suspects the boy has polio.
Polio outbreaks in the Middle East and Africa could spread to Europe if precautions aren't taken, researchers say.
The recent discovery of the poliovirus in Syria, Somalia and Israel should be a wake-up call for European health officials, according to epidemiologist Martin Eichner at the University of Tuebingen in Germany.
Forget dissecting frogs and building potato batteries. High school students today are learning genetic engineering--and some are even redesigning life. Bioethicists and the FBI have taken note and are rethinking biosecurity for the synthetic biology revolution.
Echinacea, vitamins, and other dietary supplements have become a $5 billion industry, but the products don't need to be pre-approved by the FDA before they go on the market. How do we know what is really in our supplements? What regulations are currently in place? How can we keep ourselves safe and informed?
Despite all the problems with HealthCare.gov, a few dozen Alaskans have managed to enroll in a health plan through the marketplace. Lara Imler is one of them.
Imler, a 37-year-old hair stylist in Anchorage, ditched her office job as an accountant in 2004. She says she loves making people feel better about themselves and is a lot happier cutting hair than she was sitting in front of a computer. But she does miss one big thing about her old job: "I had health insurance, and it was wonderful."
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:18 pm
Facebook has rolled out a tool to address online harassment that some digital safety advocates are calling a beneficial, but belated, first step.
The social networking site with 1.2 billion users worldwide released a "bullying prevention hub" this week. It's essentially an online resource center with suggestions for teens, parents and educators on how to address bullying — both online and off — and take action on Facebook.
If the Food and Drug Administration has its way, an era of food technology will soon end. The agency announced Thursday it is aiming to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products.
Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, said at a press conference that her agency has come to the preliminary conclusion that the oils "are not generally recognized as safe for use in food."
If the agency makes this decision final, it will mean a complete ban on this ingredient.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 6:36 am
In the hunt for new ways to help people fight alcoholism, doctors are studying gabapentin, a generic drug that's commonly used to treat epilepsy and fibromyalgia.
In a 12-week clinical trial conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, people taking taking gabapentin were much better at reducing their alcohol intake than those who got a placebo. The research, involving 150 people, was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 12:58 pm
Voters appear to have defeated another attempt to require labels on genetically modified foods in Washington state. In early counts, the "no" campaign has what appears to be an insurmountable lead with 54 percent of votes.
The ballot initiative would require labels on the front of packages for most food products, seeds and commodities like soy or corn if they were produced using genetic engineering.
The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.
Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.
But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:27 pm
Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.
A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.
Weeks after denying labor's request to give union members access to health law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law's substantial taxes.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:35 pm
Most sore throats aren't strep. But because strep bacteria can in rare cases cause rheumatic fever, people often feel like they should get tested for possible strep infection.
It might be possible to skip that step someday by checking whether your neighbors have been getting strep throat, researchers say. Aside from reducing the cost and inconvenience of needless clinic visits, the neighborhood strep check could reduce the risk of being needlessly treated with antibiotics.
It's open enrollment time again, the autumn period when many people with job-based health insurance ante up for another year.
Although news reports have fixated on the problems with the online health marketplaces that launched Oct. 1, for the vast majority of people that's a nonissue. If they get insurance through a job at a company that has at least 50 employees, they probably won't be using the marketplaces, also called exchanges.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 11:36 am
Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.
More than 12 million Americans buy health insurance on their own, and many are getting cancellation notices because their individual coverage does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. This is causing anxiety and anger — especially since most of these people can't get onto the healthcare.gov website to figure out their options for 2014.
For all of us nearing middle age, or slogging through it, yes, there is a benefit in eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and fruit.
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that women who followed this pattern of eating in their 50s were about 40 percent more likely to reach the later decades without developing chronic diseases and memory or physical problems, compared to women who didn't eat as well.
Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. This could help explain why children who suffer abuse are much more likely than others to develop problems like anxiety and depression later on.