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Health & Spirit

Medicaid gap: Choosing between dinner and a medical test

Health / Health & Fitness /

MIAMI --Cynthia Louis sees the bus bench advertising "Obamacare" near her Miami home as a reminder of a broken promise: that the Affordable Care Act would help her get the medical care she needs to return to work.

Louis, 57, has been unemployed since fall of 2013. Before then, the mother of three worked for Burger King for nearly 25 years, ...Read more

Hear, hear! Getting teen musicians to wear earplugs is a challenge

Health / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO -- For New Trier High School sophomore Sophia Pellar, a pair of special earplugs recently donated by a North Shore audiologist has put an end to the pain she suffered when playing flute in the pep band.

Still, the Mozart-loving north suburban Kenilworth teen giggles nervously when she explains that the earplugs -- tethered by a bright ...Read more

Research indicates our skin color is evolutionary gateway to vitamin D

Health / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH -- All over the world, millions of people see skin color as a symbol of superiority or inferiority, whether they are conscious of it or not.

Others see humanity's array of skin tones, from white to ocher to black, as a positive mark of our remarkable diversity.

But Nina Jablonski sees skin color, first and foremost, as an ...Read more

Promising Ebola drug protects rhesus monkeys

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The newly refined version of a medication that showed early promise against the Ebola virus has proved highly effective in a small group of monkeys infected with the strain of Ebola responsible for the recent epidemic in Western Africa.

The experimental treatment, called TKM Ebola, is a version of a biologic medication made by the Canadian ...Read more

For one patient and possibly for many, cancer trial shows promising results

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SEATTLE--A year ago, Meagan Mullanix was waiting to see whether the experimental therapy would work, whether her own genetically reprogrammed immune-system cells could truly target and destroy the cancer that nearly killed her.

Today, the 23-year-old returning college student is cancer-free, with no evidence of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia,...Read more

Weight-conscious smokers less likely to try quitting, study shows

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American women who believe smoking helps control weight are less likely than other female smokers to try quitting in response to higher cigarette prices and anti-smoking messages, a new study finds.

"We found that concerns about weight are a significant barrier to quitting among U.K. smokers and U.S. female smokers who believe smoking helps ...Read more

The myths and modern aids for determining ovulation

Health / Health & Fitness /

Like many of today's moms, Faith Kirkpatrick waited until she was in her 30s before she tried to get pregnant. Then she knew her biological clock was ticking.

"I'm a planner," said Kirkpatrick, 34, of New Rochelle, N.Y. "So once my husband and I made the decision, I wanted to get pregnant quickly."

With the help of an ovulation test called ...Read more

Republicans drop battle to do away with Obamacare

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- After five years and more than 50 votes in Congress, the Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is essentially over.

Republican congressional leaders, unable to roll back the law while President Barack Obama remains in office and unwilling to again threaten a government shutdown to pressure him, are focused on other...Read more

UnitedHealth shares up 3 percent as earnings top Wall Street estimates

Health / Health & Fitness /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Strong performance at the company's health services unit drove better-than-expected first-quarter results at UnitedHealth Group, company officials said Thursday.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth is the nation's largest health insurer. The company during the period ending March 31 added more than 1 million people to coverage through ...Read more

Florida governor sues feds over health care money, Medicaid expansion

Health / Health & Fitness /

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Republican Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday he will sue the federal government for allegedly coercing Florida to expand Medicaid.

"It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal health care dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," Scott said in a statement.

The announcement ...Read more

Is reconciliation a real challenge to Obamacare?

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Even if some Republicans don't really want to go there, even if it's an exercise in futility, many are convinced the guaranteed-to-be-vetoed process of budget reconciliation promises to put Obamacare at the center of the 2016 debate.

And that, conservatives say, is exactly where they want it.

Reconciliation is the optional ...Read more

A shot in the eye: Researchers may have a cure for colorblindess

Health / Health & Fitness /

SEATTLE -- For the more than 10 million Americans with colorblindness, there's never been a treatment, let alone a cure, for the condition that leaves them unable to distinguish certain hues.

Now, for the first time, two University of Washington professors have teamed with a California biotech firm to develop what they say may be a solution: a ...Read more

Study: MERS infections more widespread, less deadly than thought

Health / Health & Fitness /

BONN, Germany -- The viral respiratory disease MERS, first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, is apparently more widespread but less deadly than originally thought, according to a German study.

While the mortality rate for MERS -- an acronym for Middle East respiratory syndrome -- was earlier put at about 30 percent, the international study ...Read more

Scientists debate impact of removing guidelines for dietary cholesterol

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Recently the annual Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report stated that cholesterol was "not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."

Some people celebrated, expecting once again to fill their bellies with unlimited amounts of butter, cheese, sausage and steak. But several notable doctors and scientists balked -- and even protested.

"...Read more

4 largest states have sharp disparities in access to health care

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WASHINGTON -- The national divide over the Affordable Care Act is beginning to affect Americans' access to medical care and perhaps even their ability to pay medical bills, a new study of the country's four largest states suggests.

Residents of Florida and Texas, which have resisted expanding insurance coverage through the health law, reported ...Read more

Big impact on women if Supreme Court rules against health care tax credits

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WASHINGTON -- Seven months after being diagnosed with breast cancer and later undergoing a double mastectomy, LaDonna Appelbaum of St. Louis recently finished her 16th and final chemotherapy treatment.

Without the $600 monthly tax credit that pays the bulk of her insurance premium under the federal health care law, Appelbaum isn't sure how she ...Read more

Wanting mental health treatment and not getting it

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WASHINGTON -- More than half a million adults who said they wanted help with their serious mental conditions last year couldn't get it because they lacked the resources and weren't eligible for Medicaid to pay for treatment, a new study finds.

Those people -- an estimated 568,886 adults ages 18 through 64 diagnosed with a serious mental illness...Read more

Out from behind the counter, pharmacists bring their own take to health care

Health / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES -- Jose Alvarez clutches a red drawstring bag as he hobbles into a small office. He leans his crutches against the wall and takes a seat in the corner. His seven pill bottles, of varying heights, create a miniature skyline of orange and white.

A heavyset man with a scraggly beard, Alvarez has diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma...Read more

Physical therapy may be as effective as surgery for back pain: study

Health / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH -- When it comes to treating lumbar spinal stenosis in the lower back area, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery, a University of Pittsburgh study has found.

And it might be the best option to try first. That was Dale Urban's thinking at age 78.

The Pittsburgh-area resident said pain progressively worsens whenever he ...Read more

Rx for healthy brain aging: glue gun, pals, computers

Health / Health & Fitness /

If you're over 85 and you're reading this online, you're probably one smart cookie--and you're more likely to stay that way for at least the next few years, says a new study.

But a new study has found a couple of other fun and easy ways to stay sharp well into your 80s. Whether it's a habit started in midlife or taken up well into retirement ...Read more