Health & Spirit

Advocacy group pushes for changes in US food assistance program

Health / Health & Fitness /

As policymakers and health officials sound the alarm on the nation's obesity epidemic, a team of researchers want to improve health outcomes among the most vulnerable Americans by overhauling the federal food assistance program.

In articles published as a supplement Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, more than a dozen ...Read more

Republican senator would let states keep Obamacare if they want

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy is making an offer to Democrats he hopes they won't refuse: If their states like Obamacare, they can keep it.

A doctor who worked for decades in charity hospitals and clinics before joining Congress, Cassidy plans to introduce soon an updated version of his health care plan aimed at giving states ...Read more

Repealing Obamacare without replacement would leave 18 million uninsured, report says

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Repealing Obamacare without a replacement would result in higher costs for consumers and fewer people with insurance coverage, according to a report Tuesday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In the first year, insurance premiums would jump by 20 percent to 25 percent for individual policies purchased directly or ...Read more

UnitedHealth sees potential in 'next phase' of health reform

Health / Health & Fitness /

MINNEAPOLIS -- With speculation swirling about how Republicans might replace the federal health law, the chief executive of UnitedHealth Group offered no specifics Tuesday but said he sees the potential for health care changes focused on state-based markets, flexible Medicaid programs and well-structured high-risk pools.

Even so, the nation's ...Read more

Infectious diseases A-Z: busting flu vaccine myths

Health / Health & Fitness /

If you are hesitating to get your annual influenza vaccine, Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, wants to bust some myths about the flu vaccine that may help you make your decision.

Myth: The vaccine gives you the flu.

False. "The easy answer is it's simply not true," says Poland. "I think what people are ...Read more

Trump lays down a marker to judge his health care plan

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- "We're going to have insurance for everybody," President-elect Donald Trump told The Washington Post in an interview over the weekend, setting down a marker by which the health care plan he has promised can be judged.

In the interview, published Monday, Trump would not say how he would accomplish that goal and also meet his other ...Read more

Know where Obamacare repeal will be felt the most? Miami

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Perhaps nowhere in America would so many people be as personally affected by the Republican-led repeal of Obamacare than Miami.

Three congressional districts -- all represented by Republicans -- have among the highest number of Affordable Care Act enrollees in the country, posing a bit of a wrinkle as those House members followed ...Read more

Republicans take first steps to repealing Obamacare, but the hard part comes next

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- The Republican-led Congress passed a plan Friday to start the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, but the road ahead remains unclear.

House Republicans approved the budget blueprint, 227-198, following a similar party-line vote earlier this week in the Senate, which sets a month-end timetable to draft a repeal bill. But ...Read more

House GOP group launches digital campaign for health care plan

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- An outside group affiliated with House GOP leadership is ramping up its advertising campaign for a Republican alternative to the 2010 health care law, running $400,000 in digital ads across 28 congressional districts.

American Action Network, a conservative nonprofit advocacy organization, is launching its first digital campaign ...Read more

Influenza approaching epidemic status

Health / Health & Fitness /

Influenza in the U.S. is approaching peak levels, says Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh.

"We are seeing a fairly dramatic increase in the amount of influenza in parts of the country, and likely will be hitting epidemic levels soon," Tosh says. "Already in the U. S., we are above the baseline for influenza-like illness...Read more

Why some men need to get mammograms, and even consider a mastectomy, too

Health / Health & Fitness /

CARLOTTE, N.C. -- Earlier this year, Dr. Jason Dranove had a mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.

Yes, you read that right.

It's rare, but males can develop breast cancer and have surgery to remove breast tissue.

Dranove, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Levine Children's Hospital, chose to have the operation after a medical discovery ...Read more

Republican states still face big health care costs as Obamacare is unwound

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- States that fought and shunned the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, hoping to avoid the cost of covering millions of working-poor families, will be left with substantial growth in the program even after the Republican-led Congress unwinds the law.

From Florida and Texas to Georgia and North Carolina, enrollment in ...Read more

Health law sleepers: 6 surprising health items that could disappear with ACA repeal

Health / Health & Fitness /

The Affordable Care Act of course affected premiums and insurance purchasing. It guaranteed people with pre-existing conditions could buy health coverage and allowed children to stay on parents' plans until age 26. But the roughly 2,000-page bill also included a host of other provisions that affect the health-related choices of nearly every ...Read more

Senate adopts budget opening door for Obamacare repeal

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- The Senate early Thursday took a first step toward repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law by adopting a fiscal 2017 budget resolution following a seven-hour voting session.

Senators voted 51-48 to adopt the budget resolution, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky casting the only Republican vote against it. The chamber ...Read more

Pressure on House to back Obamacare repeal bid after Senate vote

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- The pressure is now on U.S. House Republicans to complete the first step toward repealing Obamacare after a razor-thin Senate vote showed the contentiousness surrounding efforts to undo President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The House plans to vote as early as Friday on a budget resolution that would set the ...Read more

Rural hospitals brace for damage from repeal of health care law

Health / Health & Fitness /

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. –– Judy Keller has always relied on Highlands Hospital for medical care, just as her parents did before her. When she walks through the halls, she recognizes faces from the community and even from her days as a schoolteacher. The 64-bed hospital, she said, is a mainstay of this rural Southwest Pennsylvania town.

"This ...Read more

The latest in memory care? Minnesota creatives use art to connect with dementia patients

Health / Health & Fitness /

Something happened when Brant Kingman handed his mother a colored pencil.

In the three years since Polly Penney, 87, was diagnosed with dementia, she had lost much of her short-term memory and some of her language. So she would ask Kingman the same question again, then again. Out of "absolute out-of-my-mind frustration," Kingman, an artist, ...Read more

Obamacare replacement preoccupies GOP as budget votes near

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Republicans' struggle to take the first step toward repealing and replacing the health care law using a fiscal 2017 budget resolution intensified Wednesday, as they debated how soon to roll out a replacement and defended their coordination with their incoming president.

President-elect Donald Trump suggested in a ...Read more

Helping your child with bed-wetting

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: My son is 8 and wets the bed a few times each week. We have tried a variety of things to help prevent it from happening, including stopping beverages two hours before bedtime and using a mattress pad with a bed-wetting alarm. Should we take him to see a specialist? Don't kids usually outgrow bed-wetting by this age?

A: Bed-...Read more

Obama's landmark health care law becomes a question mark

Health / Health & Fitness /

MANSFIELD, Ohio -- When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, he achieved what presidents and members of Congress had long tried and failed to do -- to provide near-universal health insurance to Americans.

Democrats were jubilant. Those in Obama's inner circle, like Bob Kocher, an adviser to the president on health care...Read more