Health & Spirit

Fact check: Do 160 million Americans really like their health plans? Kind of

Health / Health & Fitness /

Articulating his proposal for health care reform, former Vice President Joe Biden emphasized the number of Americans who, he said, were more than perfectly satisfied with the coverage they have.

"160 million people like their private insurance," Biden said during last week's Democratic presidential primary debate.

That argument is at the heart...Read more

Healthy Men: How to save your husband's life

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Healthy Men: I love my family, but I'm very frustrated about having to manage almost everyone's health. While my daughter and I schedule our own doctor visits and mammograms, my husband and two teenage sons never do. In fact, I just spent half the morning making appointments (physicals for my sons, and a physical, colonoscopy, EKG, and ...Read more

Georgia Democrat dramatizes message on health care — by giving up her own

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- A Georgia Democrat in one of the most competitive House districts in the country is canceling her health insurance, a risky move that she says is financially necessary as she runs for Congress.

Nabilah Islam is one of a handful of Democrats running for the party's nomination in the open 7th District. Islam is trying to save money...Read more

Healthy Men: When it comes to stereotypes, words matter. A lot

Health / Health & Fitness /

A few days ago, I heard a young father telling his son -- who was probably around 10 or 11 -- to "man up." I started thinking about that phrase and wondered about all the gender stereotyping we do without even realizing it. Are expressions like "man up" harmless parts of our language or do they make a difference?

There's no question that we use...Read more

5 of the least healthy holiday dishes

Health / Health & Fitness /

A lot of time and effort goes in to making a holiday meal. Tables will overflow with family favorites and traditional dishes such as candied yams and green bean casserole.

But is this food actually good for you?

A typical holiday meal can easily exceed 3,000 calories, according to research from the Calorie Control Council. Some of the least ...Read more

Deaths increase under new heart donor system, research team finds

Health / Health & Fitness /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Deaths following heart transplants have increased in the year after a new allocation system was put in place to reduce wait times and prioritize donor organs for the sickest patients.

The finding by Dr. Rebecca Cogswell at the University of Minnesota and colleagues is a preliminary look at the effect of the new system for ...Read more

Democrats tussle over political prospects of 'Medicare for All'

Health / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA -- The battle over "Medicare for All" arose again Wednesday night as Democratic candidates sparred over what kind of health care overhaul is practical and politically feasible.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., raised the issue unprompted, arguing that his policy of "Medicare for all who want it" would be "a governing ...Read more

Affordable mental health care? It's getting even tougher to access

Health / Health & Fitness /

Eleven years after Congress passed a law mandating that insurers provide equal access for mental and physical health care, Americans are actually finding it harder to obtain affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse issues. The barriers to parity continue despite a bipartisan consensus that more must be done to confront the ...Read more

The case of the Affordable Care Act's disappearing taxes

Health / Health & Fitness /

It was a moment of genuine bipartisanship at the House Ways and Means Committee in October, as Democratic and Republican sponsors alike praised a bill called the "Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2019."

The bill, approved by the panel on a voice vote, would allow consumers to use their tax-free flexible spending accounts or health savings ...Read more

Inside the new colorectal cancer screening guidelines for average-risk patients

Health / Health & Fitness /

The American College of Physicians has produced a guidance statement for colorectal cancer screening for patients who are at an average risk. This statement is based on a critical review of existing national guidelines.

"Patients who are age 50 to 75 who are asymptomatic, and don't have prior precancerous polyps or a family history of ...Read more

For newborns with hearing loss, screening opens window to a world of sound

Health / Health & Fitness /

Four-year-old Betty Schottler starts each morning with the same six sounds: (m), (ah), (oo), (ee), (sh), and (s).

Her mom makes the sounds first, then Betty repeats them to check that her cochlear implant is working.

Betty was born profoundly deaf and got her first set of glittery rainbow hearing aids at 6 weeks old. Then, before her 1st ...Read more

An Illinois health insurer rejected out-of-state treatment for a 4-year-old's rare disease five times. It relented, but why is getting an OK so hard?

Health / Health & Fitness /

PAYSON, Ill. -- Jaxtien Miller doesn't seem very sick -- yet.

On a recent Monday night, the 4-year-old bounced through his home in rural Payson, piecing together a giant firetruck puzzle on the kitchen floor. Then he sprang onto the couch, rolling around with his 11-year-old brother, giggling.

He then plopped all 49 pounds of his small, solid ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Understanding nearsightedness in children

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: My son is nearsighted and has been wearing glasses for three years. He's now 10 and his prescription has gotten steadily worse. His optometrist says that it's not uncommon for kids to need a new prescription every six to eight months, but I'm concerned. Should I take my son to an ophthalmologist for a full evaluation?

A: Your ...Read more

Gender disparities in pediatrics hurt patients and physicians

Health / Health & Fitness /

Even though most practicing pediatricians in the U.S. are women, that hasn't mean the end of the gender gap, especially when it comes to leadership in this medical specialty.

In a new article published in the journal Pediatrics, several pediatricians from leading U.S. medical institutions take on three of the main excuses given for this ...Read more

Healthy Men: Will having more sex make me happier?

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Healthy Men: What's the right amount of sex for a couple to have to ensure a happy relationship?

A: Most of us would agree that a heathy sex life is an important component of any romantic relationship. So it seems logical to assume that there would be a positive correlation between the frequency of dancing between the sheets and one's ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Minute: Celiac disease screening for family members

Health / Health & Fitness /

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that this autoimmune disease tends to run in families. Researchers say screening family members of celiac disease patients could prevent long-term complications, such as nutritional deficiencies, development of new autoimmune conditions and small bowel ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Treating melasma

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: Years ago, I had some patches of melasma on my face removed with IPL treatment. When I went to make an appointment with my dermatologist recently for the same condition, I was told IPL should not be used for melasma. Why is this? What treatment should be used?

A: The skin condition melasma can be challenging to get rid of ...Read more

Fact check: Warren says out-of-pocket health spending will total $11 trillion in the next decade

Health / Health & Fitness /

Promoting her much-discussed plan to create a single-payer "Medicare for All" health system, Sen. Elizabeth Warren emphasized a striking figure.

"If we make no changes over the next 10 years, Americans will reach into their pockets and pay out about $11 trillion on insurance premiums, copays, deductibles and uncovered medical expenses," the ...Read more

Copper hospital beds kill bacteria, save lives, study finds

Health / Health & Fitness /

Hospital infections sicken about 2 million Americans every year and kill nearly 100,000, according to the co-author of a new study.

Those deaths are "roughly equivalent to the number of deaths if a wide-bodied jet crashed every day," said Michael G. Schmidt, professor of microbiology and immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, ...Read more

Carla Fried: High-deductible health plans: How to think about your true costs

Health / Health & Fitness /

If you have health insurance through an employer, chances are the premiums are a big -- and growing -- line item in your household budget. The independent, non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average household with family coverage pays more than $500 in monthly premiums. Over the past 10 years, the workers' share of family ...Read more