Health & Spirit

Insurers ramp up lobbying for favorable changes to health care law

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Facing an uncertain future as the Affordable Care Act teeters, health insurers have stepped up lobbying efforts to make sure their wish list of policy changes comes true.

Demand is high in Washington for industry operatives who can educate lawmakers, administration officials and their staffers about the effect of changes to ...Read more

Sen. Mike Lee: House proposal to replace Obamacare a 'horrible idea'

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee on Wednesday criticized a House proposal to include provisions that would "replace" the 2010 health care law in a repeal measure, calling it "a horrible idea."

"If we load down the repeal discussion with what comes next, I think it's going to make it a lot harder to get either one of them done," Lee ...Read more

With a high deductible, even a doctor can short change his health

Health / Health & Fitness /

All the doctor's tricks were failing him. He'd tried neck massage, pressure to the eyes, ice on the face. But an hour in, Ashish Jha still couldn't slow his racing heart.

His wife asked what he'd recommend if a patient called with the same problem. "I said, 'Oh, that's easy. Go to the emergency department.'"

As a physician, Jha knew this ...Read more

With Obamacare repeal sputtering, GOP pins hopes on HHS nominee Tom Price

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are failing to move as quickly as promised to unwind the Affordable Care Act, and they're looking to Rep. Tom Price's confirmation as their chance to create some breathing space.

From cutting off free birth control for women to tightening the eligibility rules for midyear health insurance enrollees, Price -- once ...Read more

Don't ignore infant fevers

Health / Health & Fitness /

Fever in an infant who is less than 3 months old is cause for concern.

"A fever in this age group can be a sign of a serious bacterial infection that requires urgent medical treatment," says Dr. Seth Gregory, a Mayo Clinic Health System pediatrician.

One study identified a serious bacterial infection in 10 percent of infants with a fever ...Read more

Evaluating and treating leg numbness and cramping

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: I have been on medication to treat peripheral artery disease for nearly a year, but it doesn't seem to help the numbness and cramping in my legs. Are stents always effective in treating symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or is there a chance I'll still have symptoms even with stents?

A: Your leg numbness and cramping could...Read more

If Obamacare is being repealed, do the uninsured still face penalties?

Health / Health & Fitness /

In some recent emails, readers asked about what to expect as Republicans move to overhaul the health law. Should people bother paying the penalty for not having health insurance when they file their taxes this year? Will they be able to sign up on the exchange for 2018 after their COBRA benefits end? Here are some answers.

Q: I didn't have ...Read more

Health care law repeal seen thwarting state addiction efforts

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- In the three years since the Affordable Care Act took effect, its federally funded expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults has become the states' most powerful weapon in the battle against the nation's worsening opioid epidemic.

Now, as Congress and President Donald Trump debate potential replacements for the law, governors, ...Read more

Laughing until you die

Health / Health & Fitness /

Just weeks before Christmas some years ago, Shirley Rapp and her family faced the devastating news that she had what appeared to be a terminal illness.

But that didn't stop Rapp from wanting to do one last round of Christmas shopping for her kids. Her daughter, Karyn Buxman, a self-described neurohumorist and RN, went along. When the mother-...Read more

Repealing Obamacare would kill millions of jobs nationwide, studies show

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- It may not crash the economy, but repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act would certainly create job losses in every state.

That's the consensus of a growing body of studies that suggest the economic fallout from the health law's partial demise would ripple through the entire economy, not just the health care sector.

...Read more

Proton beam therapy may be recommended for some types of cancer

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: My mother recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctor told her regular radiation wasn't as safe as proton beam therapy for her situation. Why would this be the case? I know lots of women who have had radiation for breast cancer treatment.

A: It's true that standard radiation therapy often is used to treat breast ...Read more

Home remedies: emergency care for a heart attack

Health / Health & Fitness /

Someone having a heart attack may experience any or all of the following:

-- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of the chest

-- Discomfort or pain spreading beyond the chest to the shoulders, neck, jaw, teeth, or one or both arms, or occasionally upper abdomen

-- Shortness of breath

-- Lightheadedness, dizziness...Read more

Employers fret job-based coverage vulnerable to fallout from GOP health overhaul

Health / Health & Fitness /

Through years of acrimony over Obamacare coverage for the poor and other individuals lacking health policies, one kind of insurance has remained steady, widespread and relatively affordable.

Employer-sponsored medical plans still cover more Americans than any other type, typically with greater benefits and lower out-of-pocket expense. Recent ...Read more

Never mind the lungs. Air pollution can scramble your brain

Health / Health & Fitness /

The air you breathe does more than affect your lungs.

A new study published this week found that older women exposed to air polluted by vehicle exhaust and other damaging particles are almost twice as likely to develop dementia. Others who carried a specific gene were almost four times likelier to develop loss of memory and reasoning skills.

"...Read more

Obamacare repeal could devastate public health and CDC funding

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Health care advocates fear a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could blow a $3 billion hole in state and local public health funding over the next five years and cost the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly $1 billion a year, or about 12 percent of its annual budget.

That's the potential forecast if the ACA's ...Read more

Final Obamacare enrollment figures lag under Trump

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Enrollment in Obamacare health plans sagged markedly after President Donald Trump's inauguration, according to new federal data that show sign-ups slowed in the final two weeks of the 2017 open enrollment period as Trump stepped up attacks on the health care law.

The slowdown is particularly noteworthy as enrollment was running ...Read more

Obamacare Sign-Ups Decline for 2017 as Republicans Eye Repeal

Health / Health & Fitness /

NEW YORK -- Sign-ups for 2017 insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act across 39 states fell 4.4 percent, amid a politically charged debate over the health law's future.

About 9.2 million people enrolled in individual insurance plans in states using the website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday. ...Read more

Republicans' repeal mantra for Obamacare may have a new slogan: Repair

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Republicans who have been promising their constituents for years that they would repeal President Barack Obama's sweeping health care plan are now offering a less drastic approach: Repair it.

The modification, aired repeatedly this week on Capitol Hill, comes as Republicans find themselves unable to reach a consensus on how to ...Read more

Women's wellness: hypothyroidism and pregnancy

Health / Health & Fitness /

When a woman becomes pregnant, many changes occur in her body. One of those changes is in the levels of various hormones produced by the body.

In the case of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), pregnant women typically produce a lower level than normal (0.4–4.0 milli-international units per liter). Some international guidelines recommend ...Read more

Obamacare repeal is a giant risk for California's dwindling Republicans

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- The last major Republican stronghold in California is one of the nation's most dependent areas on Obamacare, creating an enormous political risk for the GOP congressmen who represent the area and are eager to repeal the health care law.

They represent the inland expanse from the Mojave desert through the Central Valley, an area ...Read more