Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:58 pm
With 20 days left for people to sign up for private health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the number of people who have completed that task rose to 4.2 million through the end of February, the Obama administration reports.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:46 pm
Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.
To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:23 am
Childhood obesity has made it to the forefront of public health issues, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Now researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Strathclyde, Georgia and Bristol say that not only does obesity affect a child's overall health, but it may also lead to poorer school performance among teenage girls. Among boys, the link is less apparent.
Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:24 am
What can doctors do to help kids stay away from drugs?
There's not much evidence to say one way or the other, it turns out.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines on what doctors should and shouldn't do, said there aren't enough reliable studies around to come up with any solid advice. So the task force gave the interventions an "I" for insufficient evidence. The kids might call it an incomplete.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 12:12 pm
Writer Andrew Solomon delves deep into topics most wouldn't touch. His book Far From The Treeis a thoughtful look into parents raising children who are different from themselves: children with Down's syndrome, autism, or a complete loss of hearing and others. His TED Talk based on the book has been seen almost two million times.
People who got off to a rough start with Obamacare or haven't picked a plan still have options. But they better hop to it. The open enrollment period ends March 31.
Those who were unable to sign up for a marketplace plan because of the glitches with federal or state websites can receive coverage retroactive to the date they originally applied. There are also retroactive premium tax credits and subsidies, the federal government said in late February.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:19 pm
Our bodies may help us remember our lives, fixing experiences in place. By using virtual reality, scientists can make people feel like they're outside their own bodies. And when they do, the brain struggles to remember what happened.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Brain injuries like concussions have got a lot of attention in professional sports lately. But there's also a new focus on concussion in children, especially those who play sports at a young age. A new study suggests that emergency rooms could be doing much more to find and treat concussions in children. It's published online in the journal Pediatrics Today.
Teenagers put a lot of stock in what their peers are doing, and parents are forever trying to push back against that influence. But with the advent of social media, hanging out with the wrong crowd can include not just classmates, but teenagers thousands of miles away on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
For the Affordable Care Act to be considered a success years down the road, Ezekiel Emanuel believes that all Americans must have access to health coverage, and it must be better quality and lower cost. "And I think it's well within our grasp," he says.
Andy Soule, a U.S. Army veteran, lost both his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2005. Four years ago, he won America's first medal — Olympic or Paralympic — in the biathlon event.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Dan Cnossen led a Navy SEAL team before losing his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2009. After his injury, he began running on prosthetic blades, then tried skiing — and he's now in Sochi.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Performance under stress is something Cnossen learned as a Navy SEAL. Now he's trying to use that skill as a biathlete, to ski his fastest right up to the target range and then quickly calm down enough to shoot with precision.
Biathlon may be the toughest endurance sport in the Olympics. After grueling circuits of Nordic skiing, athletes have to calm their breathing, steady their tired legs and shoot tiny targets with a rifle.
Andy Soule does it all with only his arms.
"It's a steep learning curve, learning to sit-ski," says Soule, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team. He's strapped into a seat attached to two fixed cross-country skis. He speeds along the course by hauling himself with ski poles.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:20 pm
Our post on sexual harassment in bars sure struck a nerve.
Earlier this week we covered a study from the University of Toronto that found that men who were sexually aggressive in bars weren't necessarily drunk, and that their actions usually weren't the result of miscommunication.
Health insurers are banding together to share information about how much new customers are costing health plans. A group of actuaries in Denver will be the first to see the figures, which could be used in calculating future rates.
Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:44 am
Now that medical insurers must accept all applicants no matter how sick, what will these new customers cost health plans? And how will their coverage costs affect insurance prices for 2015 and beyond?
Few questions about the Affordable Care Act are more important. How it all plays out will affect consumer pocketbooks, insurance company profits and perhaps the political fortunes of those backing the health law.
A few Denver actuaries, bound to confidentiality, will be the first to glimpse the answers.
In only the second documented case of its kind, an infant born with the AIDS virus may have been cured of the infection, thanks to an intensive drug treatment begun just hours after her birth. The baby girl — now 9 months old — from Long Beach, Calif., is still on that regimen of antiretroviral drugs. But researchers who described her case at an AIDS meeting in Boston this week say advanced testing suggests that she is HIV-negative.