Health Beat 6.21.13
Transforming Health | 06.21.13
Health Beat is our weekly roundup of important healthcare, wellness and research news from around the web. Explore our previous roundups here.
A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease (NY Times)
The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease. This move could be a game-changer in the way that physicians focus on the issue and insurers pay for treatments.
Board member Dr. Patrice Harris, suggested the new definition would help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, both which are linked to obesity. She said:
“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”
When fear is a barrier to good care (NY Times)
To Find Out How The Health Law Affects You, Ask The President (NPR)
In less than four months, people without health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage. But, a lot is still up in the air when it comes to changes under the new federal health law and many remained confused by how it will affect them. So, NPR turns to President Obama himself for answers to questions about the Affordable Care Act.
"What is left to be implemented is those provisions to help the 10 to 15 percent of the American public that is unlucky enough that they don't have health insurance," Obama told reporters at a news conference in April.
Wiser Prescription Drug Use Could Cut Health Costs By Billions: Study (Huffington Post)
Researchers say that reduced medication overuse and underuse, as well as improving flaws that increase complications in care could potentially save the U.S. health care system at least $213 billion a year.
Some States Will Make It Easier To Get Insurance Answers (NPR)
When insurance marketplaces open under the new health law, many people will need a hand navigating the new system. 21 states have implemented consumer assistance programs to help answer questions and handle complaints that arise when signing up for insurance. The federal funds for these programs come through the Affordable Care Act.
Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Falling Behind Schedule (Wall Street Journal)
Health insurance exchanges (or marketplaces) are due to open this October. They’re a key part of the federal health overhaul, and will offer millions of uninsured Americans options for health insurance. Yet, government officials have missed several deadlines in setting up the exchanges and they are at risk of not being ready to open on time in October.
The Government Accountability Office said, "Whether [the government's] contingency planning will assure the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined."
Autism, Air Pollution Link Confirmed By First National Study (Huffington Post)
For the first time, a new national study shows a link between living in an area with high air pollution levels and an increased risk for a woman having a child with autism.
Supporters of Obama's healthcare law kick off outreach campaign (LA Times)
A multimillion-dollar campaign called “Get Covered America,” will kick off a months-long push to prep millions of Americans to sign up for insurance this fall under President Obama’s healthcare law. A coalition of Obama’s campaign veterans, healthcare companies and community activists will run the campaign.
Brill: Health Law Won’t Bring Prices Down For Patients (Kaiser Health News)
Journalist Steven Brill, who took a close look at the issue of the high health care costs in the U.S. in his March 2013 Time magazine article, told Senate Finance Committee members at a Capitol Hill hearing, that President Obama’s health law will do very little to lower prices for consumers.
Obesity in Teenagers Is Tied to Hearing Loss (NY Times)
Obese teens face a host of health issues including cardiovascular problems. And, now a new study adds one more: hearing loss.
Starbucks Is Adding Calorie Counts, but Will It Curb Consumption? (TIME)
Starbucks announced that it will disclose the calorie counts for each beverage and list them on the menu boards at all of its locations in the U.S., as well as tags for pastries in the bakery cases.
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