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Mediterranean-style diets, physical activity can lower risk of first-time stroke

Mediterranean-style diets, physical activity can lower risk of first-time stroke

Eating Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke, according to updated AHA/ASA guideline published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. [More]
State exchanges gird for round two

State exchanges gird for round two

Covered California hopes to enroll more than half a million new residents this year, bringing total participants to about 1.7 million. [More]
Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

But on Wednesday in Charlotte, Kay Hagan stood without hesitation next to Janet Colm, chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, and proudly bashed her opponent, Thom Tillis, for reducing women's rights on abortion and birth control. [More]
State highlights: Gubernatorial election outcomes will have big impact on health law's future

State highlights: Gubernatorial election outcomes will have big impact on health law's future

The deciding factor in the Senate races will be President Barack Obama's sagging approval numbers, he said, which are weighing down Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas. ... Mr. McAuliffe pushed Virginia legislators to expand the state's Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act last summer, but Republicans wouldn't have it (Bauerlein, 10/8). [More]
Medicare attack ads emerge in key Senate races

Medicare attack ads emerge in key Senate races

In recent weeks, Medicare has been an advertising topic in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and Louisiana. Meanwhile, New Hampshire's Senate candidates discussed a range of health care topics during their first debate. [More]
Democrats spotlight women's health issues

Democrats spotlight women's health issues

The issue is figuring prominently in races in Colorado and New Hampshire, where Democratic incumbents are highlighting their differences with Republican challengers. [More]

Obama, health law star in campaign ads

The Center for Public Integrity says there have been more than 300,000 Obama-related ads this election cycle. Elsewhere, abortion figures prominently in Senate races such as Colorado's where Democrats look to push their differences with the GOP. [More]
Study: Abortion restrictions lead to poorer health

Study: Abortion restrictions lead to poorer health

The study, however, was paid for by groups that support abortion rights. Elsewhere, California's Catholic Church leadership files a civil-rights complaint over making insurance plans cover abortion. [More]
Access to long-term contraception lowers teen pregnancy rates, study says

Access to long-term contraception lowers teen pregnancy rates, study says

The study counseled young women on the benefits of using long-lasting contraceptives like intrauterine devices and hormonal implants. [More]
Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Health care costs are going up, and there's a lot of debate about why. Is it the high cost of drugs or our aging population? [More]
Viewpoints: Hospitals helped by Medicaid expansion; why GOP candidates back OTC contraceptives

Viewpoints: Hospitals helped by Medicaid expansion; why GOP candidates back OTC contraceptives

Now the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a report showing that ... thanks to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals across the country will save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs in 2014. [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

In a blow to tens of thousands of low-income Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have limited the state's seizure of assets from their estates after they die -- a legal wrinkle that most only discovered after they had signed up for the health care plan for the poor (Seipel, 9/25). [More]
Viewpoints: New insurers suggest health law success; slow response on Ebola

Viewpoints: New insurers suggest health law success; slow response on Ebola

Before Obamacare launched, conservative outlets warned that the law would collapse as insurers shunned the overpriced, overregulated insurance exchanges. [More]
Viewpoints: A 'success story' in McAllen, Texas; 'uniquely high prices' in health care

Viewpoints: A 'success story' in McAllen, Texas; 'uniquely high prices' in health care

It may have been the most influential magazine article of the past decade. In June of 2009, the doctor and writer Atul Gawande published a piece in The New Yorker called "The Cost Conundrum," which examined why the small border city of McAllen, Tex., was the most expensive place for health care in the United States. ... Five years later, the situation has changed. Where McAllen once illustrated the problem of American health care, the city is now showing us how the problem can be solved, largely because of the Affordable Care Act that Mr. Obama signed into law in 2010 (Bob Kocher and Farzad Mostashari, 9/23). [More]
Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

The New York Times' Elisabeth Rosenthal offered an important lesson in healthcare economics over the weekend that's a must-read for anyone about to undergo a major medical procedure. [More]
Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Federal officials warned in April that the tool, called a morcellator, can spread undetected cancer. [More]

GOP candidates explore middle move ahead of election

Democrats, in the meantime, try a new tactic -- talking up their commitment to Social Security and Medicare. Elsewhere, Sens. Kay Hagan and Mark Warner face campaign fights centering largely on the health law. [More]
State highlights: Calif. readies new checks on foster kid psych meds; Kan. employment support for those with mental illness

State highlights: Calif. readies new checks on foster kid psych meds; Kan. employment support for those with mental illness

In a significant step toward curbing the overuse of psychiatric drugs in California's foster care system, doctors will soon be required to get extra authorization to prescribe antipsychotics, a new safeguard to protect some of the state's most overmedicated children. Beginning Oct. 1, a state pharmacist must verify the "medical necessity" of each antipsychotic prescription before the medications can be given to children who are 17 and younger and covered by Medi-Cal, the state's health program for the poor that also includes foster children (De Sa, 9/18). [More]
Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

In anticipation of next year's premium announcements and given some information already made public, concerns have surfaced about the potential for double-digit percent increases in nongroup and small-group health insurance premiums. This analysis shows that, although average annual increases in small-group premiums over the past 13 years averaged roughly 5.5 percent, double-digit average premium increases are common for states and large metropolitan areas. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

New York State's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit on Monday seeking to stop a pharmaceutical company from forcing patients with Alzheimer's disease to switch to a new version of a widely used drug. The lawsuit contends that the switch is designed to blunt competition from low-priced generic versions of the medication (Pollack, 9/15). [More]