Health

Health
3:22 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Health Care Law Upheld: Now What?

A bulletin board in New York's Jamaica Hospital offers advice for uninsured patients.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 3:26 pm

Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the Affordable Care Act can stand, it's time to think about what the law actually means for your medical coverage. The requirement that everyone buy health insurance (the individual mandate) has gotten all the attention, but there's a lot more to the health law. So let's review the changes the law has already wrought and those that still lie ahead:

WHAT'S IN EFFECT:

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Health
12:33 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

They Got it Wrong - CNN, Fox Mistakenly Report Health Care Law Overturned

A Photoshopped alteration of the iconic Harry Truman photo. Tweeted by Gary He.
http://yfrog.com/hw7ozrfj

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 1:32 pm

MarketWatch calls this CNN and Fox's 'Dewey Defeats Truman' moment. For several surprising minutes this morning, both media companies wrongly announced that the Affordable Care Act had been overturned by the Supreme Court.

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Health
11:15 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Texas Reactions to SCOTUS’ Affordable Care Act Opinion

flickr.com/brendel

Lone star politicians are wasting no time sounding off on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision this morning upholding the individual mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature package of health care reforms.

Governor Rick Perry calls the opinion “a stomach punch to the American economy.”  

“Freedom was frontally attacked by passage of this monstrosity,” Perry says, “and the Court utterly failed in its duty to uphold the Constitutional limits placed on Washington. Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us, we citizens must take action at every level of government and demand real reform, done with respect for our Constitution and our liberty.”

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Health
10:36 am
Thu June 28, 2012

SCOTUS Rules Federal Health Reform Constitutional

Todd Wiseman / Eddie Codel, Texas Tribune

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care legislation, is constitutional — including the individual mandate that forces Americans to carry health insurance, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The decision has far-reaching implications for Texas, where leaders have ardently opposed “Obamacare” even though the state has the country’s highest percent of uninsured residents. In addition to requiring all citizens to purchase health insurance, the law dramatically expands Medicaid, which already makes up close to a quarter of Texas’ state budget.

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8:18 am
Thu June 28, 2012

SCOTUS Health Care Ruling Today?

Lead in text: 
Excuse us if we sound like a broken record, but the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act today. NPR's health blog Shots has a quick primer on the issues at stake in the decision.
At the heart of it all is one legal question: Can the federal government compel uninsured people to buy health coverage?Opponents of the law see the so-called individual mandate as coercive and an illegal intrusion by the federal government. Some supporters of the law liken the insurance requirement to the same one for auto coverage.The high court could strike down the law entirely, chuck the mandate and leave other parts of the law intact, or uphold the whole thing.
Health
1:08 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Read The Tea Leaves, But Justices (And Their Clerks) Aren't Telling

The U.S. Supreme Court
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:26 pm

Several dozen people know how the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. And it'll stay that way until sometime after 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, when the court releases its opinion to the rest of us.

The decision will have broad societal, economic and legal ramifications, and will play a featured role in the November presidential election. But the justices and their young law clerks — the only ones privy to the deliberations — don't leak opinions. It's virtually unheard of.

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Health
9:48 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Supreme Court Punts on Health Care Decision

A health care decision may now come Monday.
flickr.com/envios

Despite wide speculation the U.S. Supreme Court would decide on the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature health care law today, no ruling was forthcoming this morning.

Instead, the high court issued decisions on four other cases, which you can find on the Supreme Court website.

Health
3:17 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Survey: Insiders Think Supreme Court Will Strike Health Care Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 12:17 pm

A new survey of 38 former clerks of current Supreme Court justices and 18 attorneys who have argued cases before the high court found that most of them think the court will rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's signature health care law and it is unknown whether the law can survive without that piece.

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Health
12:38 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Health Care Law Grant Helping Austin Clinic Expand

Federal funds will help People's Community Clinic see more patients.
People's Community Clinic

An Austin health clinic is getting $650,000 from the federal government as part of the Obama Administration’s health care overhaul.

People’s Community Clinic is one of more than 200 clinics nationwide to receive money. People’s Community Clinic is using the money to expand access for patients by creating more clinic space.

“Every day there are people who call who would like appointments who we can’t see. And so this is an opportunity to make sure that we have more capacity to meet more of the needs in our community,” said Regina Rogoff, People’s Community Clinic CEO.

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Health
10:07 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Senators Ask Supreme Court To Televise Health Care Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:40 pm

Two members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee are asking the Supreme Court to provide live coverage of its proceedings when it hands down its decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law.

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Health
2:42 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

A&M System Lands Major Federal Biosecurity Contract

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A Texas A&M University System-led team has won a major federal contract to develop one of three new national centers — the only one led by a public university system — for developing and manufacturing medicine and vaccines to respond to pandemic diseases and bioterror threats.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the contract on Monday. The other contracts were awarded to Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore and Novartis in North Carolina.

After the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, federal officials realized the need to significantly improve the speed of its response to pandemics. These three centers are expected to be the lead responders in the event of a major national biological outbreak, whatever the cause. The center in College Station is expected to first come online in December 2015.

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Health
12:45 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Insurers Wait for Verdict on Health Care Law - and Profits

Demonstrators both for and against the health care law turned out on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 27, the second day of oral arguments before the court.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 5:25 pm

All eyes these days are trained on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule sometime this month on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

But some people are waiting more anxiously for the court to rule than others. Among them are those with a major financial stake in whether the law goes forward or not and if so, in what form.

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Health
1:00 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Teen HIV Cases on the Rise in Austin

An HIV virus under an electron microscope
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Local officials are warning of an increase in HIV infections in Austin’s adolescent population.

“We’ve identified just in the last few months about five newly confirmed HIV cases,” Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Medical Director Dr. Philip Huang tells KUT News. “By comparison, all of last year in Travis County, we had six cases.”

Dr. Huang couldn’t speak to specific cases, but cited Centers for Diseases Control statistics regarding sexually-active adolescents: some 52 percent of Texas high school students have had sex at least once, and only 54 percent of sexually active students used a condom the last time they had sex.

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Education
9:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

AISD's Free Summer Meal Program Underway

28 AISD schools are offering free breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/USDAgov

The Austin Independent School District will be feeding free breakfast and lunch to children starting today. The summer food service program is in place at more than two dozen campuses.

Students don’t have to apply for the program. The free meals are open to any child ages one through 18 regardless of family income.

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Health
2:25 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Gunshot Wounds to the Face Not As Lethal As You Might Think

Photo by kcdsTM http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcdstm/2220683741/

Though shocking and disturbing, many gunshot wounds to the face are not as serious as they appear, Harvard surgery professor and trauma surgeon George Velmahos reminded an audience of trauma surgeons and nurses this morning.

Velmahos joined several other surgeons in giving quick lessons about surgical techniques or advancements as part of the Austin Trauma and Critical Care Conference at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas Campus.

In between surgeon-centered jokes, Velmahos showed provocative photos of patients with gunshot wounds to the face because he said he knew they would elicit a strong response.

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Health
12:22 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Don't Know CPR? You Can 'TAKE10' to Learn It

Would you know what to do if someone collapsed in your office?
Photo courtesy flickr.com/redcrosspdx

The City of Austin wants everyone to take 10 minutes to learn hands-only CPR.

Each year, about 600 people in Austin and Travis County experience cardiac arrest and are treated by EMS. When bystanders perform CPR, survival rates can double or even triple.

Hillary Funk is the Community Integration Coordinator with Austin-Travis County EMS. She says some people are hesitant to perform mouth-to-mouth.

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Health
8:55 am
Thu May 31, 2012

FDA Rules Corn Syrup Can't Change its Name to Corn Sugar

A sweetener by any other name ...
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 pm

Corn-based-sweetener manufacturers may be singing a sour tune today. The Food and Drug Administration just ruled that the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup that sweetens many of our candies, sodas and snacks cannot be called "corn sugar." But much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character, they'll probably be baaack.

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Health
3:26 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Backers of Cost-Free Coverage for Birth Control Fault Legal Challenges

Andrew Shaw iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:27 pm

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

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health
11:06 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Trained Interpreters Can Help Prevent Medical Errors

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 9:53 am

When someone arrives at the hospital who doesn't speak English very well, it's common for workers at the hospital who are fluent in that language —doctors, nurses, even administrative staff — to step in and act as the patient's interpreter.

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Women's Health
8:32 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Catholic Groups Sue Obama Administration Over Birth Control Rule

In a compromise, President Obama proposed to allow religious universities and charities offer birth control coverage through their own health insurers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 3:21 pm

So much for compromise.

A total of 43 Catholic educational, charitable and other entities filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court around the nation Monday, charging that the Obama Administration's rule requiring coverage of birth control in most health insurance plans violates their religious freedom.

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