health care

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It's Back: 'Not Perfect' HealthCare.gov Now Open

Officials look to avoid new round of headaches

(Newser) - HealthCare.gov is back in action. As of yesterday, visitors can "window-shop" for plans, seeing what's available before open enrollment begins on Saturday, USA Today reports. Are we in for the technological mess that plagued the site last year? "Things will not be perfect," acknowledges the... More »

How 4 Words Could Doom ObamaCare

Supreme Court case deals with exchanges 'established by the State': NYTimes

(Newser) - ObamaCare survived a 2012 Supreme Court challenge, but the fight isn't over : Now, justices have agreed to hear an attack on another section of the law. This time, the whole thing hinges on four words, the New York Times editorial board writes. In a subsection, the law says that... More »

Behind Health Exec's Luxe Life: Fake Spinal Screws?

Despite whistleblower, FDA never shut company down

(Newser) - Medical firm founder Roger Williams owned private planes, flashy cars, and a yacht dubbed "Spare Change"; he had courtside seats to see the Lakers and enjoyed spending thousands at strip clubs. But an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests his $18-million-a-year California company, Spinal Solutions, made its... More »

Facebook's New Venture: Health Care?

Reuters says company looking to expand in a big way on that front

(Newser) - Mark Zuckerberg and Co. apparently want to address every human need possible: Facebook is said to be venturing into the health care arena, Reuters reports. Initial possibilities include the creation of "support communities" to sync up people who want to talk about their particular ailments, as well as "... More »

Why Medical Patients Get Huge Surprise Bills

Out-of-network providers work on patients without their knowing it

(Newser) - Peter Drier's neck surgery bills didn't surprise him, even $133,000 from the anesthesiologist and $56,000 from his Manhattan hospital. But what was $117,000 from an "assistant surgeon"? Drier, a bank technology manager, had run into a growing US phenomenon known as "drive-by... More »

US Ebola Contribution: 3K Military, $750M

'Significant' response will train hundreds of health workers, build hospitals

(Newser) - As part of his promised "scaled-up response" to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama is expected to announce during a visit to the CDC today that the US will be sending 3,000 military personnel in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the... More »

Medicare Fund to Last Longer Than Previously Thought

Medicare gets a 4-year boost—but disability benefits are disappearing more quickly

(Newser) - If you’ve been nervously eyeing your Social Security and Medicare updates, wondering if there will be anything left or whether a viable health program will exist by the time you punch your final timecard, Uncle Sam has (some) good news: Benefits funds for Medicare are expected to last for... More »

Dueling Courts Gut, Uphold ObamaCare Subsidies

One appeals court issues 'crippling blow' as another helps it hours later

(Newser) - It's a seesaw day for ObamaCare: One federal appeals court delivered what was seen as potentially devastating news to the health care law today, but hours later a second appeals court came to the opposite conclusion. Both decisions revolve around subsidies for people who signed up for ObamaCare on... More »

America's Health Care Ranks 11th—Out of 11

US is costliest, least effective among industrialized nations

(Newser) - Americans are paying a lot more money for a health care system less effective than those of other countries, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund think tank that ranks the US dead last out of 11 industrialized countries once again. The US was last overall and came in... More »

Hordes of ObamaCare Users Told Info Doesn't Check Out

Officials 'double- and triple-check' provided subsidy data

(Newser) - The White House intends to double-check the documents of hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare users to confirm they qualify for health subsidies, having notified them over the last two weeks that "the information in your application doesn’t match what we found in other records." In fact, government... More »

Breakthrough DNA Test Saves Boy in 48 Hours

New software sifts through DNA sample to make quick diagnosis

(Newser) - A 15-year-old boy is alive thanks to a diagnosis that sounds like it’s from a sci-fi novel. Doctors took a DNA sample from Joshua Osborn—whose brain was swelling with fluid for reasons that had doctors stumped—ran it through DNA-sequencing machines, and let the software work its magic,... More »

In a Single Year, Basic Hospital Prices Soar

And experts aren't sure why

(Newser) - Over the course of a single year, hospitals charged noticeably more for a range of standard procedures, the New York Times finds. Medicare data show that for 91 of 98 common ailments, hospitals' 2012 prices increased more than the rate of inflation from a year earlier: Chest pain charges jumped... More »

IRS: Employers Can't 'Dump' Workers on Health Care

Large businesses still have to pay employee health costs

(Newser) - The IRS has sent a message to employers—that they can't just hand workers cash and "dump" them into insurance exchanges. Spelled out in a Q&A document , the ruling says employers will be taxed an extra $100 a day for each worker sent into the marketplace to... More »

US Quietly Earmarks Money for ObamaCare Insurers

It's a safety net to cover any losses; Republicans cry foul

(Newser) - ObamaCare just became a win-win proposition for insurance companies. Tucked into hundreds of pages of new rulings on the Affordable Care Act last week was a promise to pay insurers for any losses they incur by providing coverage on government exchanges, the LA Times reports. The Obama administration inserted the... More »

Heartbleed Fears Prompt ObamaCare Password Reset

No sign site has been compromised: White House

(Newser) - People who have accounts on the enrollment website for ObamaCare are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw. All enrollee passwords have been reset, the White House says, per CNN . Senior administration officials said there... More »

We've Made Huge Progress on One Diabetes Front

Dangerous complications are way down

(Newser) - A major federal study points to vast improvements in the fight against diabetes-related ailments, thanks in large part to improving treatment. Complications from diabetes have plummeted over two decades, the New York Times reports: For instance, heart attacks among diabetes sufferers have dropped 68% since 1990 (and 31% in the... More »

Why 90% of Doctors Don't Recommend Their Job

We're seeing a 'war on physicians': Daniela Drake

(Newser) - According to a survey last year , nine of 10 doctors wouldn't recommend their career to others; some 300 doctors commit suicide yearly. All that's not surprising, writes Daniela Drake at the Daily Beast : "Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking," she... More »

Insurers Panic Over $1K-a-Day Wonder Drug

Congress demands to know why Sovaldi is so expensive

(Newser) - The FDA only approved Sovaldi in December, but the hepatitis C treatment is already setting records, with as much as $10 billion in sales expected in the first year alone. And why not? It has few side effects, cures 90% of patients, and, oh yeah, costs $1,000 a day.... More »

ObamaCare Signups Surge Past 7M Target

More than 7M poised to sign up as of yesterday

(Newser) - Experts didn't think the White House could reach a goal of 7 million ObamaCare signups as of yesterday—but it looks like their forecasts were wrong. Officials say the administration was on track to receive more than 7 million signups, in line with the original Congressional Budget Office target... More »

Under ObamaCare, My Mom Can't Get Her Cancer Drug

We can, and must, do better: Stephen Blackwood

(Newser) - Stephen Blackwood offers a wrenching indictment of ObamaCare in the Wall Street Journal : His mother, diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 2005, "wouldn't still be here" without a shot she gets twice a month of Sandostatin, a drug that slows the disease. But in November, her health plan was... More »

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