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Health

A last-minute attempt by conservative Republicans to dump standards for health benefits in plans sold to individuals would probably lower the average person's upfront insurance costs, such as premiums and deductibles, say analysts on both sides of the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But it will very likely also induce insurers to offer much skimpier plans, potentially excluding the gravely ill and putting consumers at greater financial risk if they need care.

Mike Acton / Creative Commons

Twenty years ago, a lot of Icelandic teens were drinking too much. But an innovative program changed that.

This hour, we talk with the American researcher who helped combat the problem by tapping into natural highs — like sports. If the program has worked, why aren’t other countries following suit? We find out.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Acceptance for medical marijuana is growing among people who swear by marijuana's power to relieve their ills. Older people are choosing marijuana for their aches and pains, parents are moving to states where marijuana is legal for children with seizure disorders, even pet owners are using pot to ease their pup's pain.  It's currently legal in twenty-eight states  with several more on deck.

RUSTY BLAZENHOFF / CREATIVE COMMONS

State Rep. Vincent Candelora proposed legislation that would impose a six percent tax on medical marijuana.

Connecticut Health I-Team

In less than eight hours last June, Yale New Haven’s emergency department treated 12 patients who had overdosed on opioids. Three died; nine were saved.

Microscopic, bear-shaped animals called tardigrades are one of the most resilient animals on earth. Known colloquially as water bears, they can survive freezing temperatures, radiation, even a trip to outer space.

The creatures are famous for their ability to withstand extremely dry conditions. Water bears can go without water for 10 years, surviving as a dessicated shell. Just how they come back to life when their environment is friendlier has baffled scientists for years.

Biomedical research and public health are among the big losers in the Trump administration's proposed budget.

The proposal promises:

  • A "major reorganization" in the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the nation's research on diseases and treatments. That includes a cut of $5.8 billion, about 20 percent of NIH's $30 billion budget.

Lori Mack / WNPR

The American Health Care Act, which is the House Republican bill to replace Obamacare, includes a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood. The organization serves around 70,000 residents in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Risk Of Death In Connecticut Linked To Where You Live

Mar 14, 2017

Connecticut has seen significant reductions in deaths from breast and colon cancer in the last three decades, but the state exceeds the national mortality rate for uterine cancer and three other cancers, as well as for mental health and substance use disorders.

Bill Would Consolidate Local Conn. Health Departments

Mar 13, 2017

The Connecticut Legislature’s Public Health Committee is considering a proposed bill that would consolidate local health departments into regional health districts.

Many people are worried about how potential changes to the federal health law might affect them. But few are as concerned as those with pre-existing health conditions.

On Christmas Day, I found out that I was pregnant. It was the best present I could have hoped for. My husband and I have wanted to start a family for years, and we could not wait to share the news with our loved ones.

But my initial exhilaration quickly turned to anxiety. As a physician, I knew many of the things that could go wrong. I wanted to do everything I could do to have a healthy baby.

The world is facing its greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945, says the United Nations humanitarian coordinator, Stephen O'Brien.

O'Brien told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that more than 20 million people across four countries in Africa and the Middle East are at risk of starvation and famine.

"We stand at a critical point in our history," he said. "Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death."

Geoff Stearns / Creative Commons

Are you feeling emotionally stressed out from the 2016 election? Feeling anxious or sad? Does thinking about where the country is headed make you feel physically sick? If so, we want to hear from you. 

On Thursday, March 16, the Colin McEnroe Show, live at 1:00 pm, will talk about "election stress" that the American Psychological Association reports more than half of America is feeling - regardless of party affiliation. 

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

Thousands of Connecticut children have elevated levels of lead in their blood. This is often the result of lead dust in the home or in the soil outside.

Got questions about the GOP plan to overhaul federal health law? Join us on Twitter Thursday 12-1 p.m. ET for our #ACAchat. Kaiser's Julie Rovner, NPR's Alison Kodjak and health policy analysts of various political persuasions will be online discussing how the Republican plan could work, who wins and who loses. See you there!

After literally years of promises, House Republicans have a bill they say will "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Some of the most conservative members of the House are at a crossroads over the plan from GOP leadership and the White House to replace the Affordable Care Act. Those lawmakers say their choice is between supporting a bill that goes against many of their principles, or falling in line behind President Trump — who won overwhelming support in their district.

We tracked the action on Capitol Hill Wednesday as two House committees — Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, reviewed and amended the American Health Care Act. (It's the GOP plan to replace The Affordable Care Act.) Check in with us Thursday for more on the health law overhaul, including a live Tweetchat answering questions about the overhaul proposal, #ACAchat, from 12-1 pm ET.

House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin has been complaining about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) for so long that his list of grievances sounds like a refrain of some pop song.

"Obamacare is collapsing," he said on Feb. 28. "The Democrats got too far ahead on their ideology and they gave us a system where government runs health care. They gave us a system where costs went up, not down. They gave us a system where choices went away. They gave us a system where people lost the plans they liked, they chose."

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

Get the lead out -- at least, that's what Connecticut renters Rosie Gallant and Adam Golka hoped to do after discovering the toxin in their Woodstock home. This hour, we hear their story and find out how repeated lead exposure has impacted the health of their infant daughter. 

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

Gianfranco Blanco / Creative Commons

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit licensed professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors, a practice designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last summer Felicia Keesing returned from a long trip and found that her home in upstate New York had been subjected to an invasion.

"There was evidence of mice everywhere. They had completely taken over," says Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College.

It was a plague of mice. And it had landed right in Keesing's kitchen.

Back in the day, people paid for routine, primary medical care on their own and used insurance only when something serious came up. Some primary care doctors are betting that model can thrive again through a monthly subscription for routine care and a high-deductible insurance policy to take care of the big stuff.

But the changes raise questions about whether that approach really leads to more effective and efficient health care.

Chuck Grimmett / All Creative Commons

Is marijuana a harmless way to relax or a dangerous gateway drug? The science says “no” and “we don’t know,” respectively. Arguments for and against legalization often misrepresent the medical effects of cannabis, some experts say.

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