Health

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The state has eliminated its sales tax on certain non-prescription medicines. The change will eliminate taxes on over-the-counter items like antacids, cough syrup, and pain medication. It also gets rid of the sales tax on dietary supplements and vitamins.

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It’s been five years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, and the law is still as contentious as ever. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging the distribution of Obamacare subsidies. 

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New techniques are being used by brain specialists to treat Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.

How Do You Get an ID When You Have No Home?

Apr 1, 2015
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It was a bitter cold Friday in March, and Sal Pinna was heading into the wind on Main Street in Hartford.

"Cold enough, but I don't feel a thing," Pinna said. "I guess I’m used to it."

Pinna, a Long Island native, has been homeless for 20 years in Connecticut, but he wants very much to get an apartment. He has in his backpack a xeroxed copy of his birth certificate – but that’s not good enough for official paperwork. Without proper identification, Pinna is stuck in shelters, or worse.

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A judge has ruled a 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state must remain in the temporary custody of the Department of Children and Families until her treatments are finished.

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Advocates for juveniles want the state legislature to repeal a rarely used law that allows Connecticut's Department of Children and Families to request a youth be transferred to an adult prison. 

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act ended in February. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, uninsured Connecticut residents who just found out about the financial penalty in the law now have one more month to apply for coverage. 

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Pre-diabetes is not fun, but the way we eat can help us avoid developing it, as well as full blown adult-onset diabetes, says Dr. Reza Yavari of Connecticut.

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United Health, which has significant operations in Connecticut, says it will spend $12 billion to buy a pharmacy benefits management company. Catamaran Corporation, based in Illinois, will be merged with United Health’s existing pharmacy benefits unit OptumRx. 

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Healthbridge, the controversial New Jersey company, is to sell almost all of its nursing homes in Connecticut to a Florida partnership. Healthbridge was in and out of the headlines for years for poor labor relations as it locked workers out of one of its homes, sparking a strike at all of its unionized locations. 

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

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A dispute between Governor Dannel Malloy and the federal government over Medicaid reimbursement rates could cost state taxpayers an extra $45 million. 

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It turns out hospital patients get woken up all night long for tests so doctors can have them in the morning at their convenience. A recent experiment at Yale New Haven Hospital, though, showed no patient appeared worse off when staff were told to let them sleep all night. That experiment was conducted at the direction of Yale's Dr. Michael Bennick, who is in charge of determining what "patient-centered care" should look like. 

A heavy workload caused by the Affordable Care Act, government technology limits and staff shortages are causing unusually long delays in filling public records requests, federal health officials say.

The waits in some cases could stretch out a decade or more.

The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to respond to records requests in 20 working days, though providing documents often takes much longer. The FBI, for instance, recently reported that complex requests could average more than two years to fill.

Johnny Reynolds knew that something was wrong as far back as 2003. That's when he first started experiencing extreme fatigue.

"It was like waking up every morning and just putting a person over my shoulders and walking around with them all day long," says Reynolds, 54, who lived in Ohio at the time.

In addition, Reynolds was constantly thirsty and drank so much water that he would urinate 20 or 30 times per day. "And overnight I would probably get up at least eight or nine times a night," he says.

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The World Health Organization has selected Greater New Haven as one of 15 urban areas worldwide to pilot a planned “age-friendly city indicator guide”.  

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Doctors have been treating the symptoms of their patients, often before they know the cause, for centuries. But as medicine has gained sophistication and precision, we've slowly demanded more of our doctors. We want them to treat us, but also to know what we have, and why we have it, and how to treat and cure it. 

Nepal, a country of 25 million, is struggling out of poverty after a decadelong civil war. Squabbling politicians have paralyzed government, and high unemployment means 1,500 youth leave every day for jobs in Malaysia and the Middle East.

So, as the United Nations International Day of Happiness dawns, Nepalis may seem on the surface to have reason to be unhappy.

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A new report says Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to save the state money by reducing the number of people on Medicaid will harm low-income families. 

Hospitals are one of the worst places to try to get a good night's sleep, just when you need it the most. And though many have tried to muffle the noise of beeping monitors and clattering carts, the noise remains a big problem for many patients.

But what if we looked at a night in the hospital as a long overseas flight? As you settle in, they hand out eye masks and earplugs. And you cleverly brought along melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone sold at drugstores everywhere.

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Over 100 people testified before the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

They spoke for and against a controversial bill to allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

While most teenagers recognize that texting while driving is a bad idea, they may be less clear about the risk of other activities – like changing clothes.

Twenty-seven percent of teens say they sometimes change clothes and shoes while driving, a study finds. They also reported that they often change contact lenses, put on makeup and do homework behind the wheel.

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On Wednesday, dozens are expected to testify before the Judiciary Committee on a controversial bill that would allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe a lethal medication to people with terminal illnesses. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 63 percent of residents support the idea. 

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That's what we learned from neuroscientist Dr. Seth Horowitz of Brown University; true silence is non-existent. "In truly quiet areas," he writes in his book, The Universal Sense, "you can even hear the sound of air molecules vibrating inside your ear canals or the fluid in your ears themselves."

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Sixty years ago, patients rarely questioned the authority of their doctors. Like the doctors portrayed on television, these older, wiser, and usually white male doctors would dispense sage advice to trusting parents desperate to make their children well in an age of polio and measles.

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New research out of Yale says doctors should accept more types of kidneys for organ transplant. The study comes at a time when there's a growing need for kidneys.

Two days after a federal regulator approved powdered alcohol, there's already an attempt to ban it.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said today he is introducing legislation in the Senate to make the production, sale and possession of Palcohol illegal.

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Massachusetts doctors have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women addicted to opiates. Dr. Rachana Singh from Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield has said the number of babies withdrawing from opioids in their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) has tripled since 2012. 

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Nearly 25 percent of the state’s population gets its drinking water from a private well. Now the state is calling on residents who own those wells to test them regularly. 

The dream to live forever has captivated mankind since the beginning. We see this in religion, literature, art, and present day pop-culture in a myriad of ways. But all along, the possibility that we'd actually achieve such a thing never quite seemed real. Now science, through a variety of medical and technological advances the likes of which seem as far fetched as immortality itself, is close to turning that dream into a reality.

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