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Health

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Millions of Americans are addicted to the powerful prescription painkillers, and tens of thousands are dying each year from overdoses.

A new report out Thursday offers a bit of hope: Doctors are prescribing opioids less often, and the average dose they're giving patients has dropped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No corner of the health care system would be harder hit than Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, if Republican leaders in Congress round up the votes to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act.

GOP lawmakers have proposed winding down the Medicaid expansion that added 17 million people in 31 states and the District of Columbia under the ACA, and also eventually capping the program's spending per capita.

On Friday it will be three years since Benjamin Sietz, a 15-month-old boy, died after he was left in a sweltering car for an extended period of time in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

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The rate of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly has dropped in recent years, but data show that racial disparities persist.

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

Connor Tarter / Creative Commons

Supporters of the Senate health care reform bill have been few and far between outside of the Republican party. But there's one important industry in Connecticut that is cheerleading for the legislation: medical device companies.

The Senate vote on the health care bill has been pushed back, but it still has a lot of people in the nursing home industry worried. About two-thirds of nursing home residents are paid for by Medicaid. And the Congressional Budget Office found that the Senate health care bill would cut Medicaid by more than $770 billion over the next decade.

Mattza flickr.com/photos/27762949@N00/33602814/ / Creative Commons

Amazon’s announcement that it plans to acquire Whole Foods means we could soon see significant changes to the way people do their grocery shopping. Meanwhile, CNBC has reported that the online retailer is also considering ways it might break into the multi-billion dollar pharmacy market.

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Connecticut estimates as many as 230,000 of its residents on Medicaid could lose insurance coverage in the next ten years if the Senate Republicans' health bill is passed, and the state will have to shoulder an additional $3 billion in cost.

Arielle Levin Becker / The Connecticut Mirror

Many consumers who obtain insurance through Connecticut’s health care exchange don’t understand the plans they buy -- and can struggle to access care as a result, according to a new report.

Sgt. Christopher Gross, U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons

Women’s health care is one of the areas most deeply affected by the changes contained in the Republicans' recently revealed reform bill. Some experts in the field have described it as damaging and dangerous.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Senate Republicans are expected to vote this week on their health care bill that includes cuts to Medicaid funding and allows states to curtail coverage for pre-existing conditions.

This hour, we get reactions from the state’s health care advocate Ted Doolittle and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.

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Connecticut's Medicaid program will be in trouble if the Senate's health care bill becomes law. And health policy experts say people with private insurance are also likely to feel the ramifications.

NY State IPM Program at Cornell University / Creative Commons

The tick population in Connecticut is on the rise, and so is the threat of Lyme disease — and other tick-borne illnesses.

This hour, we hear the latest from medical professionals and policy makers about the need for new funding and research to battle a “growing tick problem” in the Northeast.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

Last May, Samantha Collins’s drug use, legal problems and dealings with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families forced her to strike a bargain with the agency.

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