health care

Open Enrollment
4:17 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

State: Demand High for Obamacare Insurance

The Access Health CT enrollment center storefront in New Britain.
The Connecticut Mirror

The second round of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act is underway. State officials say they've enrolled nearly 12,000 people in health insurance in the sign-up period's first week. 

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Medicine
12:07 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Merck Partners With NewLink To Speed Up Work On Ebola Vaccine

A 26-year-old man receives an injection in September of an experimental Ebola vaccine being tested by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline.
NIAID

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 12:01 pm

It's now Goliath versus Goliath in the quest for an Ebola vaccine.

Until now, the two leading candidates for a vaccine to protect against the Ebola virus were being led by global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on the one hand, and a tiny company in Ames, Iowa, that was virtually unknown, on the other.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare: What's Working; What Isn't?

Pete Creative Commons

The Republican takeover of the House and Senate means Obamacare is back in the news again.

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Mental Health
4:25 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Newtown Shooter Adam Lanza's History Reviewed in New Report

Some of Adam Lanza's belongings as discovered by police in his home.
State of Connecticut

Nearly two years after the shooting at Sandy Hook, officials are still looking for answers. A new report from the Office of the Child Advocate provides a window in the mental health of the gunman, Adam Lanza. 

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Affordable Care Act
11:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Republicans File Suit Against Obama Administration Over Health Law

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:49 pm

House Republicans on Friday followed through on a threat to sue President Obama over actions he has taken concerning the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court against the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury.

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Drugs
9:28 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Forum in Middletown Examines Substance Abuse and the Effect on the Young Brain

Rebecca A. and Matt Eacott both shared their stories of addiction and recovery.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

This report is part of WNPR’s Mental Health Reporting series, made possible by our founding partner, Hartford Healthcare Behavioral Health Network.

Young human brains are delicate, developing things. A panel last week in Middletown focused on how the brain can be affected by drugs, alcohol, and technology. 

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Talky Tina
2:55 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Need Help With Obamacare in Connecticut? Meet Tina

An avatar named Tina greets users visiting accesshealthct.com.
accesshealthct.com

Have a question about the Affordable Care Act? Meet Tina.

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The Faith Middleton show
2:47 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Are Artificial Wombs on the Horizon? And Those Egg-Freezing Parties…

Credit International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center/flickr creative commons

Reportedly, younger women of child-bearing age are paying $10,000 to freeze their eggs, hoping to preserve their viability until the women find mates, or their careers and finances allow them to become pregnant. That's just one issue addressed by Faith's guests, regular contributor Dr. Mary Jane Minkin and new guests Dr. Erin Wysong Hofstatter and Dr. Elena Ratner, all affiliated with Yale's School of Medicine.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

America's Changing Landscape of Elderly and End-of-Life Care

sima dimitric Creative Commons

A new report from the Institute of Medicine takes a closer look at end-of-life care in the U.S. The report, called "Dying in America", shines light on the quality of care available to those nearing the end of life -- offering some recommendations on how to make care more sustainable and accessible to patients and their families. 

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Health
3:41 am
Mon November 17, 2014

The Power Of Suggestion Could Trigger Asthma — Or Treat It

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 4:41 pm

Lots of things can trigger an asthma attack, but one of the most common causes is odor — anything from the heavy scent of perfume to a household cleaner.

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Health Insurance
6:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

They Paid How Much? How Negotiated Deals Hide Health Care's Cost

Sal Morales found an Obamacare health plan this year that costs him $145 per month — versus the $560 he'd been paying.
Courtesy of The Miami Herald

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:43 pm

As Americans begin shopping again for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Saturday, they'll be wrestling with premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs and other vague and confusing insurance-speak.

Believe it or not, that's the easy part compared with figuring out what health care actually costs.

Sal Morales of Miami bought insurance in March during the ACA's first enrollment period on the HealthCare.gov website.

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State Senate Dilemma
2:39 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kevin Rennie, Rob Simmons at Odds Over State Sen. Andrew Maynard's Benefits

Columnist Kevin Rennie in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican columnist Kevin Rennie took issue with one of his own in his latest Hartford Courant column, scolding former Congressman Rob Simmons for suggesting that the injured Andrew Maynard be awarded a pension and health benefits should he be incapable of serving the term to which he’s just been elected.

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Open Enrollment
3:26 am
Fri November 14, 2014

State Health Insurance Exchanges Hope To Woo Urban Minorities

In one of Access Health CT's new video commercials, a barber explains to his clients why getting health insurance should be a priority.
Access Health CT

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:34 am

Tomorrow it begins again – open enrollment for Obamacare. Two very successful state health insurance exchanges, Connecticut's and California's, are both intent on reaching people who avoided signing up last year – especially young Latinos and African-Americans.

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Veterans
7:11 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Free Screenings for Veterans to Combat Cancer Killer

Jake Martins is a Vietnam war veteran and cancer survivor
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would start covering the cost of lung cancer screenings. Clinicians are applauding the decision including staff at Middlesex Hospital where it offers free lung screenings to veterans during the month of November. 

Jake Martins served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam. He described smoking as a habit for much of his life. "For 53 years, four packs day," he said. 

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Obamacare
10:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Begins This Week

A barber in a television ad for Access Health CT.
Credit Access Health CT

Open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act begins this Saturday. By the state's calculations, the first year of Obamacare cut the number of uninsured in Connecticut in half. Of those who remain, remove the roughly 70,000 people who won't ever enroll in health insurance, and that leaves about another 70,000 to go. 

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Health Insurance
2:55 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Massachusetts Set To Launch Online Health Exchange

Massachusetts Health Connector Ex. Dir. Jean Yang ( second from right) is joined by officials at Caring Health Center in Springfield to promote the upcoming open enrollment for the state's new online health insurance exchange

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Open enrollment at the Massachusetts health insurance exchange begins this week. State officials say there is a new – and functioning – website that people can use if they need to purchase insurance.

The Massachusetts Health Connector will launch the new online health insurance marketplace on Nov. 15th.  Thousands of people across the state who have Health Connector coverage now, or were placed in temporary plans over the last year, will have to use the new website to submit an application if they want to remain insured.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:55 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Sex and Intimacy When You're Fat

Credit Tiffany Bailey / Creative Commons

According to statistics, one in every three Americans is obese and two of every three are overweight.

While we know that extra fat may set us up for heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal problems, we don't really know how fat affects sex and love.

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Medical Plans
12:38 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Employers Can't Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization

Some employers said that leaving out hospital coverage helped protect low-wage workers from big deductibles.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:44 pm

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not qualify under the Affordable Care Act's toughest standard. It also offered relief to workers who may be enrolled in those plans next year.

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Sweet Tooth
9:06 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

Dr. Curtis Chan, a dentist in Del Mar, Calif., loads up a truck with 5,456 pounds of candy to deliver to Operation Gratitude during the Halloween Candy Buyback on Nov. 8 last year. Chan personally collected 3,542 pounds of candy from patients.
Courtesy of Curtis Chan

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:04 am

If your little ghosts and goblins dump their candy on the living room floor tonight, go ahead: Let them at it. They can sort, then trade, and gorge on their favorites.

But if you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you may want to get rid of some of this candy glut.

One possible solution? Check out the Halloween Candy Buyback program, which was founded by dentist Chris Kammer in Wisconsin. Kammer's office offers $1 a pound to buy back candy collected by the young trick-or-treaters in his practice.

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Election 2014
7:29 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Tom Foley Fears Push Towards State Health Insurance; Nancy Wyman Says He's Wrong

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has made implementing the Affordable Care Act a priority, something not all governors across the nation have done. With the election just a few days away, we spoke with Republican Tom Foley to get his view on the nation's new health care law. 

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Home Care Workers
4:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Home Health Workers Struggle For Better Pay And Health Insurance

Home health care workers Jasmine Almodovar (far right) and Artheta Peters (center) take part in a Cleveland rally for higher pay on Sept. 4.
Sarah Jane Tribble WCPN, Ideastream

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Holly Dawson believes her job is a calling.

She is one of about 2 million home care workers in the country. The jobs come with long hours and low pay.

Each workday, Dawson drives through the Cleveland suburbs to help people take their medicines, bathe and do the dishes. She also takes time to lend a sympathetic ear.

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Language
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life

Dr. Angela Alday talks with Isidro Hernandes, via a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Armando Jimenez. Both patient and doctor say they much prefer an in-person interpreter to one on the phone.
Jeff Schilling Courtesy of Tuality Healthcare

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:58 am

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

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Medical Research
2:44 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Federal Funding for Cancer Research Plummets in Connecticut

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute.
NCI

Connecticut’s share of funding from the National Cancer Institute has dropped 19 percent since 2010 – a steeper decline than many other states, an analysis of National Institutes of Health data shows.

Federal cancer institute funding to Connecticut fell to $33.4 million in 2014 – down from $41.1 million in 2010. The biggest grantee, Yale University, is receiving $7 million less from the National Cancer Institute, one of the NIH’s most prominent centers.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

The Nose: Against Football, Petty Debates, and Frozen Eggs

Steve Almond is a reporter and the author of several award-winning books including his most recent work, Against Football: A Reluctant Manifesto
Chion Wolf WNPR

Here on The Nose today, we're at least potentially talking about high-tech employers who offer egg freezing as a benefit for female employees, a proposal to get rid of high school football, the sinking sensation that it's time - or too late - to fight back against Amazon, and the Florida debate that almost broke down because of a candidate's use of a fan at the podium.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:04 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Pssst...We Need To Talk About Sanitation

Sarah Albee is the author of "Poop Happened: A History of the World From the Bottom Up" and more recently, “Bugged: How Insects Changed History” and her newest book, "Why'd They Wear That?" will be published in February
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our show today is a long-planned look at human waste. In other words... Poop. It has taken on a slightly more somber cast now that Connecticut is monitoring the possibility of its first case of Ebola.

But, in some ways, we've got the perfect guests, especially Rose George, whose book about sanitation begins in a small town in Ivory Coast "filled with refugees from next door Liberia." Rose is looking for a toilet and eventually succumbs to the reality that there is no such place. There's a building where people do their business on the floor.

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Public Health
10:54 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Lessons From Ebola School: How To Draw Blood, Wipe Up Vomit

At a CDC training session for clinicians headed to West Africa, a medical worker practices sanitizing hands after drawing blood from a mannequin portraying an Ebola patient.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 3:16 pm

How can health workers stay safe while treating an Ebola patient?

The CDC is embroiled in a controversy over that very question. After the infection of two nurses at a Dallas hospital, the agency is facing criticism about whether initial guidelines provided to U.S. facilities were stringent enough.

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Ebola Outbreak
6:03 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Ebola Volunteers Are Needed — But Signing On Isn't Easy

A licensed clinician is decontaminated before disrobing at the end of a simulated training session by CDC in Anniston, Ala. Training can take a several weeks, making some employers reluctant to encourage their medical workers to volunteer in the Ebola outbreak.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:28 pm

As soon as the Ebola outbreak started to spiral out of control in West Africa, Kwan Kew Lai felt obligated to help.

She's a physician who specializes in infectious disease. And for the last decade, she's dedicated herself to volunteering for international health emergencies. She works part-time at one of Harvard's teaching hospital just to have that flexibility.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

The Threat of a Post-Antibiotic Era

Stewart (Chip) Beckett is the senior veterinarian of Beckett & Associates Veterinary Practices in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The notion of drug-resistant bacteria has gone from an exotic problem to a common one. If you have even a medium-sized circle of acquaintances you probably know somebody - or an older parent of somebody -battling an infection that ignores standard antibiotics. It's a big problem and today we're going to focus on one chunk of it, the connection between antibiotics given to farm animals and the rise of these diseases.

If we treat ourselves the way we treat pigs, cattle and chickens, we'd be put on antibiotics at birth and pretty much never go off them until we die.

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Health Care
1:22 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Doctors Question Anthem's Market Dominance

Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The American Medical Association says it’s greatly concerned that a single insurance company dominates many health care marketplaces across America. It says the populations of several major cities in Connecticut are overly reliant on Anthem for health insurance.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:25 am
Mon October 13, 2014

On Front Lines Against Ebola, Training A Matter Of Life Or Death

Dr. Patrick Kamara adjusts his googles on the final day of training and the first "dress rehearsal" before being sent out to Ebola treatment units. The World Health Organization is ramping up to train up to 500 new health workers a week as part of the effort to stem the spread of Ebola.
John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 7:20 pm

One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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