health care


Could the future of heart health be centered on gene therapy?

Today we talk about heart research and how to prevent heart disease, the leading killer of women and men in the U.S.

LaDawna Howard / Creative Commons

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson waged a war on poverty  to rebuild America as a “Great Society” where “no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled.” 

Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of sweeping legislation to provide food, education, healthcare and jobs to millions in poverty.  Once a benefit for poor single parents and their kids, Medicaid now covers mental illness, disabilities, the elderly and most recently, millions of the previously uninsured through Obamacare.

Anthem, Cigna Finalize Rumored Merger

Jul 24, 2015

A definitive agreement is in place for Anthem to take over Bloomfield-based Cigna. The deal comes nearly a year into talks, and a month after an earlier attempt was rebuffed.

Health insurer Anthem has struck a deal to acquire rival Cigna for $48 billion — a buyout that would create the country's largest health insurer by enrollment.

The combined entity would have an estimated revenue of $115 billion and cover 53 million people in the U.S.

Government of Albert / Creative Commons

Researchers at the University of Connecticut are working to find better ways to vaccinate the elderly against the flu. The normal flu vaccine has a fairly high success rate in the general population, but it’s not as good at protecting people over 65 against influenza.

Highest Prescribers of Cancer Drug Paid as Speakers

Jul 17, 2015
Jan Mika/iStock / Thinkstock

Eight of the top 10 prescribers of a potent narcotic used for cancer pain were paid more than $870,000 in speaking fees by the drug maker in 2013 and 2014 -- indicating that Derby nurse Heather Alfonso was not the only high prescriber compensated by the company.

Day Kimball Healthcare / Facebook

Day Kimball Healthcare and Hartford HealthCare have announced they are considering an arrangement for the Putnam health system to become a member of the Hartford HealthCare network.

Peter Dutton/Creative Commons


This hour we’re checking back in on a few stories we’ve been following.

First, we’ll look at Puerto Rican out-migration caused by the financial crisis. According to Pew, there are now more Puerto Ricans in Florida than Puerto Rico. We’ll talk to the director of Pew’s Hispanic Research Center to hear what this means for the island, and for cities like Hartford.

ADHD Has Advantages

Jul 13, 2015
Tony Webster/flickr creative commons

ADHD is said to be the most overly diagnosed and medicated condition in mental health. In just twenty years there’s been a tripling of ADHD rates. It is now diagnosed in 11% of children ages 4 through 17, with about half of those kids on medication. 


Yale School of Medicine's play2Prevent video game lab has developed a card game that helps young black women make the right choices when it comes to reducing the risk of HIV infection.

Torchia Family

The family of a Meriden man who died in 2013 at age 56 is suing Derby nurse practitioner Heather Alfonso and the pain clinic where she worked, alleging that her rampant overprescribing of narcotics contributed to his death.

Nothing like a good measles outbreak to get people thinking more kindly about vaccines.

One third of parents say they think vaccines have more benefit than they did a year ago, according to a poll conducted in May.

That's compared to the 5 percent of parents who said they now think vaccines have fewer benefits and 61 percent who think the benefits are the same.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Aetna will become the nation’s second largest health insurer as it announces a deal to buy Kentucky-based Humana. The $37 billion dollar deal will significantly increase Aetna’s presence in the market for government plans like Medicare Advantage, which offers privately-run versions of Medicare plans. 

George Ruiz / Creative Commons

The Supreme Court may have given health insurance companies more certainty on the Affordable Care Act, but merger speculation continues in the industry. Will the Big Five end up as the Big Three?

And what will that mean for consumers? 

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed off on one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country a day after the state Legislature gave the measure final approval.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy applauded today's Supreme Court decision upholding the part of the Affordable Care Act that allows the government to subsidize health care for the poor and middle class. 

Alex_str/iStock / Thinkstock

A Derby nurse practitioner identified as the state’s highest Medicare prescriber of potent narcotics has admitted taking kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing pain medication.

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

Damian Gadal / Creative Commons

It took Connecticut nearly two years to start dispensing the medical marijuana  the legislature approved for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer.

But, the program is growing strong  since it opened nine months ago. The list of covered conditions is growing and more dispensaries will be popping up to meet the needs of the almost 4,000 enrollees. 

Hartford Healthcare

Hartford HealthCare will lay off hundreds of staff, saying the cuts are necessary because of reduced reimbursement for Medicaid patients. 


A new report accuses crisis pregnancy centers of deceptive advertising, and distributing false information about reproductive health to their clients.

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

Creative Commons by Nate Grigg

This month, advocates for women's rights are marking the 50th anniversary of Griswold vs. Connecticut. In Connecticut, they gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate the legacy of the landmark court decision.

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A bill that would clarify the nature of mental health services covered by insurance policies is awaiting Governor Dannel Malloy’s review.  


Time ran out this legislative session on a bill that would have allowed minors to be prescribed medical marijuana. The legislature's inaction means a Montville mother and her sick daughter will continue to live in Maine where children can legally be prescribed pot.

The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King v. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn't mean those states are breathing easy.

With varying degrees of difficulty, all of the state-based exchanges are struggling to figure out how to become financially self-sufficient as the spigot of federal start-up money shuts off.

Connecticut Senate Democrats

One of the bills already signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy targets women who've served in the Armed Forces. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been tasked with creating a program that reaches more than 16,000 women veterans living in Connecticut.

Thomas Marthinsen / Creative Commons

It’s nothing new that family steps in when family needs help. But more and more grandparents are raising grandchildren. At the center of this? Prescription drug and heroin addiction.

foshydog / Creative Commons

When Connecticut's legislative session ends at midnight Wednesday, hundreds of pending bills will fade away without a vote.

A proposal that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs has been ready for a vote in the House of Representatives since April 21, and is unlikely to be taken up before Wednesday night's deadline.

This week, I addressed a grab bag of questions related to insurance coverage of hearing aids, doctors who drop out of a plan midyear and what happens if you receive subsidies for exchange coverage but learn later on you were eligible for Medicaid all along.

My doctor is leaving my provider network in the middle of the year. Does that unexpected change mean I can switch to a new plan?