Health and Medicine

The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable care act is about two weeks away. Under the law, anyone without a plan in place by February 15th will  face fines.

For many, the process is confusing and even daunting, but if you haven’t signed up yet and would like to, there’s still time. A non-partisan group called “Enroll Virginia” is offering free help over the phone or in person for anyone who has not chosen a health coverage plan.

Virginia’s hospitals are required  to treat anyone who comes to their emergency rooms, and they’re spending about $600 million a year on charity care.  Meanwhile, state lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, and the federal government is cutting payments for Medicare.  Unless something is done,  some hospitals say they may be forced to close.  

Patricia Springer owns a small business – Moonbeam Massage.  She’s happy to help people who’ve suffered an injury or illness, but since the great recession began, business has been slow.

Does just seeing Ronald McDonald put you in the mood for a burger and fries?  Well, that effect is even stronger for children, who are bombarded with billions of dollars worth of food advertising brought to them by the media characters they love. 

It’s the low hanging fruit in the childhood obesity epidemic.  Redirect the power of advertising to promote foods to children that are lower in salt, sugar and fat.  And by promote, researchers mean, use the extraordinary power of media characters like Dora the Explorer and Tony the Tiger before her to deliver the message. 

Overdose Epidemic in Virginia

Jan 26, 2015

An enormous surge in heroin and prescription-drug overdose deaths in Virginia has prompted the Centers for Disease Control to call it an epidemic.  It’s also why state lawmakers of both parties have joined together to advance a multi-faceted package of bills to tackle the challenge.  They believe it’s both a law enforcement AND a public health problem.

 

Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner reports that every region of the state has seen a spike in heroin overdose fatalities. Attorney General Mark Herring says the data confirm that.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  On the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized abortion, hundreds of women lobbied Virginia lawmakers in person or by e-mail, asking them to increase access to contraception and repeal the state’s mandatory ultrasound law for women seeking an abortion. 

Earlier this week, they lost one important battle when a senate committee failed to vote on a bill that would have required prescription drug insurance to cover birth control.  Janice Craft-Henry is with NARAL-Pro Choice Virginia.

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