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Health Care Cancellation Cure Could Lead To Higher Premiums

The health care fix announced by President Obama on Thursday may be good news for some consumers, but it creates a big headache for insurance companies and regulators. An insurance industry trade group warns the last-minute change could destabilize the market and lead to higher premiums.
NPR

Obama Apologizes, Offers Fix To Insurance Cancellations

President Obama has acknowledged the fumbled rollout of his signature health care law has hurt his credibility and that of fellow Democrats. He offered a minor change to the law in hopes of calming Democratic nerves, and beating back bigger changes proposed by House Republicans.
NPR

Medicare Penalizes Nearly 1,500 Hospitals For Poor Quality Scores

Medicare has tied incentive payments and penalties to two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and death rates. More than 1,200 hospitals are receiving bonuses. But more hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.
NPR

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

Day after day, workers at Michigan State University care for and feed colonies of evolving bacteria. The original microbes have produced more than 50,000 generations in the 25 years since the experiment began. Despite predictions the bacteria might someday reach a point where they would evolve no more, the results show they keep changing.
NPR

What's The Most Important Thing Food Labels Should Tell Us?

Food labels have become battlegrounds. Government regulators, companies and food movement activists have been fighting over what belongs on the label. (GMOs? Trans fats? Claims that bran prevents heart disease?) We asked four big thinkers for their dream food label.
NPR

If Childbirth Isn't Hard Enough, Add An Earthquake And A Typhoon

Audie Cornish talks with Dr. Angelito Umali, maternal health officer for UNFPA Philippines, who's on the island province of Bohol. The UNFPA is addressing maternal health concerns following the Oct. 15 earthquake that destroyed much of Bohol, and added complications brought on by Typhoon Haiyan.
NPR

Counting Who's Bought Into Obamacare Is Tougher Than You Think

What does it mean to be enrolled in Obamacare? The administration says nearly 27,000 people signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov in the first month. But that number includes people who picked a plan but haven't made a payment yet. The insurance industry says someone is enrolled only after the first premium payment. Using that standard, the enrollment numbers would be even lower. But the law's defenders say it's unrealistic to expect enrollees to pay three months before their coverage begins.
NPR

Insurers Aren't Keen On Obama's Pledge To Extend Coverage

Letting people keep their old health insurance policies might solve a political problem, but it will create major headaches for the insurance industry, state regulators say. It also could drain healthy people from the risk pool for Affordable Care Act coverage, increasing rates there.
NPR

Oregon Shines On Medicaid, As Texas Stalls On Sign-Ups

In Oregon, the online health marketplace isn't working for people looking to buy individual policies. But the state has been rapidly expanding Medicaid anyway. In Texas, insurance helpers may face state regulations that would make it even harder to assist people seeking coverage.
NPR

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

The hospital says it can't guarantee the supplements' safety because of lax regulations. The Food and Drug Administration does not routinely review the manufacturing of dietary supplements, which calls their safety and effectiveness into question, doctors say.

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