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Panel Proposes A New Tax To Pay For Public Health

An Institute of Medicine panel says a tax of half a percent or so on medical transactions could help the nation's public health agencies tackle pressing goals, such as reducing adult obesity. In the long run, that could result in big savings in health care spending, the panel says.
NPR

Tax Aid For Hearing Aids? Maybe

Bipartisan bills are pending again in both the House and Senate to give buyers of hearing aids a small tax break. But, once again, it looks as though the legislation has a long way to go before it could become law.
NPR

Analysis Finds Lung Cancer Screening Worthwhile For Longtime Smokers

Researchers conclude that spiral CT, which makes 3-D pictures of lungs, could reduce lung cancer deaths by 35 percent at a cost of $19,000 to $26,000 per year of life saved. The findings apply to people at high risk for developing lung cancer.
NPR

Calif.'s Prescription-Drug Monitoring System Feels Pain From Budget Cuts

Dozens of states electronically track the prescriptions for powerful narcotics like Vicodin and OxyContin to root out pill-shopping patients and unscrupulous doctors. But in California, a relentless budget crisis is threatening that system and causing deep concern among doctors and law enforcement.
NPR

Bird Flu Studies Mired In Export Control Law Limbo

Export controls designed to restrict international trade in weapons are keeping scientists from sharing their research on the bird flu virus.

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