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CT scans cause measurable damage to cells, say researchers

CT ScansResearchers have found links between computed tomography (CT) scanning and cell damage in the body, linking repeated scans to the potential for cancer.

While the researchers note the scans haven't been determined to cause cancer, the doses of radiation emitted by CT machines have a detectable effect on patients, according to a new study.


Alaska to become 30th state to expand Medicaid under Affordable Care Act

Bill WalkerAlaskan Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday announced his intentions to expand Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act.

The Independent governor sent a letter to the Republican-controlled legislature informing them of his plan to offer expanded benefits beginning Sept. 1. The state legislature has twice quashed Walker's attempts to pass a bill granting the benefits.


Watchdogs Reveal Chamber of Commerce 'Blowing Smoke' for Big Tobacco

Chamber of Commerce helping Big TobaccoA new report sheds light on the shadowy and coordinated efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the tobacco industry to use intimidation, pressure, and lies to tear down life-save public health protections around the world.

Released Thursday by Tobacco Free Kids, Public Citizen, Corporate Accountability International, and other watchdog groups, Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco (pdf) details the sinister joint efforts of these players in Uruguay, Burkina Faso, Moldova, the European Union, and the Philippines.


Revised Obamacare contraception rule still violates religious beliefs, says group

obamacare contraception opposedThe Obama administration on Friday announced changes to its signature healthcare law that will make it easier for religious organizations not to cover birth control for women.

Under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, most forms of contraception for employees must be covered at no cost. This provision has come under fire from religious organizations that oppose birth control or consider things like the morning-after pill to be abortifacients – substances that induce abortion. They are not.


White House Finds Way Around Hobby Lobby Birth Control Decision

Hobby Lobby decisionThe Obama administration on Friday issued its final rules for employers who morally object to covering birth control in their health insurance plans. The accommodation ensures that all employed women, unless they work for a place of worship, will still have their birth control covered at no cost to them, even if their employers refuse to cover it.

Under the new rule, a closely held for-profit company that objects to covering contraception in its health plan can write a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services stating its objection. HHS will then notify a third-party insurer of the company's objection, and the insurer will provide birth control coverage to the company's female employees at no additional cost to the company.


Cancer doctor gets 45 years for ‘huge, horrific’ crimes

cander doctor sentencedOnce-popular local oncologist Dr. Farid Fata was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison for a complex Medicare fraud scheme in which he gave cancer patients overly aggressive doses of chemotherapy while treating others with the powerful drug for cancers they did not have.

In handing down Fata’s sentence Friday, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman cited the disgraced cancer specialist’s abuse of patient trust.


House bill would speed drug approvals, boost research

Fred UptonPressed by industry and patients' groups, the House is nearing approval of a bipartisan bill that would speed federal approval of drugs and medical devices and boost biomedical research.

Passage seemed likely Friday despite warnings from consumer organizations and others that the measure would weaken government safeguards against dangerous or ineffective products. Supporters said that with genetic mapping, biologic medicines produced in living cells and other advances, it was time to streamline how federal regulators assure the safety of new treatments and let them reach market.


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