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Website Upgrades
12:16 am
Thu December 5, 2013

HealthCare.gov Now Allows Window Shopping, And A Do-Over

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:31 am

One thing that's clear about the relaunch of the troubled HealthCare.gov website is that it can accommodate more people.

Federal officials said more than 1 million users logged in on Monday, and nearly that many on Tuesday.

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Health Care
9:57 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Nurse Will See You Now ... In The Drugstore

Bartell Drugs is building out clinic space behind its pharmacy at the University Village.
Credit BartellDrugs.com

When was the last time you called your primary care doctor and got in the same day? It doesn’t happen often.

“People often end up in the ER,” said Wellesley Chapman, a physician at Group Health, “or we like to have people go to an urgent care if they absolutely can’t get in to see us today.”

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Health Care
7:53 am
Mon December 2, 2013

'I Just Want To Manage My Life': Painkiller Law Leaves Some Patients Behind

Theresa Young and the squirrel-proof bird feeder. Young was left scrambling after her doctor dropped her from his practice following the passage of a pain management law.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Theresa Young, a cancer survivor, could watch the birds outside her Renton apartment for hours. It brings her peace, she says.

The birds line up, one at a time, for their turn to duck into a hole to feed from an amazingly squirrel-proof trough. 

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Health Insurance Deadline
7:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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Hormone Therapy
7:46 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Estrogen May Not Help Prevent Fuzzy Thinking After Menopause

Hormones clearly influence a women's health, but figuring out how is a tricky business.
Andrew Ostrovsky iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:16 am

There's a widely held belief that women experience moodiness and fuzzy thinking because of the drop in estrogen during menopause. And women have looked to hormone replacement therapy for relief.

But researchers increasingly think there's not much of a link between declining levels of estrogen during menopause and cognition.

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Genetic Testing
4:40 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

What One Medical Geneticist Learned From 23andMe

Flickr Photo/Matt Molina

David Hyde talks with medical geneticist Marshall Horwitz about his experience as a customer of 23andMe, a private company that sells DNA analysis kits.

Your Health
11:54 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch?

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 10:41 am

Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.

A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."

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Seasonal Affective Disorder
4:43 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

The Difference Between Being Sad And Having SAD

Flickr Photo/Josh Semans

Steve Scher talks with psychiatrist Dr. Tobias Dang from Group Health about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Gut Feeling
5:45 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:58 am

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."

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Affordable Care Act
2:53 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Mike Kreidler: Why You Can't Keep Your Bad Health Insurance Plan

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

Marcie Sillman talks with Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner, about his decision to reject President Obama's proposal to allow consumers to retain, for an extra year, health insurance policies that aren't up to the standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Health Care
10:40 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Sorry, Washingtonians: You Won’t All Be Able To Keep Old Health Plan

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Credit insurance.wa.gov/

Within hours of President Barack Obama’s announcement that people could keep their old insurance plans – at least for another year – Washington state’s insurance commissioner said he wouldn’t abide.

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Health Care
9:30 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Canceled Health Care Plans May Be Renewed For One Year, Obama Says

Washington state's health plan finder Website.
Credit healthplanfinder.org

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced changes to his health care law that would give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.

“Everyone understands that I’m not happy that the rollout has been wrought with a whole range of problems I have been deeply concerned about,” Obama said.

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Health Care
8:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:18 am

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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Health Exchange
7:53 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Slow Start, Mixed Results For Health Care Law In Northwest

A screengrab of Washington's health plan finder website.
Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:38 am

The first numbers on enrollment under the new health care law confirm a slow start and mixed results in Northwest states.

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