Archive for July, 2004

Medicare Proposes New Rules on 2006 Drug Benefit, Health Plans

Bloomberg reports:

Medicare said its proposed rules for its 2006 program to help the elderly afford prescription drugs will trim as much as 53 percent from patient drug costs, partly by getting discounts through pharmacy-benefit managers.

The regulations would implement the centerpiece of the Medicare law that will cost more than $400 billion over 10 years, which President George W. Bush signed in December. The new drug benefit would be offered starting in 2006, and private insurers such as Aetna Inc. would operate it for the government.

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Parenting Adoption

Elizabeth O’Hara in KFOX TV reports:

When a couple decides to adopt a child, they’re faced with many choices before taking the plunge. In this edition of our Parenting Report, we talk to one mom who worked through the process and has helpful information on how to become a parent.

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Credit Advice For College Students

KFOX TV reports:

Having saturated the working adult population with credit card offers, credit card companies are now banking on a new market: college students.

Financial experts warn students to avoid getting caught in the credit card trap.

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Low-carb revolution unhealthy, and perhaps dangerous

Phillip J. Carlson in The Raw Story reports:

Food producers know that if individuals are focusing on carbs they are less likely to notice that new products are extremely unhealthy. Advertisers are gunning for you; their latest weapon exploits the low-carb craze. Further, the fast food industry lobbied successfully to protect itself from lawsuits alleging that consuming their food was deleterious to health. This legislation, known as the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act of 2003, known as the “Cheeseburger Bill,” seeks to protect the food industry from lawsuits holding them responsible for obesity or obesity-related diseases.

With federal protection, and clever marketing tools, American food producers continue to act irresponsibly. But they’re just giving the consumer what they want; low carbs, high flavor, high fat, and “healthiness.” Quoting former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, food producers should “watch what they say, watch what they do;” these false claims can only lead to troubles ahead.

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Abuse takes increasing toll on women

Carolyn Susman in Palm Beach Post reports:

“Like alcoholism, physical abuse is a progressive disease,” says Marlene Spitz, domestic abuse coordinator for the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Palm Beach County Inc. “The level of violence nearly always increases because violence doesn’t get the controller what he wants, to kill the spirit of the victim.”

Domestic violence has escalated to the point that it is the leading cause of physical injury to women in the United States. Every 15 seconds a woman is beaten, and more than 2,000 are murdered each year by husbands or boyfriends.

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National Adoption Campaign Gets Under Way

Stuart Shepard in Family News In Focus reports:

There are a lot of kids in foster care waiting to be adopted — but not enough parents to take on the job. Some think they aren’t up to the task, but the government has launched a new advertising campaign encouraging people to adopt children out of foster care.

The ads, which will show up on TV, radio and in newspapers around the country, has a simple message: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. When you adopt a child from foster care, just being there makes all the difference.”

Nearly 130,000 children in foster care are currently available to be adopted, according to Dr. Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Teen Parents Who Stay at Home Stay in School

Alison McCook in reports:

Young mothers of very tiny, premature babies who opt to live at home with adult family members are more likely to stay in school during the first two years of their children’s lives, new research reports.

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Can Acupuncture Help You Conceive?

The Saturday Early Show reports:

It’s estimated that after a year of trying to conceive, 10 percent of American couples are unable to get pregnant on their own.

The vast majority of them turn to traditional fertility treatments for help, but a growing number are also trying alternative therapies, including acupuncture, says Saturday Early Show’s Dr. Mallika Marshall.

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Birth control goes beyond pill, offers women choice of patch, shot, others

Rebecca Deusser in Sentinel and Enterprise reports:

Several new methods for taking hormonal contraceptives have hit the market in recent years, offering women more choices and better success for preventing pregnancy, said local doctors who spoke with the Sentinel & Enterprise.

“Newer methods all take off on the same concept; it’s about dosing and delivery,” said Dr. Diane Power, a Leominster gynecologist. “If we get something that will work (to improve compliance) because of (convenience), then we’re doing a much better job.”

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Home mortgage rates historically low again

Gail MarksJarvis in Sea Coast Online reports:

People who want to buy or refinance homes have been given a reprieve on mortgage interest rates.

Fixed-rate 30-year mortgages now average about 6 percent, after hitting 6.32 percent about a month ago. Rates on 15-year mortgages are 5.4 percent, with an average 0.6 point, according to Freddie Mac.

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