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HEALTH
September 24, 2007 | Mary Beckman, Special to The Times
Oprah Winfrey recently informed the nation on "Good Morning America" that she "blew out her thyroid" at the end of last season because of stress. But that isn't exactly a medical term. No one blows out a thyroid, says endocrinologist Dr. Terry Smith of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "What is that? Like a right rear tire on a Ferrari?" he asks.
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BUSINESS
April 15, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After website troubles sparked a two-week extension, California officials wrapped up the first open enrollment for Obamacare coverage with nearly 1.3 million consumers signed up since October for the state-run exchange. Sign-ups ahead of Tuesday's enrollment deadline appeared to run more smoothly than they did March 31, the previous cut-off date. The state's Covered California website was overwhelmed that day by a last-minute surge of applicants and it repeatedly crashed. In response, officials extended a grace period until Tuesday for anyone who had already started an application or ran into technical problems.
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HEALTH
December 12, 2005 | Jeannine Stein, Times Staff Writer
For moderate social drinkers, hopping on the wagon for a month shouldn't have been that daunting of a task. Not just any moderate social drinkers, but a handful of men and women who are exceptionally fit, as in training-for-a-marathon fit. These are people used to discipline and healthy lifestyles, people who can get through a rigorous boot camp class without hurling. Yet some found that wagon trip much more uncomfortable than they thought, and didn't even last a month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
The state Department of Public Health is adopting the nation's first-ever drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen found in water supplies across the state. The department announced Tuesday that it has submitted a final regulation setting a limit of 10 parts per billion in public drinking water supplies, a level that will require more than 100 water systems to treat for the contaminant. If approved as expected by the Office of Administrative Law, the standard would take effect July 1. Public health Director Ron Chapman said the limit "will protect public health while taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility as required by law. " Known as chromium 6, the toxic heavy metal makes its way into groundwater naturally from geological formations.
NEWS
May 18, 1996 | From Associated Press
Workers ripped out a bay window and several rows of bricks from a house Friday to remove a nearly 1,000-pound man--possibly the heaviest person in the world--and take him to the hospital. Michael Hebranko, who once lost 700 pounds and became a spokesman for Richard Simmons' Deal-A-Meal diet program, was carried through the 10-by-5-foot hole on a stretcher used to move small whales. He was transferred to an ambulance by forklift.
IMAGE
May 12, 2013 | By Melissa Magsaysay, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Gregg Renfrew wants to change the way people live, starting with their cosmetics. Sitting in her light-filled office in Santa Monica, Renfrew rattles off the statistics she finds most alarming when it comes to some of the lotions, sprays and powders we apply to our bodies on a daily basis. "Did you know that there has not been a federal law passed since 1938 governing the cosmetics industry? And there are close to 12,000 ingredients used in all personal care products, from toothpaste to shampoo, lipstick to lotion, 80% of which have never been tested for safety on human health.
SPORTS
March 9, 2012 | By Dylan Hernandez
Phoenix -- Walking back to the Dodgers' clubhouse from the practice field where he played catch, Kenley Jansen talked about his health scare early Friday morning. Jansen said he was awakened at about 2:30 a.m. by the rapid beating of his heart. The hard-throwing setup man said he was also short of breath. "It was going pretty fast for like half an hour," Jansen said of his heartbeat. He said his heart wasn't out of rhythm, the way it was last year when he had to spend a month on the disabled list.
OPINION
December 21, 2011
The healthcare reform law passed last year requires insurers to offer, at a minimum, a set of "essential" benefits to individuals and small groups, including coverage for hospitalization, outpatient care and prescription drugs. The details of what is or is not essential were left to the Department of Health and Human Services to decide. On Friday, however, the department put out a bulletin proposing to let each state come up with its own definition. The move — which shielded the administration from a potential firestorm of criticism from patient advocates on one side and business groups on the other — was politically deft.
OPINION
August 29, 2011
To bring health insurance to more Americans, the federal healthcare reform law calls for billions of dollars in subsidies for lower-income households. The law gives states an option, though, that could cut costs while also making the coverage more affordable. Called a Basic Health Program, it would serve as a transitional step between Medicaid and the private insurance plans. A bill by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) to create such an option in California is pending. Lawmakers should approve it. The program would give low-income families an alternative to the insurance exchange that California is creating for consumers not covered by employer-sponsored plans or MediCal.
OPINION
April 26, 2011
Over the past year, two major health insurers in California have proposed eye-popping rate increases, only to settle for smaller hikes after a public outcry. Now lawmakers are considering a proposal to let state regulators block rate hikes they consider unreasonable, just as they can do for most other types of insurance. Indus?try lobbyists argue that premiums are rising not because they're profiteering, but because healthcare costs are climbing. That's certainly part of the explanation.
BUSINESS
April 14, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Lower-than-expected health insurance premiums under Obamacare will help cut the long-term cost of the program 7% over the next decade, according to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office. The government's reduction of $104 billion in subsidies for those premiums was the main factor that led the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog to cut its projection of the nation's federal deficit by nearly $300 billion through 2024. According to the CBO report, released Monday, the average annual premium for the new healthcare exchanges' mid-level Silver plan - used as a benchmark - is expected to be $4,400 by 2016.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
For nearly two decades, Barbara Garnaus maintained a modest, delicate life balance: keeping her part-time Orange County school district job and juggling her bills and credit card debt. Now 63, living alone, she counts every dollar, has no cellphone and commutes an hour in traffic so she can keep an affordable apartment in Laguna Woods. Having good health helped. Garnaus got by without medical insurance, relying on yearly exams at a free clinic. But that changed last year: Garnaus now needs treatment for cancer, and she bought insurance under Obamacare.
HEALTH
April 12, 2014 | Rene Lynch
Hers is the Cinderella story of the fitness world. At age 40, Tosca Reno says she was nearly 80 pounds overweight, depressed and clinging to a bad marriage because, as a stay-at-home mother, she feared she couldn't raise her three young girls on her own. Today, at 53, she is one of the most recognized celebrities in the fitness world -- and not only because she recently posed for the cover of Oxygen magazine in a blue bikini that showed off...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2014 | By Paige St. John
FRENCH CAMP, Calif. - California's $840-million medical prison - the largest in the nation - was built to provide care to more than 1,800 inmates. When fully operational, it was supposed to help the state's prison system emerge from a decade of federal oversight brought on by the persistent neglect and poor medical treatment of inmates. But since opening in July, the state-of-the-art California Health Care Facility has been beset by waste, mismanagement and miscommunication between the prison and medical staffs.
NATIONAL
April 11, 2014
By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli WASHINGTON - President Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, saying there was "no manager as experienced and as competent" to oversee the next phase of his signature healthcare law. "Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel" as the administration dealt with the government shutdown last year, Obama told a...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian
State and federal investigators probing the cause of the fiery collision between a FedEx big rig and a charter bus in Northern California will delve into a wide range of factors from the health and rest of the truck driver to emergency exits and fire protection for bus passengers. "This is a very significant and unfortunate tragedy," said Jim Hall, a transportation safety consultant and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "The NTSB is going to have its hands full on this one. " Although the cause of the accident has yet to be determined, Hall and other safety advocates say it could focus new attention on the NTSB's efforts to improve bus safety and the behind-the-scenes battle over safety standards for motor coaches and other commercial vehicles.
HEALTH
November 29, 2010 | By Michelle Andrews, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When Amy Tiller became pregnant six years ago, she was a high school biology teacher in Waynesville, N.C., and the health insurance plan she had through her school system covered the tab for the birth of her twins. A few years later, when she discovered she was pregnant again, she didn't give insurance a thought. But by then she had left her teaching job to open a personal training studio with her husband, and they were covered under individual health insurance policies. Tiller was shocked to discover that her new plan, which charged a premium of $400 a month, didn't cover maternity care unless she purchased a special rider for the coverage, something she could not do after she became pregnant.
NEWS
November 17, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Turning vacant city lots into green spaces may improve urban dwellers' health, a study finds, by reducing stress and increasing exercise. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania looked at the effect greened vacant lots had on the health of the surrounding community. They compared about 4,400 vacant lots in Philadelphia that had been improved to about 26,000 matched lots that had been left vacant. Upgrading the lots was a project spearheaded by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society in 1999 and involved cleaning and grading the land, planting trees and grass to make the lots look more park-like, putting in low wooden fences to discourage dumping and show that the land was being cared for, and providing regular maintenance.
NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Kathleen Sebelius, who helped guide the rocky and controversial rollout of President Obama's landmark health law, has resigned as Health and Human Services secretary after more than five years. In her place, the president plans as soon as Friday to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to a senior administration official. Sebelius was not pressured to resign, the official said. But she leaves after presiding over the disastrous launch of the health law's online insurance marketplaces last fall.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2014 | By Jenny Deam
DENVER - It was spring break, and Levy Thamba, a 19-year-old college student from Africa, had checked into a fourth-floor hotel room with three of his buddies. They had come from their small college in Wyoming looking for an adventure. No one is sure how much Thamba ate of the marijuana cookie purchased by one of his friends at a local pot shop. But soon the engineering student, who had never tried marijuana before, began acting strangely hostile, tearing around the room and pulling pictures from the wall.
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