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NATIONAL
April 6, 2014 | Alan Zarembo
In a windowless cinder-block room at Ft. Hood on Wednesday morning, 11 soldiers closed their eyes and practiced taking deep, slow breaths. The technique is useful for gaining self-control in stressful situations, explained their instructor. In the course of the day, the students would practice escaping a wrestling hold while being taunted by fellow soldiers. They would balance a dime on the end of an M16 rifle. They would watch a clip from the movie "Talladega Nights" in which Will Ferrell tries to get into a car with a cougar in the front seat.
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NATIONAL
April 6, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
ALBUQUERQUE - When Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski moved to town about two years ago, family and friends warned them about what they described as the heavy-handed tactics and aggressive attitude of Albuquerque police. At first the couple brushed off the warnings, saying things couldn't be as bad as what they had experienced in Los Angeles in the LAPD's Rampart Division, which became infamous for corruption in its anti-gang unit in the 1990s. But the Gonzagowskis, like others here, began to grow suspicious of their Police Department.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Now that open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is over for this year, healthcare consumers can begin to put their insurance policies to work. For many, it may be a challenge. A year ago, Norm Wilkinson, 61, retired after 35 years as a Teamster and signed on to a retiree health plan. He figured he'd enjoy the same comprehensive coverage he'd had for years, but soon learned that prescription drugs weren't covered. "I did not get a prescription drug plan with it, and that was the big killer," said Wilkinson, a resident of Whittier.
HEALTH
April 5, 2014 | Lily Dayton
Each time health psychologist Kelly McGonigal teaches her Science of Willpower class, she asks students to select a willpower challenge to focus on during the 10-week course. Though students' goals are diverse -- kicking nicotine or getting out of debt, controlling their temper or overcoming alcohol abuse -- there is one goal that is most common among the 200 or 300 students who pack the lecture hall seeking life change: They want to lose weight. "It's important to understand that everyone is struggling with something," says McGonigal, whose experience in the Stanford University course inspired her to write "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. " Beliefs about the role of willpower in weight loss have changed through the decades.
NATIONAL
April 4, 2014 | By Alan Zarembo, David Zucchino and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
KILLEEN, Texas -- This week's deadly shootings at Ft. Hood suggest that after years of trying to confront a mental health crisis, the military is still struggling to design a healthcare system that can identify and successfully treat service members who might become violent. Army Spc. Ivan Lopez had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances and was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder before he opened fire on fellow soldiers and then killed himself at Ft. Hood on Wednesday.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
Enrollment by Latinos in California's healthcare insurance exchange surged in the final month of sign-ups after an intensive push to reach that key population. "Our enrollment became more diverse in this last month, particularly among California's Latino population; our enrollment became younger," Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said during a conference call with reporters Thursday after testifying with the heads of other state exchanges on Capitol Hill. With 1.2 million signed up for private plans, Lee said, "We're proud of that accomplishment.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
If legislation banning smoking protects people from disease, then the proportion of the world population covered by such laws is too low - just 16%, according to researchers. “Smoke-free legislation is associated with substantial reductions in preterm births” and hospital visits for asthma, the researchers wrote in the Lancet last week. That conclusion, combined with the benefits of such laws to adults, is strong support for the recommendation of the World Health Organization to create smoke-free environments, wrote the researchers from the Maastricht University School for Public Health, Hasselt University and the University of Leuven, both in Belgium, and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Monday is the last day to begin the process of signing up for insurance under the Covered California statewide health exchange. But even for many of those already enrolled, the challenges are just beginning. Consider, for instance, the work to be done in figuring out your new health plan's coverage for prescription drugs. For people who take medications on an ongoing basis, it's especially important to closely evaluate details of a health plan's drug coverage. For Tina Petrakis, selecting a new health plan through Covered California meant paying close attention to the medications each policy covered.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After months of head counts for Obamacare, it is the medical bills that will start to matter now. Even before enrollment closes Monday, California has far exceeded its initial goals for signing up people under the Affordable Care Act. Although the sheer volume of 1.1 million policyholders is impressive for a brand new government program, the number of sicker patients is what's likely to draw the most attention. How sick they are and the size of their medical bills will be front and center in the weeks to come as insurers begin drawing up next year's insurance rates, which will become public this summer.
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