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HEALTH
December 28, 2009 | By Amber Dance >>>
Preventive healthcare has been touted by politicians as a sure-fire method to slash healthcare costs by saving on future treatment expenses. And it's easy to believe them -- surely, we reason, it's better to treat high cholesterol before it turns into a heart attack or catch cancer early on. Better it may be, but economists present a different picture as far as costs go: Although preventive medicine is certainly desirable, it will not necessarily ease...
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Leland Yee, who was indicted recently for accepting payments for favors, promises in an official ballot guide arriving at voters' homes this week to “expose special interests, and prevent corruption.” Yee wrote the candidate statement for the voter guide before his March 26 arrest by federal authorities who have also accused him of conspiracy to traffic in firearms. The San Francisco Democrat paid to include the statement in voter guides as part of a candidacy for secretary of state that he has since abandoned.
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OPINION
August 4, 2008
Re "Out of control," July 27 The article doesn't focus enough on the huge excess of fire fuels in the wildland-urban interfaces all over the West. In many of these areas, the fuel loads are three or four times greater than they would be under natural conditions. It is large-scale firefighting to protect property and residents in these interface areas that causes fires to be labeled as "catastrophic," and that generates such incredible expense. In true wilderness, the cost of firefighting tends to be less of a budget-buster because, in many cases, large areas can be allowed to burn as a natural process.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
How much are childhood vaccines worth to America? Nearly $1.7 trillion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That dollar figure represents the net savings of 20 years' worth of vaccines administered to American children born between 1994 and 2013 over their entire lifetimes, according to a report in Friday's edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. An estimated $295 billion worth of that savings comes in the form of direct costs averted, and $1.38 trillion is the estimated value of savings to society.
OPINION
September 20, 2009 | William H. Frist, William H. Frist is a heart surgeon, a member of the Robert Woods Johnson Commission to Build a Healthier America and the former Republican majority leader of the U.S. Senate.
The Obama administration has suggested that savings from preventive health services will pay for much of the $1-trillion cost of health reform. Is that true? Not according to a comprehensive 2009 review article in the journal Health Affairs, which summed up its findings in its subtitle: "An Overwhelming Percentage of Preventive Interventions Add More to Medical Costs Than They Save." The key word is "interventions." Think about it: Having more people getting more health screenings, mammograms, pap smears and colonoscopies has to cost more money.
HEALTH
January 18, 2010 | By Judith Graham
If you're an older adult wondering what you should be doing to stay healthy, the most important answer is staying active. "Physical activity is more powerful than any medication a senior can take," says Dr. Cheryl Phillips, a San Francisco physician and president of the American Geriatrics Society. Much of the frailty that accompanies advanced age can be mitigated through exercise. Even moderate activity makes a difference. Frailty often leads to impairment and the loss of independence -- developments that can be preventable.
SCIENCE
January 14, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan
Early administration of morphine to military personnel wounded on the front lines during Operation Iraqi Freedom appears to have done more than relieve excruciating pain. Scientists believe it also prevented hundreds of cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, the debilitating condition that plagues 15% of those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. That conclusion is based on findings published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. They suggest that a simple treatment can stop a single horrifying event from escalating into a chronic, incapacitating illness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2000
HMOS have gone from preventive medicine to preventing medicine. GERALDINE FORER SPAGNOLI Calabasas
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1985
Until the gay community also focuses on a preventive education program, which might call for sexual abstention, public support will be limited. My advice for those who want to fight AIDS is not to forget the cause-and-effect element. Both need to be addressed. JUSTIN GREENE Chicago
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1990
Freedman wrote an excellent column (May 15) on the needs of children. He eloquently builds a case for "preventive investment" and "preventive legislation." Nowhere is the immediate devastation of failed policy and ignorance greater than with the growing number of our children living in poverty and without hope. He recommends starting with our state Constitution. " . . . We can amend the California Constitution to guarantee that every mother and child has the right to health care.
SCIENCE
April 23, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Two drugs given to people who suffer migraines reduced the frequency of their headaches in early trials, scientists said. The test results “may potentially represent a new era in preventive therapy for migraine,” Dr. Peter Goadsby, an author on studies of both drugs, said in a statement. One of the researchers called migraine headaches the third most common medical disorder in the world. Both drugs must undergo larger trials to confirm the results. Both drugs are intended to prevent rather than treat migraine headaches, and the studies of them are the first to test monoclonal antibodies for migraine prevention, the scientists said.
NATIONAL
April 22, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
The deaths of 15 people, including 12 volunteer firefighters, in an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant a year ago were preventable, federal investigators said Tuesday. Preliminary findings  from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on the chemical disaster in West, Texas, include: The firefighters should have been trained to deal with the stockpile of ammonium nitrate at West Fertilizer Co.  State regulators should not have allowed the fertilizer to be stored in wooden containers.  Local authorities should have considered keeping schools and homes farther away from the plant.
NATIONAL
April 15, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
OLATHE, Kan. -   A self-styled white supremacist from Missouri appeared by video in a packed courtroom on Tuesday and was charged with capital murder in the killings of three people outside two Jewish facilities.  Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, was charged with one count of capital murder and one count of premeditated first-degree murder in connection with the Sunday shooting at a Jewish Community Center and nearby Jewish retirement home.   If Cross is convicted of capital murder, under Kansas law, he could face the death penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
When three city officials were arrested trying to shake down a marijuana dispensary owner, Cudahy was branded a town where bribes were routine and elections were rigged. On Tuesday, state officials added one more indignity to Cudahy's battered reputation: a city with a staggering inability to keep an eye on public funds. In a damning audit, the state controller concluded that leaders in the working-class town used city-issued credit cards for excessive travel, meals and entertainment, mismanaged state funds and had virtually no internal controls to prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
A new report from the blue-ribbon commission on Los Angeles County's safety net for abused and neglected children levels stinging criticism at the Board of Supervisors for a sluggish approach to reform, and declares that the system has fallen into a "state of emergency. " "Nothing short of a complete rethinking about how the county ensures safe and supportive care for abused and at-risk children will lead to the seamless and comprehensive child welfare system that the county has needed for decades," the commissioners wrote in a draft report expected to be approved in a vote Thursday afternoon.  The members of the commission said the elected Board of Supervisors has responded too slowly and failed to identify a coordinated mission and clear, measurable goals for the child-protection system.  The commission released its first set of recommendations in December.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to plug a financing gap that threatened community programs once paid for with federal dollars, devoting more than $1.9 million in reserves to help sustain programs that include neighborhood beautification and youth activities. The city has scrambled to figure out how to keep a host of programs running after the Department of Housing and Urban Development told the city it was violating rules governing federal grants, spending more of the federal funding than allowed on “public services.” To make sure that federal money for community redevelopment and renovation doesn't end up paying mainly for public services that cities would ordinarily cover on their own, federal rules cap the percentage of grant money that can be used for those kinds of services.
OPINION
March 17, 2007
Re "For many employees, fitness has its prize," March 12 Taking preventive measures to improve our health is undoubtedly a fine idea, but all the workplace treadmills and corporate incentive programs will be of little help to those who have inherited a propensity for a serious disease or condition. The most effective preventive measure -- early diagnosis -- is not available to the uninsured. Even among the insured, high deductibles will keep many from seeking treatment. Let's not be bought off by promises of free TVs. Economists tell us that the best way to cut costs is to implement a single-payer health insurance system: Every taxpayer pays a little, no one pays a lot, and everyone is covered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1991
The article "County Health Programs in Peril" (Aug. 25) presents an alarming view to the public regarding the effects of the targeted $4.2-million cuts in local health programs, including those for well babies, sexually transmitted diseases and immigrants and refugees. While the public may perceive such cuts as only affecting specific groups, it is important to remember that our entire community will be affected because contagious diseases do not respect geographical, cultural or economic boundaries.
HEALTH
March 28, 2014 | By Lily Dayton
Starting in her 30s, Barbara Schulties began suffering from debilitating headaches, which she describes as "someone taking a hot poker to my eye. " Besides excruciating head pain, the Santa Cruz resident lists a host of accompanying symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty focusing and hypersensitivity to light, noise and even wind on her face. "I can't spell," she says, describing a typical headache. "It's very hard for me to visualize words. " Like 12% of people in the U.S., and 1 out of 3 women over a lifetime, Schulties suffers from migraine disorder, an inherited condition that affects the regulation of nerve signals in the brain.
WORLD
March 19, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Trying not to be penny-wise but pound-foolish, Britain announced Wednesday that it will ditch its venerable round 1-pound coin in favor of a new 12-sided model specially designed to foil counterfeiters. The new piece, to enter circulation in 2017, will maintain the nugget-like size of the current version, about the diameter of a U.S. nickel and nearly twice as heavy. But it will incorporate different-colored metals, for a faux gold and silver look, instead of the mostly copper blend now in circulation, and boast a high-tech anti-forgery feature used in paper money that remains shrouded in secrecy by the Royal Mint.
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