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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Health and Fitness

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US health officials to target high-risk alternative remedies

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:20:37 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials plan to crack down on a growing number of unproven alternative remedies, focusing on products containing dangerous ingredients that have occasionally been linked to serious injury and death. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a new proposal for regulating homeopathic medicines that have long been on the fringe of mainstream medicine. The agency plans to target products that pose the biggest safety risks, including those marketed for children or for serious diseases. But under the government's framework, the vast majority of low-risk products would remain on the market.



On the front lines of drug crisis, US police split on Narcan

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 16:46:58 UT

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) — The sheriff of Clermont County firmly believes it's a call of duty for his deputies to carry a nasal spray that brings people back from the brink of death by drug overdose. Less than 50 miles away, his counterpart in Butler County is dead set against it, saying it subjects deputies to danger while making no lasting impact on the death toll. The divide over naloxone, the popular overdose antidote, between nearby sheriffs in two hard-hit counties in one of the hardest-hit states for drug deaths shows just how elusive solutions are on the front lines of the U.S. opioid crisis. Some police officials cite lack of resources for obtaining, maintaining and tracking supplies and for training in when and how to use it.



Sign-ups show health law's staying power in Trump era

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:20:57 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deadline burst of sign-ups after a tumultuous year for the Obama health law has revealed continued demand for the program's subsidized individual health plans. But the Affordable Care Act's troubles aren't over. On the plus side for the overhaul, official numbers showed a sizable share of first-time customers, 36 percent, were among those rushing to finish HealthCare.gov applications in the run-up to Friday's enrollment deadline. "People need health care, that is plain and simple," said Kevin Watkins of Florence, Alabama. A self-employed consultant helping small businesses sell online, Watkins re-enrolled for 2018. He'll pay under $100 a month after subsidies.



Fear of losing heritage drives Cherokee Nation opioid case

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:53:07 UT

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokee Nation officials say fear of losing the tribe's heritage is driving a lawsuit alleging distributors and retailers of prescribed medications have contributed to opioid abuse within the tribe. Opioid use is so prevalent among members of the Oklahoma-based tribe that 70 percent of Cherokee foster children in Oklahoma have been placed in the homes of non-Indians, The New York Times reported Sunday. "We have addicted mothers and fathers who don't give a damn about what their children will carry on," said tribal Attorney General Todd Hembree, a descendant of a revered 19th-century chief. "They can't care for themselves, much less anything else. We are losing a generation of our continuity.



A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' Experts alarmed

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:33:16 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Health leaders say they are alarmed about a report that officials at the nation's top public health agency are being told not to use certain words or phrases in official budget documents, including "fetus," ''transgender" and "science-based." The health community was reacting to a story in The Washington Post published late Friday citing an anonymous source who said the prohibition was made at a recent meeting of senior budget officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Sign-ups show health law's staying power in Trump era

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:43:06 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deadline burst of sign-ups after a tumultuous year for the Obama health law has revealed continued demand for the program's subsidized individual health plans. But the Affordable Care Act's troubles aren't over. On the plus side for the overhaul, official numbers showed a sizable share of first-time customers, 36 percent, were among those rushing to finish HealthCare.gov applications in the run-up to Friday's enrollment deadline. "People need health care, that is plain and simple," said Kevin Watkins of Florence, Alabama. A self-employed consultant helping small businesses sell online, Watkins re-enrolled for 2018. He'll pay under $100 a month after subsidies.



Health law sign-up deadline extended for some people

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:14:13 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a rush of last-minute sign-ups, the Trump administration says it's extending the deadline for some people to finish health insurance applications for next year under the Affordable Care Act. Callers to the HealthCare.gov service center on Saturday morning got a recorded message saying "don't worry" — if they'd called and left their phone number before the deadline, they'll get a call back and still can enroll for 2018. HealthCare.gov issued similar extensions previously under the Obama administration. Although the deadline has passed for most consumers in the 39 states served by HealthCare.gov, several states running their own enrollment websites have longer deadlines.