Month: March 2012

Study: Exercise programs not tailored to people of color

By Julissa McKinnon

Getting a community to start exercising involves a lot more than posting up fliers and hosting some aerobics classes.

It takes community buy-in.

A recent study from the University of Missouri found that exercise programs aimed at minority adults are doing some short-term good, but most come across as culturally tone-deaf and are by and large failing to connect with the communities they intend to help.

This Midas had no golden touch

Methyl iodide, one of the most controversial pesticides ever sold in California, was quietly removed from the market last week. Its rise and fall is a story of opportunistic science, corporate influence peddling, and questionable regulatory decisions. But ultimately, the chemical was pulled from the shelves because farmers weren’t buying it. Robin Urevich chronicles the strange saga of methyl iodide.

Where Do They Go Now?

As a child, Lyudmia Shnaydman survived the horrors of World War II, though she lost her entire family. As an older adult she suffers from no fewer than four serious, chronic health problems. Now the state of California is giving her nightmares. Next week, the state has told Shnaydman, she will lose her access to adult day health care under tighter eligibility rules adopted last year. Matt Perry has the story.

Justice Kennedy and the mandate

The future of America’s health care system could be decided by Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court justice from California who has become the court’s all-important swing vote.

Comments from the bench by the justices are not always a sign of how they will decide a case. But it was evident during Tuesday’s oral arguments on the federal Affordable Care Act that four liberal justices are inclined to find the law constitutional while four conservative jurists are very skeptical of the act’s mandate that nearly all individuals either have insurance or pay a financial penalty. Three of the conservatives raised repeated questions about the mandate while a fourth, Justice Clarence Thomas, asked no questions but is believed to be leaning against it.

That left Kennedy, who at first seemed to join the conservative side but later left just enough wiggle room in his position to leave some doubt about how he will come down.

Study: Newly insured use ER more

One of the most common arguments in favor of the federal health reform law that the Supreme Court is weighing this week is that people without insurance overuse emergency rooms because they lack access to basic care. But new research released today suggests that people without insurance use the ER no more than those who have health coverage. In fact, people who were without coverage and obtain it use the ER more than people who have steady coverage or no coverage at all. People who lose their coverage also use ERs more, the study finds, so it seems to be a change in health insurance status, more than anything, that leads to an increased use of the emergency room. The research could have some troubling implications for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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