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Health Care

The Takeaway

Washington D.C. HIV/AIDS infection rate hits 3%

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new report funded by the Center for Disease Control says the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Washington D.C. has hit three percent. The rate is higher than in many West African countries and comes as a surprise to many who thought the disease was waning. For more on what those numbers mean, we turn to Jose Antonio Vargas, a reporter for The Washington Post who is covering this issue closely for the paper. We also chat with Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of CARE.

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The Takeaway

Lofty rhetoric frames President Obama's health care summit

Friday, March 06, 2009

None of The Takeaway staff was chosen as one of the seven "average Americans" in President Obama's health care summit in Washington, but we're making sure we — and you — stay part of the conversation. Dr. Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, provides a national health check.

Watch President Obama's opening statements from the health care summit.

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The Takeaway

Secretary of State Clinton stays quiet on health care

Thursday, March 05, 2009

There’s huge debate over health care reform in this country and it may come as a surprise that one person in particular is not taking part in it: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As our next guest writes in the New York Times today, Hillary Clinton seems eager to distance herself from her failed attempt at health care reform. We’re joined by the New York Times' White House Correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg for her take on the situation.

For more, read Sheryl Gay Stolberg's article, Obama Taps Clinton Ideas but Not Clinton Herself, in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Barack Obama's address to Congress, on economic stimulus and more, Feb. 24, 2009 (transcript and your annotations)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Read a transcript of President Barack Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress, concerning the economic stimulus plan, health care, education and more, from February 24, 2009, and discuss the state of the states in The Takeaway's "user-annotated" document viewer.

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The Takeaway

Caring for the least of us: The ethics of health care reform

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

President Obama will move to tackle health care next week and he is expected to touch on the subject in his address to Congress tonight. He announced Monday that he will convene a summit to discuss what some call America’s health care crisis. Our guest calls it an ethical crisis. The Takeaway talks to Arthur Caplan, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more of The Takeaway's coverage of health care in this country, click here and to listen to what the experts think President Obama needs to know about health care check out our Briefing Book series.

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The Takeaway

Healthcare reform faces hurdles, but industry may be backing it finally

Friday, February 20, 2009

Before the recession began, 46 million Americans didn't have health insurance. Now, according to a report released yesterday by the liberal Center for American Progress, 14,000 Americans are losing health-care insurance every day. It's dire, but a consensus on health care may be taking shape. Many of the leading figures in the nation’s long-running health care debate have been meeting secretly to discuss the need for universal health care. For the details on these meetings, we are joined by Robert Pear, reporter for the New York Times.

For more, read Robert Pear's article, Health Care Industry in Talks to Shape Policy, in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Washington eyes Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for head of HHS

Friday, February 20, 2009

There are reports that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is about to be selected as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in President Obama’s cabinet. She has a history of involvement in health care reform in Kansas. And, as a Democrat in a largely Republican state, she’s developed a reputation for bipartisanship. We’re joined by Steve Kraske at KCUR in Kansas City, a political columnist for the Kansas City Star and public affairs talk show host in KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, who has followed Ms. Sebelius' political career. We are also joined by Time Magazine's Jay Newton-Small for some Washington perspective.

Who else is in President Obama's cabinet? Check out our handy guide!

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The Takeaway

Sex ed goes mobile and melodramatic

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sex education has gone mobile. Anywhere that you can get a phone signal, you will be able to watch safe-sex soap operas on your cell phone. We’ve been seeing safe-sex campaigns for years, but now that they are smaller and harder to see, will the direct-to-cell phone message finally reach young women of the dangers of HIV / AIDS, STDs and pregnancy? Fred Mogul, reporter for WNYC, joins us this morning to explain.

For more information, head to the website.

India has gotten in on the safe sex campaigns, too, and in typical Bollywood style it is a very long ad.

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The Takeaway

Judges rule California must close prisons

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A panel of three federal judges has ruled that California is not providing its prison population with adequate health care and ordered the state to reduce its prison population by up to a third. The state says it will appeal. Anti-prison advocates Rose Braz, Campaign Director of Critical Resistance, and Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, join The Takeaway with a look at this case and how the economic crisis could impact criminal justice around the country.

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The Takeaway

Only in America? The U.S. health system and the California octuplets

Monday, February 09, 2009

All eyes were on a California woman who gave birth to octuplets earlier this year. The birth of eight children was a modern medical miracle orchestrated by an enormous team of doctors and nurses, and it is a procedure that would not have been possible in many other countries. To explain why our health care system makes successful multiple births more likely we are joined by Dr. Samantha Butts, an OB/Gyn at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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The Takeaway

The Ick Factor: Can worms cure common illnesses?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Most of us have heard of the hygiene hypothesis. It's the theory that all of our antibacterial soaps and scrubs and sprays are actually weakening our immune systems. But here’s something new: Scientists say you may be able to treat certain diseases like autism and multiple sclerosis by ingesting the same worms we’ve spent all those years trying to kill. The Takeaway talks to Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts University Medical Center.

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The Takeaway

America's Briefing Book: Redesigning the FDA

Friday, January 16, 2009

Scandals like Avandia in 2007 and the recent recall of generic drugs from India have some people wondering if the Food and Drug Administration has been sampling too many free pharmaceuticals. This week in the journal Nature, Dr. Steven Nissen writes about the problems with the FDA, most notably, its "culture of secrecy." He joins us to discuss how the new Obama administration might shake things up a little.

Click here for more selections from America's Briefing Book.

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The Takeaway

Life and work at the Gaza border--A doctor's tale

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dr. Ron Lobel is the medical director of a hospital about 17 kilometers from the Gaza border. His hospital treated both Israelis and Palestinians alike, until the borders closed. Now, he joins John and Adaora from Ashkelon, Israel where he puts a human face on the story of two embattled rivals and his patients who can't return home.

"We consider our Palestinians across the border not as enemies. We consider them as neighbors."
— Dr. Ron Lobel of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, Israel just across the border from Gaza

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The Takeaway

Last minute Bush Administration rule permits health care workers to deny services

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In its final weeks the Bush Administration has issued a federal rule that allows health care workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable. Doctors and nurses have had the right to opt-out of providing abortions for decades, but this new rule is much broader. Slate's senior legal correspondent, Dahlia Lithwick, gives The Takeaway the rundown.
"A doctor who objects to abortion need not tell a patient that he's seen something on her scan that suggests there is a problem with a fetus."
— Dahlia Lithwick on new healthcare regulations

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The Takeaway

Medical myths debunked!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do you believe eating at night makes you fat? Or that you lose most of your body heat through your head? Guess who believed them too? Your doctor. Dr. Rachel Vreeman, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, knew about the enduring legacy of these old wives' tales, so she and a colleague set out to debunk the more popular medical myths. Her findings were just published in the British Medical Journal. She joins The Takeaway to discuss these medical myths.

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The Takeaway

Colonoscopy more likely to catch cancer on your left side

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It has long been rumored that colonoscopy screening tests are 90 percent effective at locating cancer in your colon. Yet a new study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates that the screening method is not as effective as doctors thought, often missing cancers located on a person's right side. New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata explains the study and how it might affect your next doctor's visit. To find out more, read Gina Kolata's article, "Colonoscopies Miss Many Cancers, Study Finds," at the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

How underemployment affects health care

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In the Takeaway’s continuing series on underemployment, we take a look at how having to shift to part time work can affect health insurance coverage. As more and more companies cut worker hours, who will cover the medical bills?

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The Takeaway

An HHS briefing for Obama

Thursday, November 20, 2008

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The Takeaway

A healthcare briefing for Obama

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Endangered Environments

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ted Smith, the founder and senior strategist of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, looks at some of the most harmful things we throw away. Then, Tim Gallagher tells us about his recent sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker, which had long been considered extinct. Next, Paris Review editor Elizabeth Gaffney describes ...

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