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Docs: Same-sex marriage benefits kids
March 21st, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Docs: Same-sex marriage benefits kids

Children raised by gay or lesbian couples benefit when their parents are allowed to marry, America’s top pediatrics group said Thursday in support of same-sex marriage.

“If a child has two living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interest of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so, irrespective of their sexual orientation,” the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement.

Dr. Ellen Perrin, co-author of the policy statement, says marriage gives children of same-sex couples the same advantages of any married couple’s children. FULL POST


Doctors asked to participate in gun debate
December 31st, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Doctors asked to participate in gun debate

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14 has compelled the editors of the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine to call on other physicians to become active participants in the discussion about gun violence and gun policy in this country.

More than 30,000 people die from gun injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gun injuries account for nearly 1 in 5 injury deaths in the United States.  More than 96% of those deaths are due to suicide and homicide.

In an editorial published in Annals, a publication of the American College of Physicians (ACP), on Monday, Dr. Christine Laine, editor-in-chief of the journal and a general internist, calls on physicians to use their voices in this gun control debate, just as doctors have done regarding other issues that threaten public health, such as smoking, air pollution, drunk driving and vaccinations. FULL POST


Medicare patients may suffer if country goes over fiscal cliff
December 31st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Medicare patients may suffer if country goes over fiscal cliff

Medicare patients are but another segment of the population that have to worry about the country going over the so-called fiscal cliff.

Doctors at Virginia Heart, a practice of 35 physicians in nine Northern Virginia locations, say they might have to turn away new Medicare patients after the first of the year.

That's because a nearly 30% cut across the board in Medicare reimbursement to doctors goes into effect if we go over the cliff. Virginia Heart, the largest cardiovascular group in the Washington Metropolitan area, says its doctors simply cannot afford a 30% decrease in pay.

FULL POST


Your thoughts: Vote for the issues, not parties
GOP nominee Mitt Romney makes a statement soon after the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare.
October 8th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Your thoughts: Vote for the issues, not parties

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Some Republicans are torn between party loyalty and the benefits they receive from Obamacare, as Elizabeth Cohen reports in her latest story. The piece on voting for/against the Affordable Care Act prompted many comments on party ideology in the United States and whether health care is really the only issue up for debate among conservatives.

The most popular comment on the story as of Monday morning was from reader Rawpups:

Sadly, Republicans have been voting against their own self-interest for years. Time to wake up, folks - a vote for Romney is a vote against the lower and middle classes.

FULL POST


New report compares Obama, Romney health care plans
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act if elected.
October 2nd, 2012
09:43 AM ET

New report compares Obama, Romney health care plans

President Obama's Affordable Care Act, when fully implemented, will most likely reduce the number of uninsured in every state, age group and income level - a stark contrast to a GOP presidential nominee and Mitt  Romney's plan, according to a new report by The Commonwealth Fund, which compares the ACA to Romney's pledge to repeal the law and replace it with more targeted policies.

According to the report, children and low- and middle-income Americans would be hardest-hit if the ACA were repealed.  The report found that by the year 2022, with the ACA in place, about 27 million Americans would still be uninsured - a reduction of nearly 33 million people.  But with a Romney plan in place, about 72 million will be without coverage, the report projects.  By 2022, according to the organization, an estimated 18 million kids under the age of 19 would be without insurance under Romney's plan compared to about 6 million under Obama's plan.

FULL POST


Romney's plan for middle-class health insurance
Mitt Romney says if elected, he will take steps to make insurance less expensive and give Americans more buying power.
August 31st, 2012
10:13 AM ET

Romney's plan for middle-class health insurance

The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

This week during the Republican convention the Empowered Patient has been putting Mitt Romney’s health care plan under the microscope, examining what it means to various groups of American patients.

Earlier this week we looked at Romney's ideas on preventive care, helping people with pre-existing conditions get insurance, and aiding seniors who get stuck in the prescription drug donut hole. We also did a fact-check on Paul Ryan's Medicare comments in his convention speech.

Now, we're looking at Romney's plans for helping middle class Americans buy health insurance. According to a 2009 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 11 million uninsured Americans came from the middle class, or nearly a quarter of the nation's total uninsured.

FULL POST


How you vote may be in your genes
Our genetic makeup may play a role in our political behavior, according to researchers.
August 28th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

How you vote may be in your genes

Ever wonder why we vote the way we do? Is it the influence of family? Or is it because of our culture or where we grew up? Could be, but now researchers are saying it might be in our genes.

Scientists have always wondered what drives our political behavior, and why some of us are passionate over some issues and not others. Now investigators have found it could be something deeper than the "I Like Ike" button your grandfather wore.

Traditionally, social scientists have felt that our political preferences were influenced by environmental factors as well as how and where we grew up. But recently, studies are finding it could be biological and that our genes also influence our political tastes.

In a review out of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, data showed that genetic makeup has some influence on why people differ on such issues as unemployment, abortion, even the death penalty.  By pinpointing certain genes in the human body, scientists can predict parts of a person's political ideology. FULL POST


Mitt Romney's health care plan: Pre-existing conditions
Mitt Romney says he'll "prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage."
August 28th, 2012
10:30 AM ET

Mitt Romney's health care plan: Pre-existing conditions

The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

This week during the Republican convention I’ll be dissecting Mitt Romney’s health care plan, examining what it means to various groups of American patients.

Monday, we put preventive care under the microscope. Tuesday, we're looking at Romney's plan for helping people with pre-existing conditions - anything from back pain to cancer to diabetes - who have often been denied insurance  or asked to pay exorbitant premiums.

Obamacare requires insurance companies to sell policies to people with pre-existing conditions without charging a higher premium.

Romney has vowed he would act to repeal Obamacare on his first day as president. Instead, he says he would "prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage," according to his website.

FULL POST


No surprise: Reactions to the Supreme Court's decision as expected
June 28th, 2012
07:27 PM ET

No surprise: Reactions to the Supreme Court's decision as expected

It didn't take long for the first reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act to start trickling in. Here's a sampling of how some health organizations feel about the highest court upholding President Obama's controversial health care law:

The trade group that represents health insurance companies - American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) - says in their statement that "health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their beneficiaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs."

But citing research by other sources, AHIP suggests that the health care law will also increase the cost of health care coverage, by way of premiums, forcing young Americans to buy artificially high premiums and affordable coverage will be less available.
FULL POST


'Fatness is a political issue,' professor says
June 18th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

'Fatness is a political issue,' professor says

The U.S. obesity crisis is no secret - people around the country are getting fatter and it's costing us billions.

But obesity isn't just an American issue. According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health this week, it's also a global health issue... and not for the reason you may think.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used data from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to estimate the total mass of the human population. In 2005 we, as a global society, weighed approximately 316 million tons, which is about 17 million tons overweight.

Obesity caused 3.9 million tons of that total, the equivalent of 56 million average-sized people. Even more concerning: North America accounts for only 6% of the world's population but 34% of its obesity-related mass.
FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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