Health & Science

Ways to Connect

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The Affordable Care Act's tax penalty for people who opt out of health insurance is one of the most loathed parts of the law, so it is no surprise that Republicans are keen to abolish it. But the penalty, also called the individual mandate, plays a vital function: nudging healthy people into the insurance markets, where their premiums help pay for the cost of care for the sick. Republican lawmakers think they have a better alternative.

Call it an outburst of outrage giving.

Since President Trump's budget proposal was unveiled last Thursday, Meals on Wheels America, the national group which says it supports more than 5,000 community-based organizations that deliver meals to homebound seniors, has seen a flood of donations.

Tomb Of Jesus Is Restored In Jerusalem

Mar 20, 2017

A restoration team Monday announced the completion of a historic renovation of one of Christianity's holiest sites — the shrine that, according to tradition, houses the tomb of Jesus.

The ornate shrine, called the Edicule, sits in the center of Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the world's oldest churches, a 12th century building sitting on fourth century remains in Jerusalem's Old City.

According to Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian belief, the Edicule encases the ancient cave where Jesus' body was entombed and resurrected.

Norway can be frigid. And the winters bring lots of darkness. But it's the happiest nation in world, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

Denmark comes in at #2, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. Finland takes 5th place. And, it turns out, these countries have more in common than a tolerance for cold.

Fake news has been, well, in the news a lot lately. It seems no claim is too absurd to be aired.

For example, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal has just become the fourth NBA star to make public remarks that he believes the Earth is flat, not round.

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Before Siri spoke up as the iPhone's digital assistant or the Amazon Echo was taking requests in people's homes, there was the granddaddy of all talking devices.

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I recently visited China on a business trip. While there, I decided I wanted to get a pedicure. My search turned into quite the adventure — one that involved cutting edge translation technology, and a key word lost in translation.

Gerard Sanacora, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, has treated hundreds of severely depressed patients with low doses of ketamine, an anesthetic and popular club drug that isn't approved for depression.

This sort of "off-label" prescribing is legal. But Sanacora says other doctors sometimes ask him, "How can you be offering this to patients based on the limited amount of information that's out there and not knowing the potential long-term risk?"

Sanacora has a simple answer.

Brazil has long been awash with corruption scandals, but the latest to erupt is about an issue that is particularly close to the nation's heart and stomach — and its wallet.

Few people are more prolific meat-eaters than the Brazilians, and few are more passionate about the merits of the barbecue, or churrasco.

They grill with gusto at almost any opportunity — on the beach, the sidewalk, at soccer games and even at protest rallies, where the whiff of sizzling sausage competes with the eye-watering stink of tear gas.

Safety advocates are worried that lawmakers are getting ready to make it harder to penalize companies that don't keep track of workers' injuries.

Since 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has required many employers to keep careful records of any worker injuries or illnesses.

As the father of two sons with schizophrenia, author Ron Powers is familiar with the pain and frustration of dealing with a chronic, incurable disease of the brain.

Powers' younger son, Kevin, was a talented musician whose struggles with schizophrenia began at age 17. Just before his 21st birthday, in 2005, Kevin took his own life.

A few years later, Powers' older son, Dean, started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia and had a psychotic break.

Kansas lawmakers know they are late to the Medicaid expansion party, but they appear determined to show up anyway.

"I feel like now is as good a time as any," says Anthony Hensley, the leader of the Democratic minority in the state Senate.

For the past three years, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders were able to block debate on expanding health care for the disabled and working poor via Medicaid, a component of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Not anymore.

In the midst of an opioid epidemic that continues to devastate families, a sliver of hope has arrived. Two long-term studies published Monday show that opioid use among teens and opioid poisonings among younger children are on the decline.

Jim Gathany / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The museum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention features a collection of photos by Jim Gathany. The exhibit is called “A Lens on CDC,” and it runs until the end of May. For 30 years, Gathany has documented the center’s scientific breakthroughs, its facilities, and its history. We talked with Gathany about his experience behind the lens at the CDC. 

On a bitterly cold day in February 1846, the French writer Victor Hugo was on his way to work when he saw something that affected him profoundly.

A thin young man with a loaf of bread under his arm was being led away by police. Bystanders said he was being arrested for stealing the loaf. He was dressed in mud-spattered clothes, his bare feet thrust into clogs, his ankles wrapped in bloodied rags in lieu of stockings.

"It made me think," wrote Hugo. "The man was no longer a man in my eyes but the specter of la misère, of poverty."

AMC

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has made countless appearances on the big and small screen from the 1995 thriller “Outbreak” to an explosive debut on the first season of the hit show “The Walking Dead.”  GPB's Sean Powers walks us through some of the CDC’s most memorable roles and how the agency has been portrayed by Hollywood.  

In this corner of Appalachia, poverty takes a back seat to art galleries, country clubs, golf course communities, five-star restaurants, and multimillion-dollar houses.

From this perch in Highlands, N.C., Congressman Mark Meadows, a real estate entrepreneur who capitalized on the area's transformation to a prosperous retirement and vacation community, rose to political power quickly. Now, Meadows leads the House Freedom Caucus, controlling about 30 votes and showing few qualms about endangering his party's best chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.

After less than a year as president of Uber, Jeff Jones is leaving the embattled ride-hailing company, Uber confirms.

"We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best," an Uber spokesperson says in a statement.

Jones, previously Target's chief marketing officer, was brought on by CEO Travis Kalanick last fall to boost Uber's reputation.

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One thing we didn't expect to see here at South by Southwest were the virtual reality helmets. They were everywhere.

Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County said that they found no evidence of a crime in the death of a prison inmate who was left for two hours in a hot shower.

Nicholas Lund stood in a small side yard one early morning, surrounded by a crowd of people. Some were in business suits, just stopping by before work.

He watched as others commuted by, probably unsure of what they were seeing: a silent mob of people holding large cameras, just waiting.

Standing in a small space next to someone's home, those people were putting off life for a morning. But it was a bird's own displacement that had called them all together.

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And this is The Call-In. After the long-awaited GOP health plan was released, there were reactions from both sides of the aisle. But for many people, what lingered were their questions.

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(SOUNDBITE OF TRIBECA'S "GET LARGE")

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

There's a big college sports tournament underway.

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UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR #1: Team Liquid (unintelligible).

Afghan Women Say No To The Dress

Mar 19, 2017

It's a story with a happy ending about a demonstration that didn't happen — after activist Afghan women beat back the Ministry of Education decision that schoolgirls must exchange their current already modest uniforms for styles that are more restrictive and concealing.

On March 14, the Afghan ministry unveiled the new designs. Schools in the country were closed at the time (the school year in Afghanistan goes from March through January and set to reopen on the 20th or 21st. The ministry said the change would be effective when classes resumed.

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