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Jun 17, 2015

No ready fix if Obamacare subsidies are lost: policy experts

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers and governors are unlikely to act to restore Obamacare health insurance subsidies in at least 34 states should the Supreme Court rule them illegal, health policy experts said on Wednesday.

The influence of elections in 2016 as well as restrictions already put in place in states opposed to President Barack Obama’s health law could hamper even a short-term compromise, experts said during a panel discussion in Boston at The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, presented in collaboration with Reuters.

Jun 17, 2015

Insight – Economists predict shockwaves if Obamacare subsidies are nixed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on whether people in 34 states can continue to receive Obamacare health insurance subsidies, economists are projecting billions of dollars in lost healthcare spending for hospitals, drugstores and drugmakers if the justices say the payments are illegal.

The immediate consequences of such a ruling would fall on the 6.4 million people who receive the subsidies and live in states that did not establish their own insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, instead relying on the federal HealthCare.gov website.

Jun 17, 2015

Economists predict shockwaves if Obamacare subsidies are nixed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on whether people in 34 states can continue to receive Obamacare health insurance subsidies, economists are projecting billions of dollars in lost healthcare spending for hospitals, drugstores and drugmakers if the justices say the payments are illegal.

The immediate consequences of such a ruling would fall on the 6.4 million people who receive the subsidies and live in states that did not establish their own insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, instead relying on the federal HealthCare.gov website.

Jun 8, 2015

Many U.S. hospitals mark up prices 1,000 percent – study

NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) – Even the astronomical price
markups that consumers regularly pay for, say, wine in
restaurants pale beside those in some U.S. hospitals: The price
for procedures is often 10 times the cost, according to a study
published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

Of the 50 hospitals with the highest markups, 49 are
for-profit, including 25 owned by Community Health Systems
.

Jun 5, 2015

Insight – Amazon, Google race to get your DNA into the cloud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is in a race against Google Inc to store data on human DNA, seeking both bragging rights in helping scientists make new medical discoveries and market share in a business that may be worth $1 billion (651.30 million pounds) a year by 2018.

Academic institutions and healthcare companies are picking sides between their cloud computing offerings – Google Genomics or Amazon Web Services – spurring the two to one-up each other as they win high-profile genomics business, according to interviews with researchers, industry consultants and analysts.    

Jun 5, 2015

Amazon, Google race to get your DNA into the cloud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is in a race against Google Inc to store data on human DNA, seeking both bragging rights in helping scientists make new medical discoveries and market share in a business that may be worth $1 billion a year by 2018.

Academic institutions and healthcare companies are picking sides between their cloud computing offerings – Google Genomics or Amazon Web Services – spurring the two to one-up each other as they win high-profile genomics business, according to interviews with researchers, industry consultants and analysts.    

Jun 4, 2015

Pentagon appeals for scientists’ help tracking anthrax shipments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Thursday asked microbiologists for help in tracking samples of anthrax that the army shipped to at least 51 labs in 17 U.S. states and three foreign countries, according to an announcement shared with Reuters.

The request indicates that the Pentagon does not know where the anthrax wound up. Researchers who had worked with it at the Dugway Proving Ground biological lab in Utah thought the anthrax samples that they shipped had been killed, but at least one of the labs that received it said it in fact contained live spores.

Jun 2, 2015

Chimps have mental skills to cook: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – They’re not likely to start barbecuing in the rainforest, but chimpanzees can understand the concept of cooking and are willing to postpone eating raw food, even carrying food some distance to cook it rather than eat immediately, scientists reported on Tuesday.

The findings, based on nine experiments conducted at the Tchimpounga Sanctuary in Republic of Congo and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggest that chimps have all the brainpower needed to cook, including planning, causal understanding, and ability to postpone gratification.

May 27, 2015

U.S. military mistakenly ships live anthrax to labs in nine states

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. military facility in Utah mistakenly sent live anthrax bacteria to private laboratories in nine U.S. states and a U.S. military base in South Korea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

It said there was no known suspected infection or risk to the public. But a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four U.S. civilians had been advised to take preventive measures, which usually includes the anthrax vaccine, antibiotics, or both.

May 21, 2015

‘Top 10′ new species includes cartwheeling spider, ‘chicken from hell’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some 18,000 species, great and small, were discovered in 2014, adding to the 2 million already known, scientists said on Thursday, as they released a “Top 10″ list that highlights the diversity of life.

The 10 are “a reminder of the wonders awaiting us,” said Quentin Wheeler, president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, which issues the list. An estimated 10 million species are still unknown to science.

    • About Sharon

      "After covering science and medicine at Newsweek, then the Wall Street Journal, then Newsweek again, I joined Reuters in 2012 to report on neuroscience, genetics, cognitive science, and other research. My books have focused on the brain: 2007's Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain (the first popular account of the revolution in neuroplasticity), and 2012's The Emotional Life of Your Brain (with Richard J. Davidson)."
      Joined Reuters:
      2012
      Languages:
      English
    • More from Sharon

      Publications:
      The Emotional Life of Your Brain (2012)
      Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain (2007)
      The Mind and the Brain (2002)
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