NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

First Step In Health Exchange Enrollment: Train The Helpers

Assisters get up to speed on how best to explain the new health coverage choices during training on Sept. 25 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 2:06 pm

Even as the Affordable Care Act's new health exchanges open for business, polls show the public is still pretty confused about how they're supposed to work.

The latest monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fact, found that two-thirds of those without insurance said they don't have enough information about the law to know how it will affect them.

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NPR Story
4:23 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Colorado's Exchange Opens After Years of Bipartisan Effort

Colorado has taken its own route to building a health exchange.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:27 am

Colorado's health care exchange opened as planned today, at 8 am Mountain time. Not long after that, the website started scrolling a message: "Due to overwhelming interest, we are temporarily suspending the creation of accounts, please continue to browse plans."

The state has been planning for this day since 2007, when leaders from both political parties in the state started talking about overhauling health care. It's one of just 16 states that chose to create its own health insurance exchange, rather than using one run by the federal government.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Program Feeding Women And Infants In Lurch

At a farmers market in Washington, D.C., recipients of federal food assistance like the WIC program can use vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:23 pm

Among those affected by the chaos of the government shutdown are 9 million low-income women and children who may be worrying where next week's meal is going to come from.

They rely on the government for food assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:52 pm

Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how the shutdown of the federal government is affecting the Pentagon:

If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

For Middle-Aged Women, Stress May Raise Alzheimer's Risk

Stressed out? Who isn't? Stress can cause physical changes in the brain that may be linked to Alzheimer's.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:27 pm

Like most middle-aged women, I am stressed out. The work, the family, the aging parents — all things that jolt me awake at 3 a.m.

Does this mean I'm setting myself up for Alzheimer's in old age? Well, maybe.

Researchers in Sweden say that women who reported stress in midlife from experiences like divorce or a family member's illness were more likely to have dementia or Alzheimer's disease in old age.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

These Folks Went Vegetarian Back When It Was Way Uncool

This gang founded Zurich's Vegetarians' Home and Teetotaller Cafe in 1898. Ambrosius Hiltl bought the joint and changed the name in 1903.
Courtesy Hiltl

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:09 pm

These days, many people wear their vegetarianism as a badge of honor — even if it's only before 6 p.m, as food writer Mark Bittman advocates. (Actually, he wants us to go part-time vegan.) There's even a World Vegetarian Day, which happens to be today, FYI.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

What Shutdown? WWII Vets Ignore Barricades To See Memorial

A World War II veteran visits the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:16 pm

Perhaps Congress can take a hint from these gentlemen:

The men in red shirts are World War II veterans, who traveled from Mississippi as part of an Honor Flight tour, which has been flying veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington since 2005, a year after the memorial opened.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Connecticut's Insurance Website Struggles At Opening

The online health exchange in Connecticut got off to a bumpy start Tuesday.
iStockphoto.com

Today is the day the uninsured can sign up for insurance on Connecticut's new health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. But technical glitches have hampered the rollout.

Kevin Counihan is pretty good at managing expectations. He's the head of Access Health CT, the agency that runs the state's new health insurance marketplace.

He's got his eyes on 2016 and beyond. By then, he says, we'll be able to judge whether the health care overhaul has succeeded.

So, for him, Oct. 1 may be exciting, but it's not all that telling.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:59 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

'BioShock' Blasts Its Way Into The Future Of Storytelling

What's that worried look, Elizabeth? Could it be that there's more to BioShock Inifinite than meets the eye?
Irrational Games

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Don't Buy Rouhani's Charm Offensive, Israel's Netanyahu Tells U.N.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told officials at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday that it's too early to ease sanctions on Iran, urging them not to be fooled by what he called a charm offensive by President Hasan Rouhani.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:04 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at Iran and its new president, Hasan Rouhani, in a speech at the United Nations Tuesday, saying that Iran is trying to fool the international community into easing sanctions on it, even as the country expands its nuclear program.

"Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too," Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly, referring to yellowcake uranium, a concentrated form of the radioactive element.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

1 In 8 Suffers From Chronic Hunger Globally, U.N. Report Says

Schoolgirls eat a free midday meal in Hyderabad, India, last month. India has offered such meals since the 1960s to persuade impoverished parents to send their children to school. A U.N. report released Tuesday finds modest progress in the worldwide fight against chronic hunger.
Mahesh Kumar A. AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:17 pm

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

WATCH: Newborn White Lion Cubs In South Korea

White lion cubs at South Korea's Everland zoo.
VOA video

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:41 am

If you're suffering withdrawal symptoms from the National Zoo's "pandacams" — sadly deemed "nonessential" and therefore shut down, along with much of the rest of the government — we have the perfect antidote:

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

8 Great 'Shutdown Pickup Lines'

The fun has begun.
Twitter

When a government shutdown loomed in 2011, the Twitterverse had some fun with #govtshutdownpickuplines.

They're back!

Here are some of the better, slightly naughty ones we're seeing (we also also checked #shutdownpicklines):

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The Salt
11:46 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Now You Can Go To Harvard And Learn Cooking Science From Top Chefs

YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:50 pm

It's one part Food Network, one part Mr. Science, two big handfuls of DIY, and probably going to be a whole lot of fun.

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Shots - Health News
11:45 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Exchange Shopping Starts Now, But No Need To Rush

Stephanie Groover of Independence Blue Cross provides information about coverage to commuters in Philadelphia on the opening day of the health insurance exchanges.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:26 pm

Well, today's the day health insurance marketplaces open for business. And despite a partial shutdown of the federal government and some technical jitters, they're available for insurance shoppers.

While Oct. 1 is a milestone in the implementation of the health law, other dates are likely more critical for consumers planning to shop for health insurance on their state marketplace.

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