• New Ky. Senate campaign ads target Medicare

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates turned their attention to Medicare on Thursday with a pair of statewide TV ads targeting the state's roughly 800,000 seniors who benefit from the government health insurance program. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes turned to her grandmother once again for a starring role, only this time it was a serious discussion about her grandfather's stroke in 2000. Elsie Case, who appeared in a popular ad during Grimes' 2011 run for Secretary of State, talked about the financial pressure caused by her husband's stroke in 2000. "We scrimped and saved, because suddenly our finances were going for medical bills," Case says in the 60-second spot. Grimes comes from a wealthy fam

  • Health exchange addresses dropped policies

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The leader of California's health exchange said Thursday that the state is trying to improve notifications to consumers whose policies are shifted from private insurance to Medi-Cal during income checks and eligibility updates. Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee told board members that an unknown number of individuals were taken off their private health plans, then switched with no or inadequate notice to the state's version of Medicaid, which serves those who are poor, have lower-incomes or are disabled. Lee said it's an important issue that he takes seriously.

  • 7 killed while on Guinea Ebola education campaign

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The prime minister of Guinea says seven bodies have been found in rural Guinea after a group of local residents attacked Guinean health workers carrying out Ebola awareness efforts in a rural area. In an announcement made on state television late Thursday, Mohamed Saïd Fofana said authorities had located the bodies a day after the group was abducted by assailants armed with rocks and knives in the village of Wome. Among the dead were three Guinean radio journalists who had been covering the education efforts. An Ebola epidemic in West Africa first emerged in Guinea earlier this year.

  • Jury won't consider deaths in Ga. salmonella trial

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Shirley Mae Almer died a few days before Christmas in 2008 at a Minnesota hospital where the 72-year-old woman was already weak with illness when she was fed peanut butter contaminated with salmonella. Nearly six years later, a federal jury is weighing criminal charges against the man who owned the peanut plant blamed for producing tainted food that sickened hundreds across the U.S. But after six weeks of trial testimony that included nearly 50 witnesses and an estimated 1,000 documents, jurors never heard that Almer or anybody else died after eating the company's peanut butter. The jury ended its first full day of deliberations Thursday without a verdict in the trial of former Peanut Corporation of Ameri

  • FDA approves Eli Lilly's injectable diabetes drug

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new injectable diabetes drug from Eli Lilly and Co. for adults with the most common form of the disease. The agency on Thursday cleared the drug, Trulicity, as a weekly injection to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 26 million Americans. The drug is part of a new class of medicines called GLP-1 agonists, which spur the pancreas to create extra insulin after meals. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of U.S. cases of the disease and occurs when the body doesn't properly produce or use the hormone insulin. Drugs to treat the disease represent a large slice of Lilly's product portfolio, which includes the i

  • UN calls Ebola a threat to international peace

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council called the Ebola outbreak in Africa "a threat to international peace and security" Thursday and urged the world to provide health experts, field hospitals and medical supplies to combat the rapidly accelerating and deadly virus. A resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N.'s most powerful body at an emergency meeting with an unprecedented 130 countries as co-sponsors reflected the rising global concern at the swiftly spreading Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It marked only the second time that the Security Council has addressed a public health emergency, the first being the HIV/AIDS pandemic. U.N. health chief Dr. Margaret Chan said the "deadly and dreaded Ebola virus got ahead

  • Study shows 95 percent of Oregonians now insured

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new study shows 95 percent of Oregonians now have health insurance coverage, largely thanks to the state's expansion of Medicaid to many previously ineligible low-income adults. The study, released Thursday, was conducted by Oregon Health & Science University in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. It shows the number of uninsured Oregonians fell from about 550,000 in June 2013 to roughly 202,000 in June 2014, or about 5 percent of Oregon's population of 3.9 million residents. Most of the newly insured gained coverage through the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's version of Medicaid, which expanded by 360,000 people. Some previously had private insurance, but it's likely the vast majority w

  • Senate races: Democrats decry birth control plan

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — When a handful of Republican Senate candidates called for oral contraceptives to be sold without a prescription, Democrats cried foul. Republicans still want to repeal "Obamacare," they said, and insurers generally don't pay for over-the-counter products. Women would end up paying more for over-the-counter contraceptives than they would under the free, mandatory coverage provided under President Barack Obama's 2010 health law, Democrats said. The Republican pitch to sell select forms of birth control over the counter is "a cynical attempt to mask their larger efforts," said the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

  • Rob Ford releases audio statement from hospital

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    TORONTO (AP) — Just hours before he begins aggressive chemotherapy for a rare and difficult-to-beat cancer, a rough-sounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford released an audio statement from his hospital room on Thursday urging people to vote for his brother for mayor. Ford said he soon would start chemotherapy to treat the cancer that forced him to do what months of scandals over drug and alcohol abuse could not — drop his bid for re-election. His doctor announced Wednesday that Ford has a malignant liposarcoma. Ford, who has been hospitalized for more than a week with a tumor in his abdomen, announced Friday that he was pulling out of the Oct. 27 race and his brother Doug, a city councilor, would run in his place.

  • 2 Illinois women die from West Nile virus

    Yesterday

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two women with West Nile virus have died, becoming the state's first deaths from the illness this year, health officials announced Thursday. One woman was in her 70s and the other was in her 80s, said Chicago Department of Public Health spokesman Ryan Gage. Another two Chicago residents with the virus have recovered. Statewide, health officials have reported 15 human cases of West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. "Although we've seen a cooler and wetter summer, which has resulted in less West Nile virus activity, these deaths show the virus is circulating and can cause death," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

  • West Nile virus blamed for Lee County death

    Yesterday

    TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health says a Lee County woman has died from West Nile virus. The death is the fourth from the virus reported in Mississippi this year. Health officials did not identify the victim. The disease often is transmitted by mosquitoes.

  • Perry, A&M dedicate key element of vaccine center

    Yesterday

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry and top officials from Texas A&M University dedicated a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant Thursday that's intended to have the capacity to produce bulk flu vaccine that can be delivered to as many as 50 million people within four months of a declared pandemic. The Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Facility is a cornerstone of the College Station school's growing center to battle contagious diseases and bioterrorism. Officials say the center — dubbed the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing — could generate $41 billion in expenditures in Texas over the next 25 years and represents the largest federal investment in Texas since NASA in the 1960

  • Bill seeks fairer treatment for black lung victims

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Bob Casey unveiled legislation Thursday aimed at ensuring fairer treatment for coal miners with black lung disease who are pursuing benefits claims. The bill by the two coal-state senators comes after an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. The yearlong investigation won a Pulitzer prize for the Center for Public Integrity.

  • Justices block lawsuit over Boeing worker's death

    Yesterday

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington's Supreme Court says in a split decision that Boeing can't be sued over a worker's death from asbestos exposure. Worker Gary Walston was exposed to asbestos throughout his long career at Boeing, but especially during a span in 1985 when crews began repairing pipe insulation in the ceiling of the shop where he worked. The crews wore respirators and "moon suits," but the nearby workers were afforded no such protection. Instead, their supervisors told them to avoid standing directly beneath the overhead crews. Walston developed mesothelioma and died last year. His widow sued Boeing, saying the company caused his disease.

  • CDC tells healthy adults not to forget flu vaccine

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's time for flu vaccine again and while it's important for the whole family, this year health officials have some different advice for different ages: Certain kids should opt for the ouchless nasal spray. Seniors, expect to get a new kind of pneumonia shot along with that flu jab. And too many young and middle-age adults are skipping the vaccine altogether, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — even though there are more options than ever. "The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get a flu vaccination," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Thursday, before rolling up his sleeve to get his own flu shot.

  • White House orders plan for antibiotic resistance

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Signaling the seriousness of the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant germs, President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the government to create a national plan to fight them by early 2015. "This is an urgent health threat and a threat to our economic stability as well," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as he joined two of Obama's scientific advisers to announce the steps. Already the world is facing a situation where once-treatable germs can kill. Repeated exposure to antibiotics can lead germs to become resistant to the drug so that it is no longer effective in treating a particular illness.

  • Popular Venezuelan cartoonist fired over drawing

    Yesterday

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A popular cartoonist said she lost her job over her representation of the late Hugo Chavez's iconic signature as a flat-lined heartbeat to dramatize Venezuela's health care crisis. Award-winning Rayma Suprani said that she was fired by El Universal, one of the country's largest and most-prestigious dailies, after the sketch was published Wednesday. The ouster of the veteran journalist has alarmed press freedom advocates who say once-independent media are seeing criticism of the socialist government snuffed out. Several columnists resigned from El Universal to protest its sale in July to a Spanish company whose shareholders are unknown and who they fear may represent the government's interests.

  • Michigan Red Cross plans staffing consolidations

    Yesterday

    DETROIT (AP) — The American Red Cross is transforming some of its operations in Michigan. Spokeswoman Allison Koenigbauer tells The Associated Press that the organization will consolidate some teams to "save donor dollars" and to "have more resources to spend" on people and communities served by the nonprofit. Details of the planned consolidation were first reported Thursday by WHMI-FM. The station says the Red Cross chapter in Livingston County will be merged into the Mid-Michigan Chapter. Koenigbauer says no final organizational or staffing decisions have been reached but says the Red Cross' goal is to increase services by adding more volunteer leaders. Local volunteers and paid staff will continue to help peo

  • Bill seeks fairer treatment for black lung victims

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Bob Casey unveiled legislation Thursday aimed at ensuring fairer treatment for coal miners with black lung disease as they pursue benefits claims. The bill by the two coal-state senators comes after an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. The yearlong investigation won a Pulitzer prize for the Center for Public Integrity.

  • Health law enrollment now 7.3M

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law — down from 8 million reported earlier this year. Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (TAV'-eh-nur) updated the numbers at a hearing Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As expected, the latest figures showed slippage. Insurers had said that about 10 percent of their new policyholders failed to seal the deal by paying their first month's premium. Tavenner, whose agency oversees HealthCare.gov, said the new count represents paying customers as of Aug. 15. She expects total enrollment to remain basically stable until the next open enroll