December 18, 2012 Starting in January, the French government will provide contraceptives for girls ages 15 to 18 — without charge and without parental notification. The measure, which passed parliament without debate, aims to reduce teen pregnancies by increasing access to birth control and education.
December 12, 2012 Democrats are worried that cuts to the program will go beyond the impact on the people it serves. It will also affect the Affordable Care Act, which calls for expanding Medicaid to as many as 16 million more people. The states are watching closely because the federal government has promised it will pay most of those additional costs.
December 11, 2012 In the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling this summer, it decided that states' plans for expansion of the Medicaid program should be optional. That led governors to ask if they could expand the program in part but still receive federal funding. The administration has said no.
December 7, 2012 With the presidential election decided, doctors and some advocates are calling for the administration to make it easier for teenagers to get the morning-after birth control pill.
December 7, 2012 Somebody poured a solution of industrial strength bleach into a 55-gallon drum, triggering a release of toxic chlorine gas a Tyson Foods plant. Language barriers contributed to the accident, government investigators concluded.
December 5, 2012 To raise vaccination rates, some states have made it much harder for parents to get exemptions for their children from immunizations based on personal beliefs. One doctor says restrictions could backfire.
December 5, 2012 The traditions of medical education die hard. Many doctors in training still work extreme hours, despite rules that limit the lengths of shifts for medical residents. One residency director calls for doctors educated under the old system to stop bashing the younger generation for being soft.
December 4, 2012 Economists say that excluding the value of employer-sponsored health insurance from federal taxes makes no sense. But many worry that changing the tax code could mean higher taxes or that employers would push down the value of the health insurance they provide.
December 4, 2012 Even in a state where top Republicans led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that Florida has to act fast to comply with the new law. But many Tea Party members are still calling on state lawmakers to reject the health care law.