Jun 5, 2009 | 7
At least 62 percent of all U.S. family bankruptcies result from medical expenses, reports a study released yesterday in The American Journal of Medicine—an increase from the 46 percent the reseachers found in 2001.
Analyzing data from 2,314 randomly selected 2007 (pre–mortgage meltdown) bankruptcy filings revealed that most of those who had claimed bankruptcy because of medical expenses had health insurance, owned homes, were in their mid-40s, and had middle class incomes.
High out-of-pocket expenses for those already insured and the loss of private insurance were the primary reasons for medical bankruptcy, report the study authors—many of whom are active members of Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that advocates for a single-payer system.
Mar 26, 2009 | 40
Medical marijuana advocates are up in arms over yesterday's federal raid of a marijuana provider in northern California, claiming that the action is at odds with a policy change announced last week by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents arrived at Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco's South of Market district, confiscating marijuana plants, lights, and other cultivation equipment as about a dozen people protested outside, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Emmalyn's had reportedly been operating under a temporary permit issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A DEA spokesperson told the Associated Press that the clinic may be in violation of federal and state laws, but refused to provide any other details of the case.
Mar 5, 2009 | 4
A new study says that the average American is exposed to six times more radiation from medical tests than in the early 1980s, prompting warnings that physicians may be upping patients' cancer risk by giving them unnecessary exams.
A study by The National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) shows that the average American's overall radiation exposure jumped from 3.6 millisieverts (mSv) to 6.2 mSv per year -- almost entirely a result of radiation-based medical tests. These tests, once responsible for only 15 percent of Americans' exposure to radiation, now account for nearly 50 percent. In contrast, there was almost no change in so-called background radiation, which naturally emanates from soil, rocks and other environmental substances.
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