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Health

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias in life-threatening battle with his weight

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias has always been on the heavy side–in fact that’s what he’s known for. His punchline is a dig at his own weight problem, “I’m not fat…I’m fluffy.” But now the comedian’s obesity has caught up with him.  A few weeks ago, he announced on Instagram that he was canceling upcoming shows; saying, “I’m dealing...
Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure

Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure

  President Donald Trump is now pointing the finger at an ultra-conservative Republican faction in the House for the GOP failure to rally a vote on House speaker Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act, scuttling the bill on Friday. >> Read more trending news But on Friday, it wasn’t the far-right Freedom Caucus, but the Democrats Trump publicly blamed for the measure’s failure...
GOP replacement for Obamacare would leave Americans, Texans stranded

GOP replacement for Obamacare would leave Americans, Texans stranded

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has flaws. That much is clear. Instead of fixing and improving it so Obamacare continues to be sustainable going forward, Republicans led by House Speaker Paul Ryan are proposing to replace it with a measure that would further break the nation’s health care system. Interestingly, the GOP plan has been attacked from the right and left, albeit for different...
GOP health care plan goes up in smoke; now fix Obamacare

GOP health care plan goes up in smoke; now fix Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has flaws. That much is clear. But its replacement, the American Health Care Act, would have further broken the nation’s health care system. Instead of fixing and improving Obamacare so it continues to be sustainable going forward, Republicans led by House Speaker Paul Ryan wasted time and clout with a proposal that put politics ahead of people. No wonder...
Voices: My ACA experience

Voices: My ACA experience

Devin Williams, a chiropractor and nurse practitioner at the Clinical Educational Center at University Medical Center Brackenridge, screen Juventina Martinez for knee pain in March.
Scientists develop blood test to detect, find cancer

Scientists develop blood test to detect, find cancer

Scientists at the University of California may have just made the next breakthrough in the battle against cancer. A test called CancerLocator works by looking for DNA released from tumors and circulates in the blood, The Telegraph reported. >> Read more trending news And the test doesn’t just find cancer, it can also tell doctors where the cancer is located. That’s because tumors...
Commentary: Why affordable insurance alone won’t keep Americans healthy

Commentary: Why affordable insurance alone won’t keep Americans healthy

As business owners, when our broker recommended four years ago that my husband and I get off the group PPO and switch to marketplace PPO insurance — which saved our company $400 a month due to our age — it seemed like a good idea. At Year One, there was no difference in the quality of insurance. At Year Two, our premiums escalated equal to the cost of our company’s group plan &mdash...
Commentary: This is what happens when health insurance is a privilege

Commentary: This is what happens when health insurance is a privilege

Can you make someone care when they’ve had no personal experience with how devastating something can be? Until you stare a health crisis in the face without insurance, I guess it’s hard to picture that reality. So, what does “people will die without Obamacare” mean? Well, I can tell you. My boyfriend Ryan Noriega died from cancer in 2012. He died after President Barack Obama...
Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?

Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?

The Republican bill that is set to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for a vote Thursday, as President Donald Trump and leaders in the House scramble to secure enough support for the measure to pass. The American Health Care Act could be dead on arrival at the House, however, as a number of Republican lawmakers are saying they intend to vote “no” on the bill. The...
Pres. Trump tweets video to gain support for health care vote

Pres. Trump tweets video to gain support for health care vote

President Donald Trump has used his traditional pipeline to the people to help gain support for his plan to abolish Obamacare. >> Read more trending news  Hours before the vote is set to begin, Trump posted a video that spells out what he says were lies given to the American people when the Affordable Care Act went into existence while not explaining what his proposed American Health...
Breast implants linked to rare cancer, 9 deaths to date FDA says

Breast implants linked to rare cancer, 9 deaths to date FDA says

The Food and Drug Administration has officially linked breast implants to nine deaths from a rare cancer.  The FDA has received more than 350 reports, including the nine deaths, as of Feb. 1, about breast implant-linked anaplastic large cell lymphoma, ALCL, an extremely rare cancer that affects the immune system. “The exact number of cases remains difficult to determine due to significant...

Central Texas nurse likely infected patient with Hepatitis C in 2015, federal report says

A Central Texas nurse likely infected at least one patient with Hepatitis C when the nurse reused saline syringes, according to a report this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2015 incident happened in Region 7 of the Department of State Health Services, a 30-county area that includes the Austin metro area counties of Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop, agency...
Texas Republican holdouts imperil GOP health care bill

Texas Republican holdouts imperil GOP health care bill

Heading into what could be the most critical vote of the Trump presidency, about 10 of the 25 Republican members of Congress from Texas have yet to declare their support for the GOP plan to replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act. Three of the seven Republicans representing parts of Travis County have yet to give a firm “yes,” though U.S. Reps. Roger Williams, R-Austin, and...
Commentary: Legislators must fix failed promise of step therapy

Commentary: Legislators must fix failed promise of step therapy

Unfortunately, “step therapy” is a common practice in the insurance world. It requires patients to try out a cheaper, alternative prescription drug than the medication their physician originally prescribed. The hope is that the cheaper option will prove to be equivalent and effective. All too often, it’s not. Only when – after considerable lost time – the proposed alternative...
Bill aims to expand coverage of new breast cancer screening technology

Bill aims to expand coverage of new breast cancer screening technology

Austin resident Anne Hunt gets a mammogram every year, and she didn’t hesitate to pay extra for a more detailed 3D scan that can detect cancer in its earlier stages last year, though Texas insurers typically don’t cover the cost. The $60 fee for the imaging — not covered by Hunt’s insurance — was “worth every penny,” she says. But that cost could put the technology...
Woman featured in CDC anti-smoking ad talks about pregnancy and smoking and her experience

Woman featured in CDC anti-smoking ad talks about pregnancy and smoking and her experience

Amanda Brenden is featured in Tips from a Former Smoker ad campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
John Young: Blind fury: F-rating for wreckage from Trumpcare

John Young: Blind fury: F-rating for wreckage from Trumpcare

The Fujita scale is the “F” by which weather people rate tornadoes. F-1: A carport down. F-5: Whole city blocks reduced to grout. We now lean on such comparisons in assessing the shades of disaster that would emanate from Trumpcare, especially compared with what Donald Trump claimed would happen. Trump the campaigner said his plan would provide “insurance for everyone.” The...
Commentary: Volunteers needed to help end Alzheimer’s

Commentary: Volunteers needed to help end Alzheimer’s

Today, hundreds of thousands of people in Texas deal with the harsh realities of Alzheimer’s disease everyday — either because they are diagnosed with it or because they experience the impact of the disease firsthand as they care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Without any new medical breakthroughs, experts believe the number of case of Alzheimer’s will triple by 2050. Worldwide...
Houston considers use of genetically modified mosquitoes

Houston considers use of genetically modified mosquitoes

Officials are considering releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in Houston as part of the fight against the insects known to carry diseases such as the Zika virus. The Houston Chronicle has reported that Harris County officials are negotiating with a British biotech company, Oxitec, to release mosquitoes that have been genetically engineered to produce offspring that die. Oxitec has yet to try...
Your kids and poison don’t mix. Some reminders for poison prevention week

Your kids and poison don’t mix. Some reminders for poison prevention week

Laundry detergent pods are one of those household items we don’t think of as poisonous, but they are.
Commentary: Shuttering supported living centers hurts our vulnerable

Commentary: Shuttering supported living centers hurts our vulnerable

Senate Bill 602 would establish a commission to evaluate the future of each of the 13 state supported living center (SSLC) currently serving persons with severe intellectual developmental disabilities. Authored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), the bill would authorize five gubernatorial appointees to identify centers that should be shuttered or consolidated with other centers...
Parents, new free support group open to Austin middle-schoolers with mental health concerns

Parents, new free support group open to Austin middle-schoolers with mental health concerns

#OK2Talk is a support group for teens. Last fall we wrote about the rate of suicide, specifically among middle school girls.
International study being done at Dell Children’s for Niemann-Pick disease reaches full enrollment

International study being done at Dell Children’s for Niemann-Pick disease reaches full enrollment

Pam Andrews, her husband Chris Andrews, and their two children Belle, 7, and Abby, 2, color together in their home in Southwest Austin last May.
Leander firefighter who refused vaccination sues to get job back

Leander firefighter who refused vaccination sues to get job back

A former Leander firefighter who refused to get a vaccination because of his religious beliefs has sued the city for firing him. The termination came in March 2016, after firefighter Brett Horvath refused to get the vaccination or wear a surgical mask for his entire 24-hour shift or transfer to a “less desirable” position, said his lawyer, Matt Bachop. He said Horvath refused in February...
Get by without Planned Parenthood? One Texas effort stumbles

Get by without Planned Parenthood? One Texas effort stumbles

In pushing a replacement for the Affordable Care Act that cuts off funds for Planned Parenthood, Republicans are out to reassure women who rely on the major health care organization that other clinics will step up to provide their low-cost breast exams, contraception and cancer screenings. Texas is already trying to prove it. But one big bet is quietly sputtering, and in danger of teaching the opposite...
7 things to know now: Winter storm; Pi Day protest; drones ok'd

7 things to know now: Winter storm; Pi Day protest; drones ok'd

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. Ok’s drone strikes: President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The authority was granted for CIA operations in Syria, but it was not clear if the agency had the authority to carry...
Children lose both parents to cancer within days of each other

Children lose both parents to cancer within days of each other

After losing both parents to cancer within days of each other, a group of siblings are thanking strangers around the world for their support. The Bennett family’s heartbreaking story went viral when 21-year-old Luke, 18-year-old Hannah and 13-year-old Oliver, released a heartbreaking photo of their parents online. The photo showed parents Mike and Julie Bennett holding hands at a hospital in...
Commentary: Tackle drug monopolies to bring medication prices down

Commentary: Tackle drug monopolies to bring medication prices down

The news that President Donald Trump takes the anti-baldness drug Propecia has temporarily bumped his war against the pharma sector from the front pages. Before his doctor offered this juicy tidbit, the focus was on Trump’s comment that drug companies were “getting away with murder” and his threat to authorize Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Wall Street took Trump’s remarks...
Has your doctor been up for 24 hours? Rule change will allow it for new residents

Has your doctor been up for 24 hours? Rule change will allow it for new residents

New guidelines by the organization that oversees medical residency programs for new doctors in the United States will soon allow first-year residents to work shifts as long as 24 hours, eight hours more than the current limit. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, announced Friday that new doctors in their first year of residency can work 80 hours a week starting on July...
HHS secretary Tom Price defends Trumpcare plan, says ‘nobody will be worse off’

HHS secretary Tom Price defends Trumpcare plan, says ‘nobody will be worse off’

The new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, defended the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in an exclusive interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. "I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we're going through," Price told host Chuck Todd. House...
Commentary: Legalizing drug importation harms Texas’ patients, economy

Commentary: Legalizing drug importation harms Texas’ patients, economy

President Donald Trump promises to help lower America’s prescription drug bills. How? By allowing patients to buy medicines from overseas pharmacies. Though intended to help everyday Americans, legalizing drug importation would actually harm them. It would force American pharmacies to compete on a deeply uneven playing field. Foreign companies, benefiting from the socialist price controls of...
Did Texas lawmakers grant tax break on condoms? Once, yes.

Did Texas lawmakers grant tax break on condoms? Once, yes.

Get every fact check first. Follow PolitiFact Texas on Twitter. An Austin legislator popped a condom claim that made the PolitiFact Texas reporting team wonder. State Rep. Donna Howard, a Democrat, recently told reporters for the Austin bureau of the Dallas Morning News that condoms used to be exempt from the state sales tax, though no longer. That proved correct. For more than seven years through...
Herman: How do dentists, doctors defend serving alcohol to patients?

Herman: How do dentists, doctors defend serving alcohol to patients?

I went to the Capitol on Thursday in search of an answer to one of the bigger questions on my mind this legislative session. Oh sure, I’m curious about how our best and brightest handle the major issues of our time: writing a state budget, deciding who goes to which bathroom, how to stop the president from tweeting and what to do about school finance. (That last one can’t be too hard to...
Cornyn praises GOP health plan; Cruz says it needs a lot of work

Cornyn praises GOP health plan; Cruz says it needs a lot of work

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Wednesday praised the House Republican health care plan as “the most significant entitlement reform in decades.” But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the American Health Care Act is very much a work in need of a lot of progress. “As drafted, I do not believe this bill would pass the United States Senate,” Cruz said in a conference call with...

1st clinic to specifically serve transgender patients opens in Austin

As state lawmakers engage in a vitriolic debate about which bathrooms transgender people can use, a Central Texas nonprofit is opening the region’s first transgender-care clinic. The nonprofit Kind Clinic, in a medical complex near 30th Street and Interstate 35, will provide free services such as hormone therapy specifically for people who are transgender, gender non-conforming or nonbinary...
First clinic specifically serving transgender needs opens in Austin

First clinic specifically serving transgender needs opens in Austin

As state lawmakers engage in a vitriolic debate about which bathrooms transgender people can use, a Central Texas nonprofit is opening the region’s first transgender care clinic in Austin. The nonprofit Kind Clinic, in a medical complex near 30th Street and Interstate 35, will provide free services such as hormone therapy specifically for people who are transgender, gender nonconforming or nonbinary...

Some in Texas health sector have questions on GOP plan

Advocates for low-income Texans warn that the state’s bill for Medicaid costs is likely to grow — which could potentially lead to loss of benefits for some residents — if Republicans move forward with their newly released plan to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act. The proposed legislation, which the GOP dubbed the American Health Care Act, comes as budget writers in Austin...
Lyme disease risks could increase after mouse plague, experts warn

Lyme disease risks could increase after mouse plague, experts warn

A mouse plague in the northeast Hudson River Valley in 2016 could fuel an increase in Lyme disease this year, two leading experts are warning. New York ecologists Felicia Keesing and her husband, Rick Ostfeld, have studied the disease for two decades. “We’re anticipating 2017 to be a particularly risky year for Lyme,” Ostfeld said in an interview with NPR. The two ecologists have...
Commentary: New proposed abortion restriction is cruel legislation

Commentary: New proposed abortion restriction is cruel legislation

Texas lawmakers are once again attempting to ban abortion in the state. Proposed House Bill 87 would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy in cases of severe and irreversible fetal abnormalities. This bill is big government — plain and simple — and only enables politicians to insert their opinions into health care decisions that should be made by individuals and those they trust. This...
36 charged in K2 crackdown in downtown Austin

36 charged in K2 crackdown in downtown Austin

Austin police have charged 36 people as part of a three-month investigation targeting the sale and distribution of the synthetic drug K2, also known as spice and kush, to people downtown. Ten people were arrested Monday in connection with the operation, according to Austin police Lt. Oliver Tate with the narcotics unit. Five other suspects were already in custody on other charges and 21 are on the...
Study: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows

Study: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows

Obesity is strongly linked to the development of 11 types of cancers, including breast, kidney, rectum, colon, and pancreatic cancer, scientists warned in a new study. The research on excess body fat and cancer, published in the British Medical Journal, reviewed more than 200 studies on cancer and obesity and found “strong evidence” of a connection between increased body fat and 11 cancers...
Commentary: School Breakfast: The Most Important Meal in Texas

Commentary: School Breakfast: The Most Important Meal in Texas

In just a few days Texas schools will start putting a new, more positive spin on the old schoolyard taunt, “I dare you to eat that!” March 6th marks the start of National School Breakfast Week, and this year’s theme is “Take the School Breakfast Challenge.” Many adults may not particularly want to be challenged at breakfast, at least not before we have had our coffee...
Texas Medical Board sanctions controversial cancer doctor Burzynski

Texas Medical Board sanctions controversial cancer doctor Burzynski

A Houston doctor who has claimed to have found the cure for cancer was disciplined Friday by the Texas Medical Board after he was accused of misleading terminal cancer patients, including failing to disclose potential risks associated with the treatment. Friday’s hearing was the culmination of a three-year legal fight between Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who developed a controversial treatment for...
Texas Medical Board sanctions controversial cancer doctor Burzynski

Texas Medical Board sanctions controversial cancer doctor Burzynski

The Texas Medical Board released a statement about its action in the Burzynski case. “The violations as detailed in the order, and supported by the judges’ findings, show a pattern of misleading patients at the Burzynski Clinic. These misrepresentations can lead to direct harm to the public if left unchecked. In total there were over 130 violations cited.” “Among the violations...
Doctor developing vaccine that would prevent breast, ovarian and certain lung cancers

Doctor developing vaccine that would prevent breast, ovarian and certain lung cancers

A Jacksonville doctor is working on a vaccine that would fight off several types of cancer. He said he’s about halfway through the process before it would get to the market. A vaccine called TPIV 200 would prevent breast, ovarian and some lung cancers, and it is being created in a Mayo Clinic lab by Dr. Keith Knutson. "It would not only enable us to prevent disease from recurring in individuals...
Jonathan Sessler, UT’s inventor of year, challenges odds in life, work

Jonathan Sessler, UT’s inventor of year, challenges odds in life, work

In his cramped fifth-floor office on the University of Texas campus, just down the hall from the lab where he and his colleagues invent molecules, UT’s 2016 inventor of the year wants to talk about the odds of failure. Jonathan Sessler is a cheerful man who twice survived an aggressive form of cancer. He co-founded a $21 billion biotech company. He is close to fulfilling a promise he made to...
Health officials on alert for rabies after dead bat found in downtown Buda

Health officials on alert for rabies after dead bat found in downtown Buda

Health officials are putting the public on alert for rabies after a dead bat was found in downtown Buda. The decomposed body of the bat was discovered on the ground Wednesday in the 100 block of Houston Street at 1:13 p.m. near the roadway. The bat was tested by the Department of State Health Services, but because the bat was decomposed, health officials said they could not determine if it had rabies...
Commentary: Argument against East Austin view corridor doesn’t add up

Commentary: Argument against East Austin view corridor doesn’t add up

As a matter of social equity, Austin City Council Member Ora Houston has offered a proposal to establish Capitol view corridors for residents of East Austin. This proposal has run into the might of the special interests, which stand to reap enormous financial gain through development of the Central Health campus where the Brackenridge Hospital is located. That development would block the view of the...
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