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U.S. Appeals court throws out artist's Obamacare challenge
 By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a long-shot challenge to the Obamacare health law brought by an Iowa artist. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected claims made by Matt Sissel, who was backed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group. Sissel claimed, among other things, that the 2010 law violated a provision of the U.S. Constitution that says any revenue-raising legislation must originate in the House of Representatives, not in the Senate, as Obamacare did. In Tuesday's ruling, the appeals court upheld a lower court decision that dismissed the case.

Conference committee approves $17B VA health bill
 

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., joined by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014, about a bipartisan deal to improve veterans' health care that would authorize at least $17 billion to fix the health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators on Tuesday approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.



House-Senate negotiators approve $17B VA bill
 

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., joined by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014, about a bipartisan deal to improve veterans' health care that would authorize at least $17 billion to fix the health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators have approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.



Piriformis Syndrome: A Real Pain in the Butt for Runners
 

Piriformis Syndrome: A Real Pain in the Butt for RunnersOuch! Piriformis syndrome is a painful and sometimes serious injury that causes pain around the hip joint and the buttocks. The injury occurs in the piriformis muscle, a thin band of muscle that originates at the sacral spine (back of the pelvis) and attaches to the greater trochanter of the femur (the big, bony "bump" on the outside top of the...



Letting You In
 

Letting You InFor somebody who likes to write, my output is meager. About 20 published short stories, a short story compilation, five produced plays, a privately published memoir, and these blogs.At 87, what's left in me is only these blogs. I intend to continue them until I can no longer write or HuffPost no longer posts. They will be personal. As Thoreau...



Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida
 Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes and cause flesh-eating disease.

U.S. House Speaker Boehner dismisses talk of impeaching Obama
 

Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans have no plans to begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner declared on Tuesday, putting the blame on Democrats for stirring up pre-midterm election tensions in Washington. Boehner is, however, hoping this week to pass Republican legislation that would authorize a lawsuit, claiming Obama overstepped his powers in ordering unilateral changes to his landmark healthcare law known as "Obamacare." Any such lawsuit could take years to wind through the court system. Meanwhile, Obama is weighing whether to take executive action to scale back deportations of some undocumented residents, a move that would further rachet up tensions with Republicans, who have blocked comprehensive changes to U.S. immigration law, insisting the president take stronger action to stop the flow of illegal migrants. "We have no plans to impeach the president.



Impax Parkinson's drug future shaky as FDA flags factory issues
 (Reuters) - Impax Laboratories Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about the company's factory in Taiwan, casting in doubt the future of its Parkinson's drug, rytary. Shares of Impax, which makes generics and specialty drugs to treat central nervous system disorders, fell as much as 17 percent on Tuesday, after the regulator listed 10 violations at the plant. The FDA had rejected the company's patented long-acting capsule to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in January last year, citing lingering manufacturing issues at Impax's Hayward plant in California. After that rejection, the company cut its volumes at the Hayward factory and made its Taiwan plant the primary facility for rytary.

Tools for planning end of life care are varied, untested: study
 By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many tools exist to help introduce people to the subject of advanced care planning, but they vary widely in what they offer and how accessible they are, according to a new research review. “Decision aids” have proliferated in many areas of medicine but have yet to really take off in the area of advanced directives, though they have a lot of potential to help doctors and patients, said Dr. Benjamin H. Levi of Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Levi was not one of the authors of the new paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine, but he did review it for the journal. Less than half of severely or terminally ill patients have an advance directive in their medical record, according to the study authors, and past research has found doctors are only correct 65 percent of the time in predicting what intensive care a patient would want.

Aetna says medical costs rose, insurer shares drop
 

A trader points up at a display on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeAetna Inc , the third-largest U.S. health insurer, reported a rise in medical costs on Tuesday, raising investor concerns that a long run of low growth in such costs might be ending and pushing shares in the industry lower. U.S. insurer profits have benefited from several years of relatively low use of medical services by their members due to an economic downturn and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients. Aetna said its medical spending rose in the second quarter due to an expensive new treatment for hepatitis C made by Gilead Sciences and the higher costs of covering patients who bought insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law for the first time. Aetna shares fell 3.4 percent to $81.94 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.



In Kansas, a Democrat makes hay on Brownback's budget woes
 

Democratic Governor candidate Paul Davis poses for a photographer at his headquarters in Lawrence, KansasBy Carey Gillam OVERLAND PARK Kan. (Reuters) - Paul Davis has emerged as the potential wrecker of red state politics. The 42-year-old Democratic nominee for governor in Kansas, one of the nation's reddest states, was a long shot when he announced his candidacy. Nearly a year later his moderate platform is drawing enough support from voters disenchanted with the Republican candidate, incumbent Governor Sam Brownback, and the state's flagging economy that Davis is threatening to upend the race. Support for Davis, the Kansas House minority leader, has climbed in recent weeks as Brownback's policies have coincided with a drastic decline in state revenue and mounting fears about funding shortfalls for schools.



Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
 When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way.

American man from Minnesota died from Ebola virus: NBC
 

SIM missionary Nancy Writebol and her husband David are pictured in this undated handout photoA 40-year-old man who died in a Nigerian hospital last week from the ebola virus was an American from Minnesota, his wife told NBC News on Tuesday. Decontee Sawyer told NBC that her husband, Patrick Sawyer, who was working for the Liberian government, collapsed July 20 in Lagos, Nigeria after flying there from Liberia. He had been working in Liberia since 2008, she said. Sawyer had been put in isolation in a hospital in Nigeria and died on Friday.



Guilt may spoil restorative effects of entertainment
 Although enjoying something pleasurable can restore “vitality” after a draining bout of demanding work, researchers found that users of entertainment media will get less benefit if they see the activity as procrastination rather than rest. The spent state following a period of self-control to complete a difficult job is known as ego-depletion, according to the study authors, and people in that condition are likely to crave pleasurable foods and easy, mindless entertainment. “To get a better understanding of what ego depletion means, it is helpful to think of human willpower in terms of a ‘muscle.’ Whenever we have to use self-control to resist a temptation or to continue an unpleasant task, the strength of this ‘muscle’ is depleted,” Leonard Reinecke told Reuters Health in an email. Reinecke, who led the study, is a researcher with the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany A growing body of research suggests that a little hedonistic enjoyment, including indulging in television, movies or computer games, can help people recover from ego-depletion, Reinecke and his coauthors write in the Journal of Communication.

Democrats urge no U.S. contracts for corporate tax 'deserters'
 By Kevin Drawbaugh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Corporations that move their tax domiciles abroad would be denied federal contracts under legislation offered on Tuesday by Democrats in the U.S. Congress, targeting tax-driven deals known as inversions. With November's congressional elections approaching, Democrats are blasting away at inversions. Few U.S. companies have done such deals, but as they become more common, they are attracting more negative publicity. "Those dodging their fair share of taxes should not be rewarded with taxpayer-funded government contracts," he said in a statement on the bill made with three other senior Democrats.

Hungarian competition watchdog probes Sanofi subsidiary
 BUDAPEST/PARIS (Reuters) - Hungary's competition watchdog GVH has raided the Hungarian headquarters of French drug maker Sanofi as the first step of proceedings against the firm for suspected abuse of its dominant market position. A Sanofi spokeswoman confirmed that the Hungarian watchdog had searched the company's offices on July 22. The watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday it had launched the probe after Sanofi, which sells several drugs in Hungary, refused to sign a contract with a drug wholesale company. Sanofi acquired Aventis in 2004, creating Sanofi-Aventis.

Osram to cut almost 8,000 jobs in switch to LED
 

The logo of lamp manufacturer Osram is pictured at the headquarters in MunichGerman lighting maker Osram Licht AG announced late on Tuesday plans for a new savings program that will include almost 8,000 job cuts, or around 23 percent of its staff, as it seeks to keep up with a shift in technology. It said that the extra measures would cost around 450 million euros and could result in it missing its long-term target for a reported operating profit margin of more than 8 percent in the fiscal year to the end of September, 2015. Osram also announced third quarter results a day earlier than planned, with sales of 1.2 billion euros ($1.61 billion) and better than expected adjusted earnings before tax and interest of 104 million euros. "While earnings continue to develop nicely, the growing market acceptance of LED technology is, as already announced, causing a significantly faster decline of the traditional business," said Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Dehen.



Top Sierra Leone Doctor Dies of Ebola
 Dr. Shek Umar contracted the virus while helping others.

US Ebola doctor 'weak and quite ill,' says colleague
 

Protective gear including boots, gloves, masks and suits, dry after being used in a treatment room in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia, July 24, 2014An American doctor who has contracted the dangerous Ebola virus in Liberia is "weak and quite ill," a colleague of his told AFP on Tuesday. Kent Brantly, 33, became infected with Ebola while working with patients in the Liberian capital of Monrovia as he helped treat victims of the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Brantly and another American healthcare worker, Nancy Writebol, are among the more than 1,200 people who have become infected with Ebola in West Africa since March. More than 670 people have died, including Omar Khan, a leading Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, who passed away on Tuesday after being hospitalized with the virus last week.



Adolescent stowaway found dead on U.S. military plane
 

Security personnel run past a C-130 aircraft on static display at the front gate of Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The base has been on lockdown since late morning Wednesday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)The U.S. military has found the body of an adolescent male trapped in a compartment above the landing gear of a C-130 aircraft following a trip to Africa, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. The Pentagon said the body was found at Ramstein Air Base in Germany during a routine post-flight maintenance inspection on Sunday. "At this point, it is unknown where or when the deceased entered the landing gear wheel well," Kirby said, describing the apparent stow-away as "an adolescent black male, possibly of African origin." As concerns swell over an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in several African countries, the military also confirmed that the body was tested for communicable diseases.



U.S. Senate unanimously confirms McDonald to head veterans agency
 

Obama nominates McDonald to head the Veterans Administration in WashingtonThe U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Bob McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, pinning Washington's hopes on the former Procter & Gamble Co chief executive to launch a massive turnaround effort at the troubled agency. McDonald, 61, replaces former Army general Eric Shinseki, who resigned in late May amid a scandal over cover-ups of long waiting times for health care appointments at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The 97-0 vote to confirm McDonald comes a week after he pledged to bring corporate-style discipline and accountability to the agency, refocusing its 341,000 employees on serving veterans. McDonald, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served as P&G CEO from 2009 to 2013, is widely expected to start his new job with an extra $17 billion at his disposal to reduce months-long health care wait times in new legislation slated for passage by Congress this week.



Weekday heart attacks still getting quicker treatment at hospitals
 By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who arrive at the hospital with a heart attack during business hours are more likely to survive than those who show up on weeknights, weekends or holidays, according to a new study. It was actually surprising how similar quality of care seemed to be for working hours and after hours in the hospital, and even for balloon angioplasty, there was only a difference of 16 minutes, said study author Dr. Jorge F. Saucedo of the NorthShore University Health System in Evanston, Illinois. In the most severe heart attacks, a blood vessel in the heart is completely blocked. In the new study, which included more than 50,000 severe heart attacks between 2007 and 2010 in the U.S., patients who arrived at the hospital during work hours took an average of 56 minutes to have angioplasty, the balloon procedure.

Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies from virus
 

Khan, head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone, poses in FreetownBy Umaru Fofana and Adam Bailes FREETOWN (Reuters) - The doctor leading Sierra Leone's fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record died from the virus on Tuesday, the country's chief medical officer said. The death of Sheik Umar Khan, who was credited with treating more than 100 patients, follows those of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two American medics in neighboring Liberia, highlighting the dangers faced by staff trying to halt the disease's spread across West Africa. Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February, according to the World Health Organisation. The contagious disease, which has no known cure, has symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.



Guards at New York City jail accused of drug trafficking
 By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three guards at New York City's Rikers Island Correctional Facility have been indicted on charges of smuggling drugs into the city's largest jail complex and selling contraband to inmates, authorities said on Tuesday. The charges stem from a investigation involving wire taps and undercover agents posing as friends and family members of inmates who met up with the Department of Correction officers, according to the city Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. The prosecutor's office alleged that the officers accepted contraband pills and payment from the undercover agents. Two officers face charges of drug possession and trafficking narcotics, including cocaine and the powerful painkiller oxycodone, into Rikers Island, along with other contraband, the prosecutor said.

Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens
 

Ebola outbreak mapAuthorities say the top doctor treating Ebola in Sierra Leone has died from the disease.



Pfizer leaves investors guessing on intentions for Astra
 

A man walks past Pfizer's world headquarters in New YorkPfizer Inc , which in May abandoned its $118 billion bid for AstraZeneca Plc , on Tuesday left investors guessing whether it would renew its pursuit of its British rival, but said it was considering other deals. Under UK takeover rules, AstraZeneca can attempt to re-engage with Pfizer in August, and Pfizer can make another run at AstraZeneca in November. Pfizer officials on Tuesday gave no hints of whether they would do so, although Chief Executive Ian Read said Pfizer is not currently "doing any work on AstraZeneca" because of a six-month quiet period imposed by U.K. regulators. Pfizer officially gave up its six-month quest to buy AstraZeneca after its final bid was rejected on May 26.



Phoenix Suns player arrested for super extreme DUI in Arizona
 By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Phoenix Suns basketball player has been arrested on suspicion of super extreme DUI in Arizona after attempting to drive home after a night out, authorities said on Tuesday. Forward-guard P.J. Tucker, 29, was taken to jail and released following the incident, which took place in Scottsdale on May 10 but only came to light this week, according to a police report. Police said Tucker, considered a team leader by insiders, was returning home from the W Scottsdale Hotel when he was pulled over by police after allegedly running a stop sign. Super extreme DUI is .20 or above under Arizona law.

Appeals court rules Mississippi abortion law unconstitutional
 By Emily Le Coz JACKSON Miss. (Reuters) - A Mississippi law that would shut down the state's only abortion clinic, forcing women to go outside the state for the procedure, is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. Upholding a lower court's preliminary injunction against the law, a three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that the law would place an undue burden on a woman's right to seek an abortion. The law, passed in 2012, required doctors at the state's sole abortion clinic to have the right to admit patients to local hospitals, a standard the clinic was not able to meet. Backers of the law argued that it would not stop women from seeking an abortion in a neighboring state, but the judges ruled that Mississippi could not rely on other states to uphold its constitutional duties.

Maryland man leaves hospital after bout with flesh-eating bacteria
 By John Clarke ANNAPOLIS Md. (Reuters) - A Maryland man who nearly lost a leg and his life to a flesh-eating bacterial infection he contracted in Chesapeake Bay, has been released from hospital, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. Rodney Donald, 66, was crabbing, swimming and kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay this month when a scrape became infected with vibrio vulnificus, an aggressive bacteria that feeds on flesh, a hospital spokeswoman said. Donald was taken to a hospital on July 11 when his right leg swelled up.

Malaysia tries to parlay appeal to Muslim visitors into medical tourism push
 

A general view of Prince Court Medical Centre in Kuala LumpurBy Trinna Leong KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Muslim tourists have long chosen Malaysia, its beaches and its malls as a holiday destination thanks to cultural affinity. Now the Southeast Asian country, where Muslims make up about 60 percent of the population, wants to parlay its visitor dividend into a bid to overtake its neighbors for the world's medical tourism crown. Malaysia is a new player in the market, competing with experienced, branded names. Most foreigners don't need to fill in a landing form." The number of foreigners seeking care in Malaysia more than doubled over five years to 770,134 in 2013.



Senators from Colorado, Washington want federal pot laws applied fairly
 

Employees stock their shelves with 2-gram packages of marijuana at Cannabis City during the first day of legal retail marijuana sales in Seattle, WashingtonBy Daniel Wallis DENVER (Reuters) - U.S. senators from Colorado and Washington, seeking clarity on federal rules that may affect legal marijuana businesses in their states, are urging the Obama administration to ensure federal agencies take a consistent approach to enforcement. The first pot retailers opened in Colorado at the start of this year, and in Washington earlier this month. While the federal government has said it will take a hands-off approach, assuming certain conditions are met, many would-be investors say they are put off by uncertainty over the status of marijuana businesses under federal law. In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Attorney General Eric Holder, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington and Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado said the federal government should support their efforts to establish a successful regulatory framework.



UPDATE 2-NCAA to settle head injury suit with $70 million fund
 (Corrects amount of NFL settlement) By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) - The NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit by providing $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of current and former student athletes in a move expected to change the way such injuries are handled at colleges nationwide, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The class-action agreement, if approved by a federal judge and class members, applies to student athletes in all sports who have played at schools regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at any time in the past until 50 years in the future. The settlement does not include bodily injury claims, which plaintiff's attorney Steve Berman said should be handled on an individual basis. He said the settlement is aimed at protecting student athletes on the field.

NCAA to settle head injury suit with $70 million fund
 By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - The NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit by providing $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of current and former student athletes in a move expected to change the way such injuries are handled at colleges nationwide, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The class-action agreement, if approved by a federal judge and class members, applies to student athletes in all sports who have played at schools regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at any time in the past until 50 years in the future. The settlement does not include bodily injury claims, which plaintiff's attorney Steve Berman said should be handled on an individual basis. He said the settlement is aimed at protecting student athletes on the field.

In China food testing, safety inspectors are often one step behind
 

A man walks out of the entrance of Husi Food factory in ShanghaiBy Adam Jourdan and Clare Baldwin SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - When inspectors visited Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd earlier this summer, the production line at the plant now at the centre of an international food scandal appeared in good order, with fresh meat being handled by properly-attired workers and supervisors keeping a watchful eye over the process. On July 20, following an undercover local TV report that alleged workers used expired meat and doctored food production dates, regulators closed the factory, which is part of OSI Group LLC, a U.S. food supplier. Police have detained five people including Shanghai Husi's head and quality manager. The scandal - which has hit mainly big foreign fast-food brands including McDonald's Corp and Yum Brands Inc , which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains - underlines the challenges facing inspectors in China's fast-growing and sprawling food industry.



Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary
 

FILE - This July 22, 2014 file photo shows Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. House and Senate negotiators have approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays. The action comes as the Senate is set to vote Tuesday to confirm former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new VA secretary, replacing Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson. (AP Photo)The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.



Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma
 

FILE - This, June 24, 2014, file photo shows people swimming on a sunny day at Mission Beach in San Diego. Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.



$1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice
 

This undated handout photo provided by Gilead Sciences shows the Hepatitis-C medication Sovaldi. A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans. In less than six months, prescriptions for Sovaldi have eclipsed all other hepatitis-C pills combined, according to new data from IMS Health. (AP Photo/Gilead Sciences)WASHINGTON (AP) — The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million.



Science limited on the drinking age
 On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which withheld a percentage of highway funds from any state that didn't raise the minimum drinking age to 21.

5 things to know about Alzheimer's
 Approximately 44 million people live with dementia worldwide, according to the Alzheimer's Association. By 2050, that number is expected to more than triple to 115 million.

Spanking's effect on kids' brains
 Researchers say physical punishment actually alters the brain -- not only in an "I'm traumatized!" kind of way, but also in an "I literally have less gray matter in my brain!" kind of way.

 
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