GilmerFreePress.net

Study | Report | Audit | Survey | Research

Study, Report, Audit, Survey, Research

In Features….

The Free Press WV

►  Report: More young adults signing up for Obama health law

WASHINGTON — Midway through sign-up season, more young adults are getting coverage through President Barack Obama’s health care law. The number of new customers is also trending higher, officials said Tuesday in an upbeat report.

Outside analysts who reviewed the administration’s update said it reflects encouraging progress, but that may not dispel questions about the long-term future of the health insurance markets created under Obama’s 2010 overhaul. Premiums have been going up and getting new sign-ups remains a challenge.

Administration statistics also showed some continuing problems verifying the citizenship and income of applicants for subsidized coverage. Consumer advocates say those issues generally stem from the complexity of the law, and that many people who run into verification problems simply drop out. Some become uninsured again.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said more than 8.2 million people signed up or renewed coverage for 2016 from November 1 through December 19. Open enrollment ends on January 31. People who remain uninsured after that risk rising fines.

“We’re off to a strong start,“ Burwell said Tuesday, noting that the numbers reflect only the 38 states using the HealthCare.gov website and call center. Major states running their own programs, including California and New York, were not counted in Tuesday’s report, and their totals will be factored in later.

About 2.4 million people who’ve signed up are new to HealthCare.gov, said Burwell, ahead of last year’s levels.

And 2.1 million are under age 35, a coveted demographic because young adults tend to be healthy and their participation helps keep premiums in check. The number of younger adults signed up is close to double what it was at this point last year.

Obama’s health care law offers subsidized private health insurance to people who don’t have access to job-based coverage. This year nearly 85 percent of customers nationwide are receiving assistance that averages $271 a month.

Between the insurance markets and the law’s Medicaid expansion for low-income people, the health care law has helped bring down the nation’s uninsured rate to 9 percent, a historic low. That translates to more than 16 million people gaining coverage since the law passed five years ago.

Tuesday’s update amounted to a half-time report on the 2016 enrollment season.

Independent analysts said the administration should be able to meet or exceed its ultimate goal, which is having 10 million people signed up and paying premiums at the end of 2016. As of September 30, the insurance markets had about 9.3 million people enrolled and paying their premiums.

In the past, about 1 in 5 of those signed up at the start of the year has dropped out later. Some probably found jobs with health insurance benefits.

Elizabeth Carpenter of the consulting firm Avalere Health said the administration seems to be on track to exceed its 2016 enrollment goal, after attrition.

“The bigger question is if this sort of modest year-over-year growth is sufficient to ensure a balanced, stable risk pool over time and continue to attract insurer participation,“ added Carpenter.

In Features….

The Free Press WV

►  Mom’s Age Affects Child’s Intelligence

Think a mother’s age at childbirth plays any role in her child’s intelligence? According to data on British kids, it sure does. Using information on 18,000 children gathered over “an extended period of time,“ researchers from the London School of Economics say kids born to first-time moms in their 30s have better cognitive scores and “behavioral outcomes” than first-born children with mothers aged 23 to 29, the Independent reports. “First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier and have planned their pregnancies,“ lead author Alice Goisis tells the Times of London.

Published in Biodemography and Social Biology, the study also found that children born to women in their 40s are more often obese because their moms don’t play with them as much. This despite the fact that moms that age typically smoke less and breastfeed their kids, Marie Claire notes. But researchers admit they only culled data from 53 mothers in their 40s. There’s also the question of what defines intelligence: “Of course kids who have parents with more resources to offer (i.e., good schools, tutors, even high-quality nutrition) are going to do better when it comes to school and tests. But are book learning and intelligence really the same thing?“ writes Jacqueline Cote at Cafe Mom. “And I’m not saying that simply because the two children I had in my 20s are honor students! Really, I’m not.“

In Features….

The Free Press WV

►  Study: Depictions of Abortion on TV Have Real-Life Consequences

The women having abortions on TV are richer, whiter, and younger than in reality, and that can create serious problems for women and politicians in the real world, NPR reports. Researchers looked at 78 abortion plots on TV from 2005 to 2014 and published their results this month in Contraception. They found 90% of TV characters having abortions were white compared to 36% in real life. And 40% of real women having abortions are living in poverty compared to less than 20% on TV. Women on TV are 6,000 times more likely to die during an abortion. And on TV 15% of women getting abortions already have children; that number is four times higher in real life. “The majority of women getting abortions are already parenting, and the vast majority intend to parent during their lives,“ researcher Gretchen Sisson tells NPR.

Another major change between real life and TV is why women are having abortions. Medical Daily reports only 20% of women cite school or their career when having abortions—frequent “self-focused” reasons given by TV characters. In reality, women say they can’t afford to have the child or want to focus on the children they already have, according to NPR. Researcher Katrina Kimport tells Medical Daily that changes the way the public thinks about abortion funding—seeing abortion as a “want” rather than a “financial necessity.“ “Onscreen representations may influence public understandings, contributing to the production of abortion stigma and judgments about appropriate restrictions on abortion care,“ the study states. Nearly one-third of women will have an abortion by the time they’re 45, NPR reports.

In Features….

The Free Press WV

►  Study May Reveal Why Some People Live So Long

Science may finally have figured out why some people live so darn long. Researchers studying 1,800 people over the age of 100 and another 5,400 over the age of 90 discovered four genes linked to their longevity, Live Science reports. “There’s a reasonably strong genetic component to becoming a centenarian, and we want to find out what that is,“ researcher Stuart Kim says. “We’re beginning to unravel the mystery.“ Kim’s study—published in PLOS Genetics—identified genes related to blood type, cell division, and Alzheimer’s, as well as one known to make fruit flies live longer, that were either more or less common in the extremely old. In short, centenarians seem to have fewer genes connected to major diseases, according to Time.

“It seems intuitively obvious that avoiding disease is part of the strategy of becoming a centenarian,” Time quotes Kim. But he notes that conclusion goes against “really strong dogma in the field.“ Most researchers tend to believe undiscovered anti-aging genes are responsible, but Kim posits it could be much simpler: Centenarians may just get fewer diseases. According to Live Science, one of the four genes causes type O blood, which is known to be negatively associated with heart disease and cancer. Another of the genes is related to whether organ transplants are rejected or accepted, Time reports. According to Live Science, researchers hope further studies will turn up even more genetic similarities in centenarians.


►  Study: Depictions of Abortion on TV Have Real-Life Consequences

The women having abortions on TV are richer, whiter, and younger than in reality, and that can create serious problems for women and politicians in the real world, NPR reports. Researchers looked at 78 abortion plots on TV from 2005 to 2014 and published their results this month in Contraception. They found 90% of TV characters having abortions were white compared to 36% in real life. And 40% of real women having abortions are living in poverty compared to less than 20% on TV. Women on TV are 6,000 times more likely to die during an abortion. And on TV 15% of women getting abortions already have children; that number is four times higher in real life. “The majority of women getting abortions are already parenting, and the vast majority intend to parent during their lives,“ researcher Gretchen Sisson tells NPR.

Another major change between real life and TV is why women are having abortions. Medical Daily reports only 20% of women cite school or their career when having abortions—frequent “self-focused” reasons given by TV characters. In reality, women say they can’t afford to have the child or want to focus on the children they already have, according to NPR. Researcher Katrina Kimport tells Medical Daily that changes the way the public thinks about abortion funding—seeing abortion as a “want” rather than a “financial necessity.“ “Onscreen representations may influence public understandings, contributing to the production of abortion stigma and judgments about appropriate restrictions on abortion care,“ the study states. Nearly one-third of women will have an abortion by the time they’re 45, NPR reports.

Click Below for More Features...

Page 1 of 14 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »


The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved