USA TodayHealth survey ranks U.S. last among rich peers
For the fifth time in a decade, the United States is the sick man of the rich world. But recent health reforms and increased health technology spending may provide a cure in the coming years. That’s according to the latest Commonwealth Fund survey of 11 nations, which ranked the world’s most expensive health care system dead last on measures of “efficiency, equity, and outcomes.” So too in 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2004. The United Kingdom got the golden apple for 2014, with Switzerland a close second. The U.S. ranking reflects poor scores on measures of healthy lives — “mortality amenable to medical care,” infant mortality and healthy life expectancy at age 60.

Seattle TimesFDA prepping long-awaited plan to reduce salt
Food companies and restaurants could soon face government pressure to make their foods less salty — a long-awaited federal effort to try to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke. The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to issue voluntary guidelines asking the food industry to lower sodium levels, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told The Associated Press. Hamburg said in a recent interview that the sodium is “of huge interest and concern” and she hopes the guidelines will be issued “relatively soon.”

ForbesFour Reasons The Affordable Care Act Is A Boon To Entrepreneurs
At first glance, the Affordable Care Act looks bad for business. Businesses now face higher taxes and more stringent requirements for insuring their employees. Part-time work is gaining traction as a response to the law’s requirements.  However, despite these highly-publicized downsides, the ACA has a number of stipulations that help the nation’s entrepreneurs. Since the rollout of Healthcare.gov, eight million people have signed up for coverage through the exchange. While the long-term impacts of the law still aren’t clear, millions of Americans who were uninsurable or who couldn’t afford coverage before the ACA now enjoy the peace of mind that comes from health insurance coverage.

TIMEAlaska to Put Free Pregnancy Tests in Bar Restrooms
The University of Alaska is leading a state-funded program to put free pregnancy tests in the bathrooms of 20 bars and restaurants across the state starting this December. The two-year, $400,000 program is designed to combat Alaska’s rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, which is the highest of any state in the country, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Women of child-bearing age in Alaska are 20 percent more likely to binge drink in comparison to the national average.