Huffington Post – Health care spending to tick up in 2014, but just a little
After five years of historically low inflation, national health care spending will grow a bit faster this year, according to a federal audit released Wednesday. The expected increase is due to the economy’s continued recovery, millions gaining health benefits from Obamacare and more baby boomers signing up for Medicare.
Households, businesses and the government will spend $3.06 trillion on health care in 2014, a 5.6 percent increase from projected expenditures during the previous year, according to a report by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published in the journal Health Affairs. From 2009 through 2013, growth came in below 4 percent, the actuaries estimate. In the two decades before that, there were much higher increases; health care spending has nearly quadrupled since 1990.

Business Insider – UN: Someone commits suicide every 40 seconds
One person commits suicide every 40 seconds, an avoidable tragedy that fails to grab attention because of taboos and stigma, a UN report said Thursday.
In a study released three weeks after the apparent suicide of Hollywood great Robin Williams, the World Health Organization also warned that media reporting of suicide details raises the risk of copycat behaviour.
“Every suicide is a tragedy. It is estimated that over 800 000 people die by suicide and that there are many suicide attempts for each death,” said WHO chief Margaret Chan in the landmark report capping a decade of research.

San Francisco Chronicle – Depression in men is a public health crisis
There has been a great deal of public discussion lately around mental health as it relates to substance abuse and suicide prevention. There should be more discussion around another topic that’s been ignored for too long: depression in American boys and men.
Male depression gets inadequate attention, in part because our culture stigmatizes emotion in males, from toddlerhood on. Studies show that at birth, boys are just as sensitive as girls, but from their earliest days they are told, “Boys don’t cry.” Feelings such as sadness, humiliation and despair – natural human emotions – are marked as weaknesses.

Los Angeles Times – Plunge in kindergartners’ vaccination rate worries health officials
California parents are deciding against vaccinating their kindergarten-age children at twice the rate they did seven years ago, a fact public health experts said is contributing to the reemergence of measles across the state and may lead to outbreaks of other serious diseases.
The percentage of kindergartens in which at least 8% of students are not fully vaccinated because of personal beliefs has more than doubled as well, according to data on file with the state. That threshold is significant because communities must be immunized at a high rate to avoid widespread disease outbreaks. It is a concept known as herd immunity, and for measles and whooping cough at least 92% of kids need to be immune, experts say.