Gates Foundation pledges funds for worldwide contraception campaign; will Medicaid reveal droves of the uninsured; bioethicists claim buying health insurance is a moral duty; and new chemical could make teeth permanently cavity proof. These stories and more topping public health headlines today.
Reuters – Gates Foundation to pledge funds for contraception
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is set to unveil funding a sum in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a campaign to improve access to contraception in the developing world. The exact amount will be announced at a summit of world leaders and aid organizations in London on Wednesday, but in an interview with Reuters, Melinda Gates said the commitment would be “on a par” with the foundation’s other big programs, like that against malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis.
Medical News Today – Food In Smaller Pieces May Help Control Weight
Cutting up food into smaller pieces may help people control their weight more easily because they are more satisfying to eat than one large piece with the same number of calories, according to a new study presented at a conference this week.
The Times of India – New chemical makes teeth cavity proof
Dentists in Chile have created a new chemical that could make human teeth ‘cavity proof’ – and do away with the need for visits to the doctor forever. The molecule has been called ‘Keep 32′ – after the 32 teeth in a human mouth. The chemical wipes out all the bacteria that cause cavities in just 60 seconds in tests.
NPR – Will Medicaid Bring The Uninsured Out Of The Woodwork?
Ever since the Supreme Court decided last month that an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act should be optional, quite a few Republican governors have been vowing to take a pass. On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared that he won’t be expanding Medicaid. He joins other GOP state executives who have rejected offering Medicaid to people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty line. Perry and his colleagues say they’re rejecting the health law for mostly ideological reasons. That’s because when it comes to Medicaid, the states don’t appear to be on the hook for very much money.
New York Times – New Technologies Aim to Help You Sleep Better
The Renew SleepClock, which costs $199, is the latest addition to a new generation of smartphone apps designed to analyze and improve sleep patterns. Its makers, GEAR4, say that the app uses radio sensors to detect breathing patterns and movements at night, then uses that information to wake a person at the lightest point of sleep, the optimal time to wake up. The theory is that awaking from light sleep, as opposed to the deep stages of sleep, helps reduce so-called sleep inertia, the cloud of grogginess and impaired alertness that makes people desperately want to crawl back into bed. While experts have warned for years that gadgets like smartphones are increasingly disrupting sleep by keeping us connected 24/7, these programs claim to do the opposite.
Los Angeles Times – Buying health insurance is a ‘moral duty,’ bioethicists say
In the debate over the legitimacy of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known by many as “Obamacare,” the question that keeps coming up is this: If the government can force you to buy health insurance because it’s good for society as a whole, what’s to stop lawmakers from requiring you to eat broccoli and join a gym? he better analogy is this: If forecasters know that a tsunami is headed toward the California coast, can they require surfers to stay out of the water? In the case of the surfers, the answer is yes, according to the essay by a trio of bioethicists from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pennsylvania.