American’s believe sequester won’t impact them much; gun control bill languishing in Congress; hospital deaths fall slightly. Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Wednesday, March 27, 2013.
New York Times – New Prostate Cancer Tests Could Reduce False Alarms
Sophisticated new prostate cancer tests are coming to market that might supplement the unreliable P.S.A. test, potentially saving tens of thousands of men each year from unnecessary biopsies, operations and radiation treatments. Some of the tests are aimed at reducing the false alarms, and accompanying anxiety, caused by elevated P.S.A. readings. Others, intended for use after a definitive diagnosis, examine the genetic workings of the cancer to distinguish dangerous tumors that need treatment from slow-growing ones that might be left alone.
Washington Post – Study: Claims costs that drive premiums will rise 32 percent in under health law
A new study finds that insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. What does that mean for you? It could increase premiums for at least some Americans. If you are uninsured, or you buy your policy directly from an insurance company, you should pay attention. But if you have an employer plan, like most workers and their families, odds are you don’t have much to worry about.
Politico – Has Washington waited too long?
President Barack Obama said Newtown changed everything. But it didn’t change Washington. Two days after 20 first-graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in what Obama has said was the worst day of his presidency, he took the podium at the memorial service with a simple message: Americans’ approach to guns was wrong, and it had to change. Too many children had died, and he wouldn’t let more follow them. And yet more than 100 days later, no bill has passed either house of Congress — and members are now off on a two-week spring break.
Politico – Poll: Anger at D.C. on the rise
Eight in 10 Americans are unhappy with Washington, according to a new poll — with nearly 30 percent describing themselves as “angry.”
Both of those numbers have jumped in recent months and are now the highest recorded since CBS began asking the question in 2010. In December, 75 percent of the country were unhappy with D.C., and only 21 percent were angry. In addition, 61 percent of the country believe the United States is on the wrong track, the highest number since the aftermath of the debt ceiling debate in August 2011. President Barack Obama’s job approval has slipped from 52 percent in February to 45 percent today, and disapproval has jumped from 38 percent to 46 percent, the CBS poll found. Congressional job approval also fell — to 11 percent from 14 percent. Eighty-one percent of the country disapprove of how Congress is handling its duties.
NBC News – Hospital deaths declined just a little over 10 years, report finds
The number of people who died in the hospital has fallen just 8 percent over 10 years, despite a big emphasis on letting people die in hospice or even at home, new federal statistics show. And a lot of the decrease appears to be from an overall drop in many types of death, the new report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows. “People don’t want to die in the hospital – yet a lot of them are,” says NCHS’s Margaret Jean Hall, who led the study with colleagues Shaleah Levant and Carol DeFrances.