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Headlines: June 20, 2011

by Tony Kikendall


The Obama administration will stop granting new waivers for the new health care law. The administration had already granted 1,433 waivers, and such waivers will be available, subject to extension, through 2013. The waivers had been subject to criticism from Republicans.

The American Cancer Society announced last week that the gap in cancer deaths between those who have college degrees and those who do not is widening. Less educated men die at 2.5 times the rate of those men with college degrees. Cancer-death rates, as a whole, have been decreasing since the 1990s, but the effect has been more widely felt for certain groups than for others. Reasons for this gap vary. Other studies have shown that those with less education are more likely to engage in behavior that makes one more prone to cancer, such as smoking. People with greater education also have better access to health insurance, which makes it diagnose the cancer while it is still treatable.

Despite evidence suggesting that double CT scans were unnecessary, hospitals continue to subject patients to two CT scans in the same day. Medicare statistics show that some hospitals perform two CT scans on a patient on the same day 80% of the time. These double scans are seen as triply bad, as they expose patients to extra radiation, cost patients and insurers more money, and are largely medically unnecessary.

Boston Scientific Corp. has issued a recall on a newly developed stent, due to a flaw that could cause a need for emergency surgery. Deployment issues could lead to injuries of the vessel wall.

Tony Kikendall is a rising second year law student at Boston University. Please feel free to email him with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns.


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