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Category Archives: Health Care

Why car insurance rates are so high

Vox: “If you pay for car insurance, you’ve probably noticed that rates are really high lately. You’re not alone. Last week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report — the government’s method for tracking what people are paying for goods and services and how that’s changing over time — noted that the price of car insurance was up more than 20 percent over the same time last year. What’s particularly painful is that rates were already rising: CPI reports have shown that, overall, car insurance rates are up more than 38 percent since January 2020. What’s going on? The big insurance companies have been relatively quiet about what’s driving rates up. Inflation is definitely a big part of the equation. Everything now costs more, including cars and car repairs, and insurance companies are passing those costs on to consumers. But industry insiders and experts I spoke with say there are a few under-the-radar trends also driving rates up, and they relate to the subjects I cover at Vox, so let’s dive in…”

Mapping Soot and Smog Pollution in the United States

Earth Justice: “Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must set standards that protect public health from common air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (also known as soot) and ground-level ozone (also known as smog). On Feb. 7, the EPA strengthened the annual particulate matter standard from 12 micrograms per cubic meter… Continue Reading

Wyden Reveals Phone Data Used to Target Abortion Misinformation at Visitors to Hundreds of Reproductive Health Clinics

“U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., revealed today that an anti-abortion political group used mobile phone location data to send targeted misinformation to people who visited any of 600 reproductive health clinics in 48 states. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, Wyden urged the government to act quickly to… Continue Reading

US GPO Webinars – Health Stats and Govt Info

Webinar: Health Statistics on the Web; Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024; Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EST) Register – https://secure.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=10482&evt=20240215-Health-Stats&t=1707829397055 Recording and closed captioning are available. All webinars are free of charge. Speakers: Katie Pierce Farrier, Data Science Strategist, Region 3, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Christine Nieman, Data Education Librarian, Region… Continue Reading

Atrocious Air

First Street: “Since the middle of the last century, the United States has witnessed significant changes in air quality, driven by industrialization, technological advancements, regulatory measures, and public awareness. The most important of these interventions was the Clean Air Act of 1963, which served as the first federal legislation addressing air quality concerns. While air… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on… Continue Reading

UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges

Ars Technica: “Health insurance companies cannot use algorithms or artificial intelligence to determine care or deny coverage to members on Medicare Advantage plans, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified in a memo sent to all Medicare Advantage insurers. The memo—formatted like an FAQ on Medicare Advantage (MA) plan rules—comes just months after… Continue Reading

Cellphone Use Is Biggest Cause of Distracted Driving

“Cellphone use by individuals operating a motor vehicle continues to be the largest contributor to distracted driving in the U.S., according to the latest Issues Brief from the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). “As drivers returned to the roads following the pandemic, distracted driving surged, causing higher rates of accidents, injuries, and deaths. This high-risk behavior… Continue Reading

New paper explains why females are prone to autoimmune diseases

Ars Technica: “Eighty percent of patients with autoimmune diseases are female. These diseases are one of the top 10 leading causes of death for women under 65, and cases are increasing annually worldwide. There is evidence suggesting that it’s females’ double complement of X chromosomes that puts them at such heightened risk for autoimmune diseases.… Continue Reading

It’s time to admit that genes are not the blueprint for life

Nature: The view of biology often presented to the public is oversimplified and out of date. Scientists must set the record straight, argues a new book. How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology Philip Ball Pan Macmillan (2024) For too long, scientists have been content in espousing the lazy metaphor of living… Continue Reading