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Health Updates 22 September 2011

  • NFL warns of disciplinary action against teams that fake injuries: “The NFL sent a memo Wednesday to all 32 teams warning of fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks if the league determines players faked injuries during a game…For the most part, such delay tactics have been considered gamesmanship, similar to a hockey goalie suddenly needing equipment repairs when his team is getting besieged.  Or untouched soccer players writing on the ground in pain to get a stoppage – and to slow momentum built by the other side.” (Associated Press)
  • Judge questions graphic images on labels of cigarettes and tobacco: “In a two-hour hearing, US District Judge Richard Leon closely questioned Justice Department lawyer Mark Stern on whether the nine graphic images proposed by the FDA convey just the facts about the health risk of smoking or go beyond that into advocacy – a critical distinction in a case over free speech….If the judge were to conclude the images amount to advocacy, that would make it more likely that the tobacco companies would be able to block the government’s latest move in regulating the industry.”  (Associated Press)
  • More young adults are covered by health insurance: “About a million more people ages 19 to 25 had health insurance in the first quarter of 2011 than in the same time period in 2010, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services….HHS officials pegged the increase to a provision of the  Affordable Care Act (ACA), implemented in September 2010, that allows children to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26.  ‘We feel quite confident in attributing virtually all of this change to provisions in the ACA’ Richard Kronick, HHS deputy assistant secretary for health policy, said in a telephone call with reporters.” (Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today)
  • Employee health insurance rates expected to rise 5.4% next year: “While the projected health insurance increase would be the smallest recorded in 15 years, it still remains well above the general rate of inflation, which stands as 3.9 percent, and salary growth.” (Reuters)
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