Senate Reauthorizes State Children's Health Insurance Program
The U.S. Senate renewed the State Children's Health Insurance Program yesterday in a 66 to 32 vote and authorized spending an added $32.8 billion to expand the health coverage program to include about 4 million more children, the Washington Post reports. If the bill is signed into law in its current form, the state-federal program will include, for the first time, coverage for legal immigrants. SCHIP, which now covers nearly 7 million kids, targets families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to pay for private health insurance coverage. An increased cigarette tax—up to $1 from 39 cents per pack—will fund the expansion of the program. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill on January 14. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law, perhaps by next week, according to the Post.
Reauthorization of SCHIP is an important first step in making good on President Obama's campaign pledge to cover all Americans. For those who don't qualify for SCHIP or other government health coverage programs, consider using U.S. News's list of America's best health insurance plans to help find a health plan that works for you. Also, here are 7 ways laid off baby boomers can find health insurance.
Do You Really Need to Diet on Super Bowl Sunday?
Even if you consume 1,000 or 2,000 extra calories on top of your normal intake on Super Bowl Sunday, you may assume that you can compensate for that with diet and exercise in the following week. What's the big deal about an occasional day of eating yourself into oblivion? Well, nutritionists told U.S. News's Katherine Hobson that that a pigskin pigout is not such a great idea. Among the reasons: The definition of "special occasions"—those days when you can eat more than usual—tends to expand. Plus, bloating and stomach upset may result from eating food you're not used to.
But one nutritionist was more open to the idea of overdoing it this coming Sunday. Alan Aragon, a nutritionist in Thousand Oaks, Calif., said when planning to eat this way, work out twice as much as you usually do that day; accept that you're going to eat what you want and will have to work off an extra pound or two of fat and water over the next couple of weeks; drastically cut back on what you eat before the game or the day after the game; or try some combination of eating very little before and after the game and working out more.
When Super Bowl Sunday is over and you're ready to return to healthful eating and exercise habits, consider these 9 lessons that will end yo-yo dieting and these 4 distinct diet styles, including the Mediterranean diet, that promote health.
12 Health Problems of Aging That Baby Boomers Can Avoid
Baby boomers would like to believe that terms like "over the hill" will never apply to them. And they could, in fact, be right. There's plenty you can do to foil the aging process, Deborah Kotz reports. "We now have a much greater understanding of aging mechanisms," says Dean Ornish, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, "to the extent that we know which changes help you live longer but, more important, age better." How well you age depends on the intricate interplay between your genes and your lifestyle, which determines how quickly your cells divide, repair breakages in DNA, and die.
Your chronological age doesn't necessarily correlate with how old your body thinks it is, says Michael Roizen, chair of the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute and coauthor of YOU: Staying Young. "There are about 191 things that go into calculating your real age," he says, "and 149 of those things are within your control to change." You can, for example, quit smoking, cultivate strong social support, get regular exercise, and eat right.
Interested in learning how to prevent various types of aging-related health decline? U.S. News offers advice for preventing or slowing the progress of peripheral artery disease, brain decline, sexual issues, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, muscle loss and frailty, osteoarthritis, hearing loss, colon cancer, loss of vision, wrinkles, and varicose veins.