Health insurers slow rise in fees (The Boston Globe) - "Massachusetts insurers, taking a tougher line in bargaining with health care providers under pressure from financially strained customers and government regulators, have held payment increases to the lowest level in years. Contracts negotiated in 2011 gave hospitals and doctors groups average fee increases of 2 to 3 percent, roughly half those given in 2010 and less than in any year since 2005, according to estimates by executives of the state’s three largest health insurers." (The Boston Globe)
Navigating love and autism (The New York Times)- "As they reach adulthood, the overarching quest of many in this first generation to be identified with Asperger syndrome is the same as many of their nonautistic peers: to find someone to love who will love them back. The recent recognition that their social missteps arise from a neurological condition has lifted their romantic prospects, they say, allowing them to explain behavior once attributed to rudeness or a failure of character — and to ask for help. So has the recent proliferation of Web sites and forums where self-described “Aspies,” or “Aspergians,” trade dating tips and sometimes find actual dates." (The New York TImes)
Doctors split on vaccine strategy to shield babies (Reuters) - "A large group of U.S. doctors on Monday gave the green light for pediatricians to offer vaccines to close family members of babies who are too young to get shots themselves.The strategy, known as cocooning, is meant to block diseases from reaching the infant in the first place and is backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But earlier this month, Canadian government researchers suggested that at least for whooping cough, a major infectious disease worldwide, cocooning comes with a hefty price tag." (Reuters)
Is Obama chickening out on ObamaCare? (Forbes) - "This is unlikely to have a happy ending – at least for health care consumers in those states where the president and his health care reform ideas are unpopular. I can already hear the sound of state lobbyists revving up their engines and establishing new bank accounts all over America as they prepare to write the state laws that will best serve the health insurance companies to the disadvantage of the consumers in need of good coverage." (Forbes)
This program aired on December 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.