Daily Rounds: Pill Mills; Medicare Resistance; Sex Ed Site Targeted; Taco Bell Suit Dropped

The Associated Press: US aims at its deadliest drug problem: painkillers
MIAMI (AP) — The White House drug czar wants doctors, states and law enforcement working harder to stop America's deadliest drug-abuse problem: highly addictive prescription painkillers. They are killing more people than heroin and cocaine combined as they foster a slew of illegal "pill mill" clinics centered in Florida.The federal government on Tuesday announced its first-ever comprehensive strategy to combat the abuse of oxycodone and other opioids, aiming to cut misuse by 15 percent in five years. That goal may sound modest, but it would represent a dramatic turnaround: Emergency room visits from prescription drug overdoses doubled from 2004 to 2009, when they topped 1.2 million, according to federal health officials. (

Medicare Panel Runs Into Bipartisan Opposition -
WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans are joining to oppose one of the most important features of President Obama’s new deficit reduction plan, a powerful independent board that could make sweeping cuts in the growth of Medicare spending.But not only do Republicans and some Democrats oppose increasing the power of the board, they also want to eliminate it altogether. Opponents fear that the panel, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, would usurp Congressional spending power over one of the government’s most important and expensive social programs. (

Site: No stigma in abortion -
A state-funded sex education Web site that tells teens an abortion is “much easier than it sounds” has drawn fire from outraged pro-lifers who say is glossing over ugly truths, steering teens toward the controversial procedure and counseling them how to keep mom and dad in the dark.
“The commonwealth is using taxpayer money to tell kids how to get a secret abortion, and that’s wrong,” said Linda Thayer, a former Boston schoolteacher who is vice president for educational affairs of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which this week took aim at the site. (Boston Herald)

With Lawsuit Over, Taco Bell's Mystery Meat Is A Mystery No Longer : Shots - Health Blog : NPR
The law firm that filed a class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell in January alleging that the fast-food chain's seasoned beef wasn't beefy enough to be called beef said Monday it was throwing in the tortilla.
The Alabama firm Beasley Allen said its decision came after Taco Bell changed its marketing practices and disclosed more information about the beef product it uses in tacos, chalupas, gorditas and whatever else the company can think to put it in. The allegations were "absolutely wrong" from the start, Taco Bell said in a statement, and the company isn't "making any changes to its products or advertising." No money changed hands either, Taco Bell said. Early this year, the plaintiffs asserted that Taco Bell's seasoned beef filling couldn't be called beef under USDA standards because it contained more oats, seasonings and fillers than meat. (

This program aired on April 20, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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