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Billions in Preventive Health Dollars Sacrificed for Medicare "Doc Fix"

Billions in Preventive Health Dollars Sacrificed for Medicare "Doc Fix"

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Preventive Health: Congress cut the federal preventive health budget by $5 billion to pay for keeping doctors' Medicare payments stable when it passed the payroll tax extension bill last week, meaning that smoking cessation, diabetes screening, nutrition education and other health programs will be cut nationwide, Merrill Goozner writes in his blog GoozNews.

POM Lawsuits: Several class action lawsuits accuse the makers of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice of overstating the health benefits of the antioxidant-rich drink, Elaine Watson reports for NutraIngredients-USA.com, a trade publication.

Plastic Surgery: It may be expensive, but, a new study suggests, plastic surgery really does work to make people look younger, according to independent observers who rated the apparent ages of plastic surgery patients, Eryn Brown reports for the Los Angeles Times. That's good news for Buffalo, N.Y. schoolteachers, whose health insurance apparently covers cosmetic procedures like liposuction, Lindsey Tugman reports for CNN.

Kidney Transplants: A complex "domino chain" of transplant surgeries  allowed 30 people to donate kidneys to save the lives of 30 patients in an amazing feat of transplant medicine and logistics, Kevin Sack reports for the New York Times.

Tainted Water: Levels of the potential carcinogen hexavalent chromium 6 (made famous by Erin Brokovich) in Calif.'s Palm Springs area drinking water are between 150 and 1,000 times the state's public health goal, Keith Matheny reports for the Desert Sun.

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Photo credit: National Guard via Flickr

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