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A special report to The Filipino Press

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The worldwide diabetes epidemic threatens to make today's children the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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As Congress goes into recession, the debate over healthcare hits home. But what's really happening on the reform front? Will it meet the needs of the American public? In a 5-hour special series over five days, we'll hear from doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, economists and average people about what's driving up healthcare costs, what it will take to make real changes, and what trade-offs people are willing to make to see meaningful reform through.

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The therapeutic use of cannabis (marijuana) is a hot topic in some parts of the United States. The National Institutes of Health do not recommend its use for treatment of any illness, though some physicians prescribe it for pain, glaucoma, nausea and anorexia associated with chemotherapy, and, less commonly, for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, migraine, and asthma. Laws on medical usage vary by state, with 13 states, as of July 2009, permitting medical usage under certain conditions. The majority of Web sites on medical marijuana have a bias one way or another.

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Wayne A. Beach is a professor of communication at SDSU and an associate member of the Cancer Center in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on conversational and institutional interactions and their convergence, including medical interviewing and how families talk through cancer diagnosis and treatment. Beach has pioneered studies on how family members talk through illness dilemmas, including bulimia and terminal cancer, providing innovative approaches to understanding communication in casual and institutional health care contexts.

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Dr. Sherry Glied's principal areas of research are in health policy reform and mental healthcare policy. She served as a senior economist for healthcare and labor market policy to the President's Council of Economic Advisers, under both President Bush and President Clinton. In the latter part of her term, she was a participant in President Clinton's Health Care Task Force. In 1996-1997, Dr. Glied was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Her research on health policy has focused on the financing of healthcare services in the U.S.

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