Four paralyzed men (from the waist down) are able to move their legs and feet after an electrical device was implanted in their spines at the University of Louisville's Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.
According to the Associated Press, when the implanted device near their spine is activated with electrical impulses, the men could move their toes, lift their legs and stand briefly.
This study is a breakthrough because electrical impulses travel along the men's skin bypassing their damaged nerves, which have not been repaired.
“The result of this study has been really exciting news for these four patients, which is that spinal cord injury may no longer mean a lifelong sentence of complete paralysis,” Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institute of Health (which co-funded the study), told FoxNews.com.
The study included Rob Summers, a former Oregon State Beavers' baseball player who was the first to start the electrode therapy back in 2009.
After seven months of electrode and physical therapy, Summers was able to stand without assistance and move his legs to some degree.
Summers was also able to gain control over his bladder, bowel and sexual functions.
The other three men in the study include: Kent Stephenson (pictured), a Motocross racer, Andrew Meas and Dustin Shillcox.
Dr. Susan Harkema, who led the study, told Reuters, "One of the things this research shows is that there is more potential for spinal cord injury patients to recover even without this electrical stimulation."
"Today, patients are not given rehab because they are not considered 'good investments,'" added Dr. Harkema. "We should rethink what they're offered, because rehabilitation can drive recovery for many more than are receiving it."
"We believe there is still a capacity for recovery. It's not necessarily the case that you will never move again."
The Christian-owned corporation Hobby Lobby went to the U.S. Supreme Court last week in an effort to not provide emergency contraception pills or IUDs to its employees under Obamacare's contraception mandate.
Ironically, Hobby Lobby has invested $73 million in the same emergency contraception pills, IUDs and even abortion pills in its employees' retirement plan.
However, Hobby Lobby is not the only company refusing to provide certain types of contraception in health insurance plans, Mother Jones reports there are 70 other companies also denying this type of health care coverage for their female employees.
Trijicon, a military contracting company that manufactures aiming systems for lethal weapons, claimed in its 2013 lawsuit that it cannot cover birth control because "its shareholders have a deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception/fertilization."
Trijicon didn't mention that life ends, thanks, in part, to their products.
Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, which deal in food produce, oppose Obamacare's contraception mandate because the owners Philip and Frank Gilardi, who are Catholic, say they "conduct their businesses in a manner that does not violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral values, and they wish to continue to do so."
However, in 2011, a former female employee sued the company for repeated sexual harassment, which allegedly included, "unwelcome sexual comments, sexual innuendo, and physical contact," noted Mother Jones.
The company denied the sexual harassment claims, but settled the lawsuit with the ex-employee for an undisclosed amount of money.
Salon.com reported last year on Eden Foods, which is also suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate.
Eden Foods CEO Michael Potter told Salon.com that he opposes “using abortion as birth control, definitely.”
However, after being told by Salon.com that the contraception mandate doesn’t cover abortion, Potter fired back, “I’m not an expert in anything. I’m not the pope. I’m in the food business. I’m qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women’s issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for.”
The National Women's Law Center has a full list of the companies suing to get out of the Obamacare contraception mandate.
A California couple was surprised to find that their political preferences had already been filled out when they received a voter registration card in the mail.
The couple had received the letter from Covered California after signing up for the state-run health insurance agency using the site set up by the Affordable Care Act. The letter included information discussing voter registration as well as a pre-marked registration card with an “X” next to “Democratic Party,” ABC 10 reports.
This caught the couple, who have always been registered to vote Republican, off-guard.
The man who received the letter claimed he wanted to publicize the pre-filled voter registration card to prevent an unfair advantage for Democrats signing up people who may not notice the “x” on the card.
“It’s a waste of money because there’s an awful lot of people who are going to get this that are already registered and they don’t need to,” the man said. "I can see that, but I can’t see putting x on the form before it’s given to me in a little bitty box that nobody’s really going to notice."
In response to the incident, Covered California urged the couple to share their experience with the Secretary of State.
“We are mailing voter registration material,” said Covered California spokeswoman Anne Gonzales. "However, the application forms come directly from the Secretary of State’s office, with no fields pre-marked. The individual should contact the Secretary of State, which takes these violations of election law extremely seriously, and they will investigate, using the unique serial number."
According to the Examiner, the couple were unsuccessful in their attempts to contact the Secretary of State's office.
Fox News has always opposes Obamacare, but may have sunk to a new low today when reporting Obamacare enrollment numbers.
A disproportioned Fox News graphic, which aired today on "America's Newsroom," shows the March 31 goal (7,066,000) of Obamacare to be massively larger than the March 27 enrollment numbers (6,000,000) notes MediaMatters.org (video below).
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated about 7 million people would sign up, but Fox News failed to mention that the CBO changed its estimated enrollment to 6 million because of the initial problems with the Obamacare website.
However, Obamacare enrollment may still hit 7 million as 6.55 million were enrolled yesterday. The actual numbers may be closer to 9.5 million.
According to The Los Angeles Times, two million previously uninsured people have enrolled in private insurance coverage, 4.5 million previously uninsured people have coverage via Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and three million previously uninsured young people are covered by their parents’ insurance plans, bringing the total of newly-insured Americans under Obamacare to 9.5 million.
While health care in the U.S. makes the news daily, millions of Americans are going without dental care.
Remote Area Medical (RAM) is an international aid group that was created to help people in third-world countries, but RAM makes numerous visits to the US to provide medical and dental care for Americans (video below).
According to PBS, more than 100 million Americans cannot afford dental care, many suffer in pain, some even die.
While poor children and low income adults are covered for some dental services by Medicaid, many dentists don't accept Medicaid.
The Huffington Post reports that millions of Americans are skipping dental care because it has become unaffordable.
People who do have dental insurance still have to shell out a 50 percent co-pay (on average) for dental work such as crowns and bridges.
Typically, dental insurance only covers (in full) lower-priced procedures like dental cleanings.
The Huffington Post notes "most dental plans limit coverage to just $1,500 a year."
So Americans end up delaying their dental care, which can mean their dental problem can turn into a serious situation, even life-threatening.
As a result of this steep increase in the cost of dental care, dentists, on average, are now making more money than many doctors.
The American Dental Association stated in 2009 that the average income for a dentist in private practice was $192,680, but the average doctor in family medicine only makes $175,000, according to a 2012 report by Medscape, noted BeckersHospitalReview.com.
The free website Brighter.com helps people in Los Angeles check the prices of their local dentists whose prices for the same procedure can vary by a whopping 700 percent.
"I found that dental patients lack price transparency and negotiating leverage, and that impacts their willingness and ability to get the dental care they needed," Brighter.com creator Jake Winebaum told The Huffington Post.
Brighter.com is planning to expand to other cities.
Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum took aim at uninsured Americans today by claiming that many of the 6 million uninsured who signed up for health insurance via Obamacare won't “won’t make a payment” on their insurance premium.
During an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" today, Santorum also bragged that he not only opposed Obamacare, which has helped cover about 10 million Americans (including Medicaid expansion), but also opposed "HillaryCare" in 1994, noted RawStory.com (video below).
“When I ran my ’94 election, it was on health care against the sponsor of HillaryCare,” Santorum claimed. “You look at what Obamacare is really doing, it’s driving up costs right now.”
However, Santorum presented no evidence that Obamacare is "driving up costs."
“You look at these number of 6 million people [signing up for Obamacare], I talked to insurance companies, you’re looking at anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of those who haven’t made a premium payment yet,” Santorum added. “Many of them are uninsured and probably won’t make a premium payment.”
Santorum, who is a devout Catholic, also insisted that Pope Francis was not focusing on social issues, noted TalkingPointsMemo.com.
"What he's doing is the right thing, which is, he's looking at a world and he's looking at his faithful that are, that are really struggling right now, struggling with their faith," stated Santorum. "And he wants to focus on the central thing, which is the good news."
Sources: TalkingPointsMemo.com and RawStory.com
Approximately 10 million uninsured Americans have gotten health care coverage via Obamacare from online exchanges and expanded Medicaid.
However, if Will Brooke, an Alabama congressional candidate, gets his way those ten million Americans will lose their coverage.
Burke, who is running in a Republican primary to replace Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), recently aired an ad in which he uses a rifle to shoot a printed copy of Obamacare (video below), reports The Daily Caller.
"We're down here to have a little fun and talk about two serious subjects," Brooke states in the ad, notes TalkingPointsMemo.com.
"The Second Amendment and how much damage we can do to this copy of Obamacare," adds Brooke.
He proudly shoots Obamacare with a rifle and pistol.
“Well we had some fun and knocked some holes in it,” says Brooke. “But we didn’t quite get the job done. Looks like we’ll have to resort to more extreme measures to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with a market-based solution.”
Brooke then feeds Obamacare into a wood chipper.
Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano claimed last night on "The Kelly File" that “abortion and euthanasia” are part of the contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
Napolitano was speaking about a case before the U.S. Supreme court today in which the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby has challenged the contraception mandate, reports Salon.com.
“As everybody knows, the Affordable Care Act requires anybody that employs 50 or more people to provide health care for them that includes contraceptive services,” stated Napolitano, notes MediaMatters.org (video below).
“Contraceptive services means contraception, euthanasia, and abortion,” claimed Napolitano.
However, the contraception mandate does not mean euthanasia or abortion.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "abortion coverage is specifically banned from being required as part of the essential benefits package" of the ACA.
The only time abortion is paid for under the act is in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. For other abortions, the woman has to pay for it or pay for extra coverage, notes FactCheck.org.
There is no euthanasia provided in the ACA; however, doctors and insurance companies are legally protected by the act if they choose not to provide assisted suicide services.
Real estate mogul and TV reality star Donald Trump has made headlines in the past by suggesting President Obama is not an American citizen and by promoting a widely-debunked conspiracy theory that vaccinations can cause autism in children.
Undeterred by scientific facts, Trump once again pushed this false vaccination-autism theory on Twitter yesterday.
Trump tweeted, "Autism WAY UP - I believe in vaccinations but not massive, all at once, shots. Too much for small child to handle. Govt. should stop NOW!"
Trump also tweeted, "If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take - AUTISM."
According to TalkingPointsMemo.com, Trump was likely referring to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that diagnosed cases of autism have increased by 30 percent in two years in American children.
The Associated Press reports that the CDC believes this is increase is because "doctors, teachers and parents are increasingly likely to say a child with learning and behavior problems is autistic."
There is no medical evidence that supports the vaccination-causes-autism theory, notes the CDC.
In response to Trump, CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted, "This kind of message is dangerous."
NBC New York recently reported on a measles outbreak in New York City because of a lack of vaccinations.
This week, attorneys for Hobby Lobby, a for-profit corporation, argued their case against the contraception mandate in the Affordae Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hobby Lobby's owners, the Green family, contend that providing emergency contraception pills and IUDs for employees under the ACA violates the corporation's religious rights because these types of medications and devices cause abortions (which has been debunked by the medical community, noted MediaMatters.org).
While the Becket Fund, the law group defending Hobby Lobby, insists this is a case about the First Amendment right of freedom of religion, what has not been publicized is Hobby Lobby's intention to limit the free speech of doctors and medical personnel.
According to News OK, the Hobby Lobby lawsuit states in part, "The administrative rule at issue in this case runs roughshod over the Green family's religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing them to provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.”
ThinkProgress.org notes that if Hobby Lobby wins it's case, the corporation will be able to ban "related education and counseling" about the contraceptives that the Green family doesn't like.
"They’ll win the right to refuse to extend coverage for doctor’s visits that include discussion about certain forms of contraception," stated ThinkProgress.org.
Also, if Hobby Lobby wins its case, Newsweek reports, that victory "could give employers an unprecedented right to deny coverage of specific medical treatments to which their employees are legally entitled -- mental health services, blood transfusions, cancer treatments, and more -- based on their personal beliefs, no matter how dangerously misguided those beliefs are."