Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:53 am
Stefano Amabili walks under the sun in Miami Beach, Florida, in May. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that more people are using sunscreen and protecting themselves from the sun's rays.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
A sunny day at the beach has plusses and minuses for your health.
A little bit of sun can help your body produce vitamin D, but the sun's ultraviolet radiation raises your risk for skin cancer. And, it turns out, UV radiation poses another threat — it physically weakens your skin.
A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.
Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.
The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.
Should you take Vitamin D supplements to prevent colds and shorten the misery?
Like other theories about the benefits of vitamin D, it seems like a reasonably good idea. After all, some lab studies suggest vitamin D might enhance immunity. And as everybody knows, people are more prone to respiratory infections during winter, when they cover up and get less vitamin D-generating sunlight.
Isabelle "Simone" Svikhart, 3, has spent 13 months in the hospital for treatment of a range of health conditions. The Children's Hospital Association distributed a trading card with her picture and details of her case to lobby against Medicaid cuts.
Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.