Health insurance companies Aetna and Humana were planning on hitching. A federal judge shut that merger down after the Justice Department, eight states and the District of Columbia sued to stop the merger in July 2016. After a 13-day trial in December, a judge ruled Aethna, the country's second-largest insurer, and Humana merging would break antitrust laws if the companies merged. That acquisition would reduce the market competition for Medicare Advantage, increasing prices. Halting the merger is expected to save consumers up to $500 million per a year.
Peanuts for everyone
1. If you had a peanut allergy, you were probably semi-deprived as a child. Reese’s, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut brittle and anything fried in peanut oil. Or anything that could contain peanuts, was off the menu for you. For years, doctors advised parents to wait till three-years-old to introduce peanuts to their children’s diet.
2. Well, that was ill-advised. Recent studies have shown feeding babies peanuts earlier can reduce peanut allergies.In fact, the National Institute of Health said that parents could start feeding their little ones peanuts as early as 4 to 6 months. Still, don’t give you baby a whole peanut, it's a choking hazard.
3. The real questions are: Jiffy vs Skippy? Crunchy vs Creamy?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Final results of an experimental Ebola vaccine confirm that it can provide 100 percent protection against the virus. The vaccine was developed with the help of the Canadian government, and is under development by U.S. drug manufacturer Merck. The trial for the vaccine involved 11,841 people in Guinea in 2015. Mild side-effects to the vaccine include headache, fatigue and muscle pain. Only two adverse effects were found. One was a case of fever and another was a case of an allergic reaction. The vaccine is yet to be approved by regulators.
A chemical leak from an asphalt plant has contaminated the water supply in Corpus Christi, Texas. The city has warned residents not to drink or bathe in tap water. Even boiling the water will not make it safe. Residents are forced to purchase bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing. The chemical that has leaked into the water supply is called Indulin. It is corrosive and can burn a person's skin if in concentrated amounts. It can also cause damage to internal organs if ingested. The chemical is classified as hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. City officials eased some restrictions on tap water use Friday while workers flushed water pipes to clear away any traces of the chemical.
The Food and Drug Administration is advising 11 states to begin screening all blood donations for the Zika virus. A previous advisory given February 16 limited this testing only to areas with active transmission of Zika. The states included in the recommendation are Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina and Texas. They are near areas where the virus is actively spreading from mosquitos.
Is the GMO debate over?
1. Genetically Modified Organisms, better knowns as GMOs, have long dominated the headlines. Shoppers and scientists alike have shied away from genetically modified produce in fear of the unknown repercussions of consuming an apple specifically designed to last longer on shelves or corn grown six times its natural size.
2. In May, a who's who panel of the country's top scientists concluded in a 388-page report that no "substantial evidence" exists linking genetically modified crops to health problems in the general population. Despite the report's conclusion, public opinion surrounding GMOs has yet to change.
3. Should the extensive report be the end of the GMO debate?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Should we postpone the Olympics?
1. With less than 75 days left until the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the pressure in on Brazil to combat the ever-expanding Zika virus. Last week, more than 150 scientists, doctors and researchers drafted an open letter to the World Health Organization in hopes of delaying — or completely moving — the games. As hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to flood Rio's streets, the group worries that the Zika virus will spread to previously uninfected countries.
2. WHO isn't budging. Despite the open letter, the organization insists that postponing the Olympics won't alter Zika's spread. Other experts seem to agree. With the Olympic torch already snaking its way through Brazil, it may be too late to do much at all.
3. So, should the Olympics be postponed?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Is the NFL purposefully hindering concussion research?
1. The fate of professional football is fragile. Sure, the sport's more popular than ever, but mounting evidence shows that playing in the NFL can be detrimental to the human brain, particularly in regards to the development of CTE, a degenerative disease caused by repeated blows to the head. The NFL has established a bevvy of rules aimed at making the game safer.
2. While the NFL has publicly supported CTE research, a new congressional study finds that the organization attempted to skew the research in their favor by using a large donation as leverage. The NFL denied the findings of the congressional study, despite past scandals of the same nature.
3. So, is the NFL helping or hurting CTE research?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Thanks to a new mandate from the Food and Drug Administration, grocery shopping will never be the same. In an effort to reduce the staggering amounts of sugar in the typical American's diet, food labels will now be required to reveal the amount of "added sugar" in a product. Predictably, the sugar industry isn't too happy with the new labeling requirements. While most shoppers can deduce that grocery items like soft drinks, candy and cakes have added sugar, some will be surprised to learn that foods like pasta sauce, instant oatmeal and flavored water are also loaded with added sugar.
"If the path I have walked in life so far has taught me anything, it is that it is good for the soul to be a bit lost sometimes — because sometimes those instances lead to the most clarity."
The Liberty Project, Four years and $200,000 later: I quit my internship to pursue my passion
"Offering gratitude every day allows us to meet life’s difficulties with an open heart. Taking a moment to pause and offer thanks balances our tendency to lean towards the negative, and clarifies our understanding of life’s gifts."
The Liberty Project, How expressing gratitude can fill your heart and home with love and joy
"This is not to say you cannot have it all, whatever “having it all” might mean to you. You just will not be a superhero at it. Sometimes, you will fail. You will not always serve the greater good. Some days, some things will be worse because of your efforts."
The Liberty Project, Why women need to stop trying to be Wonder Woman