Health Highlights: Feb.6, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Fewer May Get Insurance Under Health Care Reform: Report

Only about 27 million more Americans will have health insurance by 2017, instead of the 32 million to 34 million originally projected by the Obama administration when it implemented the health care reform law, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.

It said that the smaller number of newly-insured people within four years is mostly due to the deal Congress made last month to prevent the country from going over the fiscal cliff, NBC News reported.

The CBO said the deal takes away some of the tax breaks employers get for providing health care coverage to employees. This means that about eight million people who would have been insured by their employers will likely lose their coverage.

Some of those people will likely purchase health insurance on the new insurance exchanges that are scheduled to be available by October, while others will become newly eligible for Medicaid, NBC News reported.

About 18 percent of Americans under age 65 don't have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act was to greatly increase the number of people with health insurance.

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Opponents Want Delay in Implementation of NYC Sugary Drink Rule

Groups fighting New York City's ban on the sale of supersized, sugary drinks have asked a judge to stop it from taking effect next month.

In the request filed Friday in a Manhattan court, opponents asked that enforcement of the measure be put on hold until there's a ruling in their lawsuit to scrap the new law altogether, the Associated Press reported.

Opponents of the rule include the beverage industry, restaurant owners and other types of business. They say they shouldn't be burdened with the expenses of complying with the rule before it's clear whether it will survive a court challenge.

Enforcement of the measure is scheduled to begin March 12. It bars restaurants and other food outlets from selling sugary beverages in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces, the AP reported.

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U.S. Leads World in Plastic Surgery

The United States leads the world in the number of plastic surgery procedures, a new survey finds.

It found that there were 6.3 million surgeries and 8.3 million non-surgical procedures (such as chemical peels, laser hair removal and Botox injections) performed by plastic surgeons around the world in 2011, USA Today reported.

Just over 31 percent, or 3.1 million procedures, were done in the U.S., according to the survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Brazil was a close second to the U.S.

However, rates by population were highest in South Korea, Greece and Italy, where more than 10 procedures were performed for every 1,000 people, USA Today reported.

Breast augmentation was the leading type of plastic surgery in the U.S., while liposuction (fat removal) led the way worldwide. The U.S. has the most plastic surgeons at 5,950, followed by Brazil (5,024), and China (2,000). The United Kingdom and Canada have only 450 and 425, respectively.

Posted: February 2013


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