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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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« On the blogs: surgeons and sleep, cholesterol testing for kids, shortage of primary care doctors | Main | Website maps the sniffles »

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today's Globe: phys. ed, lethal TB, health insurance costs, mosquito tests, Marge Dunton-Reida, Medicare 'Part D,' Genzyme cancer partner

First graders at the JFK Elementary School in
Jamaica Plain played balloon volleyball during
gym class yesterday. (Barry Chin/ Globe Staff)

State lawmakers are considering bills that would establish a minimum time commitment to physical education, ranging from 150 minutes to about 200 minutes a week. The bills, however, do not address how much it would cost cities and towns to meet the time requirements, how schools would pay for the increase, and what other part of the curriculum would have to give to make way for more exercise.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underscoring the threat of an emerging, lethal form of tuberculosis, issued a rare federal public health order on Monday that placed an infected Georgia man into quarantine and announced yesterday that it is searching for airline passengers he may have exposed to the disease on two trans-Atlantic flights earlier this month.

The state agency overseeing the new mandatory health insurance law was urged to tighten limits on out-of-pocket expenses, one of several suggestions offered at a four-hour State House hearing on ways to improve proposed rules for basic insurance coverage and to determine if that insurance is affordable.

State officials will begin testing trapped mosquitoes this week for Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus, mosquito-transmitted viruses that have severely disabled or killed several Massachusetts residents in the past three years.

dunton-reida100.bmpMarge Dunton-Reida (left) helped hundreds of visitors reclaim sobriety at her old country inn, which became Naukeag Hospital, and many returned again and again as they continued their struggles with alcohol. The hospital is now McLean Center at Naukeag. She died in her son's house May 2 after a period of declining health. She was 83.

The much-criticized Medicare drug benefit program that began last year has enrolled the vast majority of eligible people in Massachusetts, and saved the state more money -- about $76 million -- than planners predicted, according to a study being released today.

As part of its push to become a bigger player in cancer drugs, Genzyme Corp. of Cambridge said yesterday it will buy out business partner Bioenvision Inc. of New York for $345 million, consolidating its ownership of a cancer treatment to which the two companies had been sharing rights.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:08 AM
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