Weekly Dose of Health News February 17 – 21, 2014

This  week’s Dose brings you updates on the health exchange enrollment numbers in New York and other states, as well as articles on new tobacco-free program funding, studies on obesity and post-menopausal women, complications of the Medicaid waiver and reports of a deal with labor unions and community groups to save Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.

The New York State of Health has announced that 456,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in the state’s health exchange as of Monday, February 17.Capital New York writes on the complications of the Medicaid waiver, i.e. how to distribute the funds.The Cuomo Administration announces $9 million in grants to promote tobacco free communities.The New York Times summarizes a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association on obesity and post-menopausal women.  The risks of dying early, becoming disabled or chronically ill rise significantly with weight gain.Capital New York has this article describing a report from the Government Accountability Office which places New York Medicaid spending at the top of all states at $54 billion, with the most expensive patients costing $55,000 per person primarily on in-patient hospital care and long term care.There is big news in the Brooklyn hospital world, as Capital New York reports that SUNY Downstate has reached a deal with labor unions and community groups on the fate of the Long Island College Hospital.National Public Radio writes about health exchanges in the 14 states not participating in the federal health exchange, as the final deadline for enrollment approaches.