FROM Kathryn Higley
Medical Radiation: Are Americans Getting Too Much of a Good Thing? Since long before the Fukushima nuclear-plant disaster, doctors and others have been alarmed by Americans' increased exposure to radiation. But Japan's nuclear disaster has reawakened fear of the invisible enemy that's also used to discover diseases and save human lives. Even radiologists say Americans are getting too much of a good thing, but not from fallout, airport scanners or cell phones. Doctors are ordering seven times more radiation scans than they were 30 years ago, while diagnoses of life-threatening conditions have hardly risen at all. Are so many scans really needed for medicine or to avoid lawsuits, pay back investments in expensive machines and satisfy the demands of patients?
Run on Potassium Iodide: Do Californians Need It? Since word of the Japanese nuclear crisis broke Friday night, pharmacies have been besieged by customers worried about exposure to radiation that can cause thyroid cancer. While manufacturers are sending as many potassium-iodide pills as possible to Japan, US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin dismissed the need here, at least for right now. Kathryn Higley, who spent 14 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, is Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University.
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."