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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With Republican lawmakers promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act under the new administration, researchers have been working to understand how people who gained coverage after the ACA's passage will be affected.Those most at risk for losing coverage are more likely to be poor, have a chronic illness or be unemployed, according to a study published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.The groups more likely to lose coverage also visited their doctors more often, according to the study, which examined demographic data of people who had coverage or tax credits thanks to ACA provisions.Dr. Pinar Karaca-Mandic, lead author of the study, told ABC News that the goal was to get hard data on the people who would be affected by a repeal of the ACA."This is not a simulation exercise," Karaca-Mandic said. "We used data from the National Health Interview Survey."Approximately 20 million people have gained health care coverage after the ACA was passed in 2010, according to the study.Currently, 10.4 million individuals have private insurance policies acquired through an exchange. Of these individuals, 84 percent had incomes that were 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Individuals who make less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for tax credits to help pay for health insurance. The federal poverty level income is $11,880 for an individual and $24,300 for a family of four.It remains unclear if repealing the ACA and replacing it with an alternate plan will imperil these individuals' coverage in the future, the study authors said.The researchers from multiple institutions, including the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, examined federal data to understand who would be affected if the tax credits provided by the ACA were stopped and Medicaid expansion was repealed.To understand the demographics of the people who would be affected by a repeal of the ACA, researchers looked at three cohorts of financial status. These cohorts were adults who get tax credits because they made less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, childless adults who became eligible for Medicaid coverage after the ACA's passage, and parents or caretakers enrolled in Medicaid whose income was between 50 to 139 percent of the federal poverty level.The people most likely to be affected by an ACA repeal were minorities, the poor, unemployed people and people with chronic medical conditions, researchers found. They also found that these people were more likely to have been to an emergency room at least once or have seen a doctor 10 or more times in the previous year.Christine Eibner, an economist and professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California, who has conducted other research on the ACA, said the new JAMA study echoes past predictions on who would be affected by a repeal of the ACA."It substantiates the model estimates," Eibner told ABC News. "This takes actual data and looks at who was enrolled."
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  • iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorWhen a baby is delivered through natural childbirth, the process transfers special micro-organisms to the newborn. The effect is a reduced risk of autoimmune disease, asthma and allergies. But when a baby is delivered via C-section, those same organisms don’t get transferred. That’s why some doctors are using a practice known as "vaginal seeding," which involves using gauze or a swab to "transfer" maternal fluids to the infant’s face, mouth and body. At this time, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recommend routine seeding practices due to insufficient research to support its benefit over its risks. If you’re expecting and you have questions about this practice, talk to your obstetrician or midwife.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(FARGO, N.D.) -- When he was just 9 days old, Phoenix Saulter suffered a stroke so damaging that his doctors told his parents that the newborn wouldn't survive."There was so much clotting and no blood leaving his brain," Phoenix's father, Robert Saulter, told ABC News. "The only thing to do was to give him some pain medications and to try to stay with him till he passed."Saulter and his wife, Genevieve Saulter, were inconsolable until neurosurgeon Dr. Alexander Drofa of Sanford Brain and Spine Center in Fargo, North Dakota, spoke up. He would do a surgery to remove the clot and give the infant a slim chance for survival."He said he couldn't live with that. ... He couldn't deal with not doing anything," Robert Saulter recalled Drofa saying.Today, just over a year after the surgery, Saulter and his wife are speaking about the incredible survival of their only child in the hopes of helping other parents or doctors facing a similar situation."Anything we can do to drive attention to that," Robert Saulter said. "Because his exact procedure [may] help another kid."At the time Phoenix was born, Robert Saulter, 32, was stationed at an Air Force base in Minton, North Dakota. After showing signs of distress and dehydration, Phoenix was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota, at 9 days old. It was there that Drofa discovered that the newborn had suffered a stroke.After physicians discovered the potentially deadly condition, the Saulters planned to say goodbye to their son. However, Drofa proposed an alternate plan. He offered to perform a procedure to remove the clot from the blood vessel to the brain and put in a stent, giving Phoenix a slim chance at survival."He regularly performs that procedure on adults [but it had] never been done on a newborn," Saulter said. "He was willing to try it."To perform the surgery, Drofa and his team also had to find a way to quickly operate with medical supplies designed for adult stroke patients."One of the things that made the procedure possible ... we had lots of experience here and were able to MacGyver" a solution, Drofa told ABC News. He explained the team searched for "the smallest device" they used in adults so that they could use it on Phoenix.At the time, Drofa didn't want Phoenix's parents to hope for too much and told them the chances of Phoenix surviving and recovering fully remained small. As Phoenix was wheeled into surgery, both Robert and Genevieve Saulter, 34, thought they may never see their son alive again."They let me pick him up with all the tubes," Robert Saulter said. "He wasn't really breathing without the bag and [they] let me hold him in my arms and let me tell him goodbye."For hours, the Saulters waited for word of whether their son had survived the surgery."It was the worst part -- just waiting and waiting," Genevieve Saulter said. "They had us in a room and we just waited for the phone call and the doctor said he would let us know either way."Drofa and the other doctors were able to remove the clot and put in the stent, but they also had to figure out how much medication to give the infant to keep the clots from reforming. The anticoagulant commonly used in adult stroke patients had not been tested in newborns."We had to custom make the dose," Drofa said.After the surgery, Phoenix was taken back to the intensive care unit as both his parents and doctors anxiously waited to see how he would do. A day after the operation, Drofa said the tests showed blood pumping normally in his brain and no new clots."I was surprised because we didn't know what was going to happen. ... He didn't show any deficit," Drofa said.Phoenix's parents had been bracing for the worst. But 24 hours after the surgery, with promising test results, they said they started to hope for the best."That's when we did feel hopeful again," Genevieve Saulter said.For the next few months, doctors kept a close eye on Phoenix to check for any sign of re-occurrence. While Phoenix was at
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  • Megan Dempsey(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- The image of a couple as they carry their 2-year-old child through a hospital hallway is capturing hearts across the nation.Celia and Geff Kinzel wed this month in the chapel of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where their son Logan is a patient. After the Jan. 7 ceremony, Logan's grandmother took a photo of him going back to his room with his mother and father."Everyone was really touched by it," Celia Kinzel told ABC News of the photo. "I really hope from all of this, that it does bring awareness to pediatric cancer. Before this happened to Logan, I thought it was rare. I hope this sheds some light on it and people see that it's common."Logan Kinzel was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer a second time in November and has done five rounds of chemotherapy."He is a charmer, he will just look at you and you fall in love with him," Kinzel said. "He is still smiling and playing. He had his days where he wants to lay down and be cozy all day but, for the most part, he's just a happy 2-year-old."Logan has been staying at the hospital since his second diagnosis. Because of this, his parents, who were engaged in 2015, decided to move up their wedding, which was originally scheduled for June 2, 2018.Celia, 26, and Geff Kinzel, 32, were married in the hospital chapel among family members, including sons Logan and Rowan, 4.On the way out, Kinzel's mother, Megan Dempsey, 49, snapped a photo of her daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Both Dempsey and the hospital later shared it on their Facebook pages."I was chasing them down the hallway ... they were going back up to Logan's hospital room and it was just a lucky snap of a picture," Dempsey of Columbus told ABC News. "We were so happy that Logan was able to come down. It was just a nice day for Celia and Geff and a nice break from what's really been such a difficult time."Nationwide Children's Hospital said it does its best to accommodate special occasions "in the best interest of the patient.""We are happy for the Kinzel family and glad they had such a lovely ceremony," a hospital representative wrote to ABC News.Kinzel hopes she and her family can make up lost time with Logan after he completes his treatments, she said.
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  • Courtesy Anne Schofield(NEW YORK) -- When Becca Schofield, was told last November the brain cancer she had fought for nearly two years was terminal, the 17-year-old said she decided to create a bucket list.When an overwhelming number of family and friends wanted to help with her bucket list, Becca, of Riverview, New Brunswick, thought of a way to help other people.Becca brainstormed with her dad, Darren Schofield, and came up with a hashtag, #BecccaToldMeTo, to give people a way to help others, and inadvertently help Becca, too.“Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to do things and a lot of [my bucket list] is I want to revisit places I’ve been, eat my favorite foods, watch my parents’ favorite movies with them,” Becca told ABC News. “It’s not stuff people can help with."“This is something other people can do and feel like they’re doing stuff for me,” she said. “I love that it’s not just for the recipient and not just for the person who’s giving. It’s also for me.”Becca, who underwent a seven-hour surgery after her first brain tumor was discovered in February 2015, took to Facebook last month to tell friends and family about the hashtag. Doctors said Becca has three months to a year to live, the family said.The hashtag was first created as simply a way to celebrate Becca’s last day of radiation, on Dec. 16. Now, more than one month later, Becca receives notifications from people around the world.“Every morning I wake up and I’m delighted that it’s still happening,” she said. “I feel like a kid on Christmas every single day. ... Every day is a gift to know that it’s happening.”Becca’s parents said they consider themselves as inadvertent beneficiaries of the random acts of kindness.“It makes more than three people feel good because me and my husband watch Becca's face and see the smile on her face,” Anne Schofield told ABC News. “In the evening, she’ll sit and look on her iPad and see what people have posted.”Schofield recalled a moment with her husband recently when they told Becca that they could have never imagined how quickly her acts of kindness hashtag would spread.Schofield said her daughter's response to them was, "You just don’t dream big enough.”
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