News & Information

Obamacare, Obesity and Video Games, Trump's Travel Ban

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Feb 1, 2017
  • 1:44:14

What Obamacare Was Really About Guest: J.B. Silvers, PhD, Professor of Health Care Management at Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University This is the last day people can sign up for health insurance in 2017 through the state and federal marketplaces – or “exchanges” – created by the Affordable Care Act.  It could be the last Obamacare enrollment period ever, since President Trump and Republicans in Congress are in the process of repealing it. If you get insurance through your employer or from Medicaid or Medicare, this deadline doesn’t mean much to you, because the Obamacare marketplaces are meant for people who are self-employed or retired early or work an hourly job that doesn’t offer health benefits. They make up the “individual insurance market” and what you may not realize is that Obamacare was primarily created for them. So, they will be among those most affected if its repealed.   Teaching Teeth to Heal Themselves Guest: Paul Sharpe, PhD, Professor of Craniofacial Biology, Dental Institute King’s College, London All through childhood and adolescence, cavities were a pretty regular part of our lives, and getting them filled is no fun. The needles and drills and the sitting there with your mouth cranked wide open trying not to freak out about what’s going on.  So here’s some exciting news - researchers at King’s College London have figured out how to make teeth in mice regenerate themselves. Here’s hoping they can figure out how to make it work in humans.  Wearable Sensors Predict Illness Guest: Michael Snyder, PhD, professor of Genetics, Stanford Your Fitbit can tell you how many steps you took in a day, but what if it could pick up subtle cues that you might be sick, even before you realize you’re not feeling well? The technology to do that is pretty much already here. What we need is computer programs that can collect that steady stream of data about our body temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels and such and make sense of it.  The Cost of Helping Co-Workers Guest: Klodiana Lanaj, PhD, Professor of Management, University of Florida Most of us know what it’s like to be the new person at work, relying on our coworkers to show us the ropes until we get the swing of things. And once we’re seasoned, some people take great pleasure in being the one everyone goes to for help. That kind of generosity at work can win you points with the boss and the rest of the team. It can even make you feel good. But it does have its consequences.  Battling Obesity with Video Games Guest: Amy Lu, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Game Design Program, College of Arts, Media and Design, Department of Health Sciences of the Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University Anyone who thinks all video games are for couch potatoes has not worked up a sweat playing Dance Dance Revolution. There’s a whole crop of video games that use motion sensors and require players to move their bodies in order to win a dance off, compete in a virtual sports game or fend off attackers. The problem is that these active video games aren’t typically the ones that absorb children for hours on end. They’re lacking some element that could actually keep a child engaged long enough to get a real workout. If researchers could figure out what that missing something is, video games could become a real tool for fighting the childhood obesity epidemic.  Trump’s Travel Ban and NSC Shakeup Guest: Ryan Vogel, J.D., Professor and Founding Director of the Center for National Security Studies, Utah Valley University It’s been a dramatic 24 hours for the US Justice Department, stemming from President Trump’s order temporarily banning all refugees from entering the US, as well as citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order also bans Syrian refugees from resettling in the US indefinitely.  Late Monday, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Trump’s immigration order because she wasn’t convinced it was legal. President Trump swiftly fired her and calling her “an Obama Administration appointee, who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.” A new acting Attorney General who will defend Trump’s order was sworn in around 9 p.m. Monday. Then today, a committee of senators was supposed to vote on Trump’s nominee for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but Democrats delayed that citing concern that Sessions wouldn’t stand up to Trump if he thought the president were doing something illegal.   Meanwhile, Trump’s order, officially titled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” continues to draw protests and praise.