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April 15th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Anger over Chicago's mental health cuts

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @Nova_Safo

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – States have been slashing their mental healthcare budgets, even as mass shootings and the gun control debate highlight the need for more mental health resources.

Protesters in Chicago highlighted some of the consequences of those cuts last week. The occasion was the one-year anniversary of the city’s closure of half of its 12 public mental healthcare clinics. Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, one of the protest organizers, recalled the story of one patient who had confronted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel before the closures.

[3:45] “She told the mayor to his face, if you close my clinic, I will die. And within a month of him closing the clinic, she was dead. She died of heart failure. However, nobody can say that stress isn’t related to heart failure. She was going through immense stress at the prospect of losing her therapist.”

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Filed under: Health • Soundwaves • Stories
April 12th, 2013
11:20 AM ET

California gets ready for healthcare reform

By Jim Roope, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @JimRoopeCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – California is one of 17 states in the nation that has taken the federal government up on the option to roll out healthcare reform on its own.

The state will screen, pick and offer insurance plans to nearly 6 million residents who, under the new law, must have it by January 1, 2104. Peter Lee, the executive director of California’s healthcare exchange said it’s a complicated task, but California is too diverse for a one-size-fits-all plan or a free-for-all of providers.

[1:08] “It’s the biggest overhaul of healthcare since we launched Medicare 50 years ago; a total game-changer for health insurance in American…and California.”

Dr. Thomas Mahoney, Chief Medical Officer for CommuniCare Community Health Clinics in Sacramento, says six-million more Californians with health insurance doesn’t necessarily mean six-million new patients flooding doctors’ offices across the state.

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Filed under: Health • Soundwaves • Stories
March 8th, 2013
10:06 AM ET

Prepping for NYC’s ban on large sugary drinks

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SKastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – The term 'nanny state' can be heard echoing throughout New York City as the ban on large size sugary soft drink goes into effect next week.

Some businesses are figuring out ways to work around the ban.

[1:08] “What I don’t understand is this, they don’t want me to put a carafe of let’s say tonic or ginger ale, unless it’s diet, out which a carafe is a liter. But I can have ten 16 ounce bottles of it out on the same table,” said Paul Seres who runs the DL Restaurant and Lounge in New York City.

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February 19th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

Sweeping violent mentally ill off NYC streets

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SKastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – A recent rash of people being pushed to their deaths on the tracks in New York City’s subway system has city officials pushing to get potentially dangerous mentally ill people off the streets.

The city’s health department gave police a list of 25 people who are not complying with court ordered treatments and pose a danger to themselves or others.

[2:35] “They’re individuals who don’t recognize the extent of their illness or the need for the treatment that has already been prescribed for them, being medication or whatever.” said Don Capone, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in New York.

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Filed under: Behavior • Crime • Health • Soundwaves • Stories
February 8th, 2013
12:26 PM ET

Hospitals closing in sign of crisis

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SkastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – A community in Brooklyn is fighting to keep its local hospital, Long Island College Hospital (LICH), open. However, it's drowning in debt.

Community activists like Joanne Simon says closing LICH would create a significant problem for many in the neighborhood.

[1:41] “Well there would be very few options for a lot of people. You know, there aren’t enough institutional resources, medical resources, to absorb the population and this is an area that’s growing in terms of population.”

Dr. John Williams, president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, which owns LICH, says he has no other option but to close the community hospital.

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