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More people in Louisiana are signing up for health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (found on aspe.hhs.gov) released Feb. 12 says, as of Feb. 1, 32,800 Louisiana residents were signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace – which is nearly double the number of residents enrolled in January. The marketplace opened Oct. 1, 2013, and many users had problems enrolling due to a glitchy website. After March 31, those without a health insurance plan will have to pay a penalty.

Figures from the 2013 LSU Economic Impact Study: Estimating the Economic Impact of LSU on Louisiana say the LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) New Orleans generated almost $900 million in sales, more than $390 million in earnings and created almost 7,000 jobs in the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area that fiscal year. LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business conducted the study, which is the first to measure the combined impact of the nine LSU campuses on state and regional economies. Louisiana State University President and Chancellor F. King Alexander presented the figures to the LSU Board of Supervisors at a meeting in late January.

Cancer patients and survivors head to the fifth floor of Ochsner’s Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center every week to participate in the hospital’s Healing Yoga Program. Each class is a one-hour session followed by yoga-nidra, a form of yoga meditation. Yoga specialist Louanne Cho designs the classes for the specific people attending the class – and how they feel – that day. Yoga and meditation can promote self-confidence and optimism, and studies have shown that people with chronic illness can have a better quality of life if they stay positive. The classes are open to patients and survivors of all ages and are held on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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