Health Highlights: March 16, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

UK Scientists Get License to Create Babies With DNA From 3 People

Scientists at Newcastle University in Britain have received a license to create babies using DNA from three people.

The university said the license, the first such approval to be granted, was issued by the country’s fertility regulator on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

British officials approved “cautious use” of this approach last December. It’s meant to prevent women from passing fatal genetic diseases to their children by fixing problems in mitochondria, energy-producing structures outside the nucleus of cells.

Last year, American doctors said they had created the world’s first baby using this method. But they had to do so in Mexico because the approach has not been approved in the United States, the AP reported.


Nearly 13 Million Signed Up for Coverage This Year Under Affordable Care Act

About 12.2 million Americans have signed up for coverage this year under the Affordable Care Act, according to the federal government.

That does not include an additional 765,000 people signed up under an option called the Basic Health Plan, which is used by two states, New York and Minnesota, the Associated Press reported.

The announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that nearly 13 million people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act — sometimes called Obamacare — comes as Republicans seek to repeal and replace it.

“This report is a reminder that while there’s a big debate in Washington about the future of the Affordable Care Act, the law remains in place for now and is covering millions of people,” Larry Levitt, of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told the AP.

Meanwhile, the Republicans’ proposed health care bill is under attack after congressional budget analysts said it would lead to 24 million more uninsured people in a decade.

Measures in the bill include capping future federal spending on Medicaid for low-income people, and reversing tax increases on rich people meant to finance coverage expansion, the AP reported.

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