Belching, hiccuping and related issues are common complaints among patients. Dr. David Johnson of Eastern Virginia Medical School explains the distinction between normal and abnormal belching, and discusses the behavioral component of what's known as supragastric belching -- meaning it isn't serving an important physiological function. Yet, belching and the related condition of air swallowing aren't easily treated. Interventions could include drugs or speech therapy. Hiccups, meanwhile, are associated with a spasm of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm. Hiccups are common, but a persistent issue can signal a serious health problem and should be evaluated by an expert.
AHIP President Karen Ignagni also discussed the proposal in a Newsmaker session with USA TODAY. "This is a major step, and it changes everything about how the market works," she said. Read a live blog of the session.