Longer Looks: ER Bills; The Great Society; Amazon’s New Venture
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
An ER Visit, A $12,000 Bill — And A Health Insurer That Wouldn’t Pay
Brittany Cloyd came in after a night of worsening fever and a increasing pain on the right side of her stomach. She called her mother, a former nurse, who thought it sounded like appendicitis and told Cloyd to go to the hospital immediately.The doctors in the emergency room did multiple tests including a CT scan and ultrasound. They determined that Cloyd had ovarian cysts, not appendicitis. They gave her pain medications that helped her feel better, and an order to follow up with a gynecologist.A few weeks later, Cloyd received something else: a $12,596 hospital bill her insurance denied — leaving her on the hook for all of it. (Sarah Kliff, 1/29)
What Everyone Gets Wrong About LBJ’s Great Society
Since at least the early 1980s, Republicans have been committed to dismantling Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society—a collection of programs the 36th president vowed would lead to “an end to poverty and racial injustice.” (Joshua Zeitz, 1/28)
The New Yorker:
What Does It Mean To Die?
Before having her tonsils removed, Jahi McMath, a thirteen-year-old African-American girl from Oakland, California, asked her doctor, Frederick Rosen, about his credentials. “How many times have you done this surgery?” Hundreds of times, Rosen said. “Did you get enough sleep last night?” He’d slept fine, he responded. Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, encouraged Jahi to keep asking questions. “It’s your body,” she said. “Feel free to ask that man whatever you want.” (Rachel Aviv, 1/30)
New York Magazine:
Amazon Shouldn’t Be In Charge Of Fixing Health-Care
On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Jamie Dimon provided a reminder of this latter reality, when they announced a plan to funnel their companies’ “collective resources” into a nonprofit entity that will fund medical research, and exert pricing power over the health-care market — an entity that sounds a bit like, well, the federal government (minus democratic accountability). (Eric Levitz, 1/30)
How Women’s Reproductive Rights Stalled Under Trump
Women’s bodies are a perennial political battleground in the US. This is the only developed country with no universal health coverage and one of only a few with no guaranteed paid maternity leave. Compared to women in Canada or Europe, it’s harder for Americans to take time off work to see a doctor, or get affordable child care. When I asked maternal health experts why American women have a shockingly high risk of dying in childbirth, I was told their health just isn’t valued here. (Julia Belluz, 1/30)
10 Days Of Eating Fat, For My Mental Health
Keto may be getting attention as a weight-loss tool now, but it’s been a huge deal in the medical field for years. Doctors have prescribed the ketogenic diet for epileptic patients since the 1920s, and numerous studies demonstrate it can dramatically reduce seizure activity. And now, a growing body of research suggests the ketogenic diet has potential to treat a wide range of mental-health concerns. (Susie Neilson, 1/26)
Cafeteria Inspections Reveal Critical Health Violations At New York City Schools.
At Public School 398 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, elementary school students were offered a lunch of beef patties, zucchini and pears on March 20. A city health inspector discovered some unappetizing conditions in the cafeteria and kitchen that day: live roaches and close to 600 fresh mice droppings – all conditions primed to cause illness. At Middle School 137 in Ozone Park, Queens, where the kitchen prepares more than 700 meals for five area schools, an inspector found about 1,500 flies on July 12. The Health Department gave the school two days to clean up and put all food in rat-proof containers. While there was some improvement when an inspector returned July 17, flies still loomed and the kitchen remained dirty. The school got another two days to fix the violations. Only on the third try were the problems rectified. (Pauliina Siniauer and Mallory Moench)