Longer Looks: Immigrants And Obamacare; Surprise ER Bills & Canada’s ‘Killer Nurse’
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
"Nobody's Speaking English:" In Detroit Suburbs, Arab American Enrollment In Obamacare Breeds Resentment
When she lived in Baghdad, Bushra Rahameed would often step outside the door, just to run errands, and see corpses. “With our own eyes,” she said over and over recently, breaking into English for emphasis, then returning to Arabic. “Like a movie.” (Sarah Kliff, 7/26)
The New York Times:
The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills
Early last year, executives at a small hospital an hour north of Spokane, Wash., started using a company called EmCare to staff and run their emergency room. The hospital had been struggling to find doctors to work in its E.R., and turning to EmCare was something hundreds of other hospitals across the country had done. That’s when the trouble began. Before EmCare, about 6 percent of patient visits in the hospital’s emergency room were billed for the most complex, expensive level of care. After EmCare arrived, nearly 28 percent got the highest-level billing code. (Creswell, Abelson and Sanger-Katz, 7/24)
Elizabeth Wettlaufer, Canada’s Killer Nurse, And The Archetype Of The Health Care Murderer.
The two go on to make some small talk — they chat about the price of Toronto Blue Jays playoff tickets, among other things — and then Bethe Wettlaufer begins to tell her story. “It seems so stupid now,” she says, referring to the eight murders and six attempted murders she committed between 2007 and 2016 while caring for elderly patients at a series of nursing homes. She then clambers to her feet and tries to clear her head. (Daniel Engber, 7/24)
The Bankruptcies That Would Follow An Obamacare Repeal
Even without more specifics on the details of the legislation, one thing is clear: The options under consideration would increase the number of uninsured by 15 to 30 million over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated. A consequence of this will be not only a loss of access to medical services, but an increase in financial crises for millions of American families. Insurance, after all, is also a financial product, protecting people from economic ruin. (Annie Lowrey, 7/25)
How Democrats Won The Health Care War
"The mover on health care loses,” Democratic operative James Carville said in January. “To do something is to lose.” That cold-hearted political proverb has been repeatedly proven true, if the standard is short-term electoral gain. In terms of policy, it’s another story. Now that Obamacare repeal has fizzled, Democrats have officially won the eight-year health care war. (Bill Scher, 7/20)
I Hacked My Body For A Future That Never Came
In fall 2012, I implanted a rare earth magnet in my right ring finger. Magnets were one of the most accessible forms of DIY biohacking, a niche subculture riding the start of a massive mainstream publicity wave. My colleague Ben Popper got one while writing a biohacking feature, and it sounded like magic. (Adi Robertson, 7/21)