KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State News: A Doctor Shortage In New Jersey, A Plan To Expand Health Care In Iowa And More

News outlets report on a health care expansion plan in Iowa, an outcry over a possible hospital deal in New York, the impending doctor shortage in New Jersey, and an increase in new HIV infections in Minnesota.

The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune: In Iowa, "Democratic legislative leaders Tuesday unveiled a health care expansion plan designed to broaden coverage for low-income adults, but they acknowledged they couldn't start up such a system until Congress approves a broader health care overhaul. The program announced Tuesday by Democrats who hold majorities in the House and Senate calls for regional health centers so that working poor residents could get care closer to home." Supporters of the effort estimate that 250,000 adults in Iowa are uninsured (Glover, 1/26).

The New York Times: "One of New York City's largest hospital systems has made an offer to take over the financially struggling St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, provoking opposition from elected officials who fear the loss of critical medical services, especially emergency care, for tens of thousands of patients who could be sent elsewhere. The proposal by the hospital system, Continuum Health Partners, to take over St. Vincent's and turn it into an outpatient center would mean the loss of the city's last Catholic general hospital, at least in the form in which it has been known for more than 160 years" (Hartocollis, 1/26). "New Jersey is facing a shortage of about 2,800 doctors by the year 2020, according to the results of a study released Tuesday by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals. … They anticipate shortages in almost every area, such as pediatrics, family medicine, anesthesiology, cardiovascular diseases and orthopedic surgery. The only area that won't have a shortage is emergency medicine." Contributing factors include a shortage of medical school and post-graduate training opportunities (Beym, 1/27).

Star Tribune: "The number of new HIV infections in Minnesota rose 13 percent in 2009, the biggest increase in 17 years, signaling the return of a health scourge that public health experts had hoped was under control. After holding steady for several years, the number of new HIV cases in the state rose from 326 in 2008 to 368 last year. … Peter Carr, manager of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases for the Health Department, said the causes are complex ... (but) the increase was not the result of increased testing" (Marcotty, 1/26).

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