KHN’s coverage of the Midwest is supported in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health. Stories related to these topics are featured below. Click here for more on KHN and its funders.

Heartbreaking Bills, Lawsuit and Bankruptcy — Even With Insurance

With health insurance that can leave him on the hook for more than a quarter of his salary every year, a Kentucky essential worker who has heart disease is one of millions of Americans who are functionally uninsured. At only 31, he has already been through bankruptcy and being sued by his hospital. This year, he faced a bill for more than $10,000.

Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.

At-Home Care Designed For COVID Likely Here To Stay At Cleveland Hospital

A public hospital in Cleveland has been trying to keep COVID patients out of its beds. It tried a number of innovations for developing better communication — even better relationships — with patients. Officials think this groundwork helped keep the outbreak at bay — and should be the new business model going forward.