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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

If United States Provided Health Care To Undocumented Immigrants It Would Be An Outlier Even Among Progressive Countries

KHN Morning Briefing

Countries with government-run, universal health care often still place tough restrictions on providing that care for immigrants in the country illegally. Yet the idea is a popular one among the 2020 Democratic candidates. The New York Times looks at what would be involved in implementing the policy. In other news from the campaign trail: former Vice President Joe Biden promises to bring back the individual mandate if he’s elected, the complexities of “Medicare for All” continue to divide candidates and more.

DHS Watchdog Warns That ‘Dangerous Overcrowding,’ Inhumane Conditions At Detention Facilities Require Swift Action

KHN Morning Briefing

In a strongly worded report, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General said the prolonged detention of migrants without proper food, hygiene or laundry facilities — some for more than a month — requires “immediate attention and action.” Photos in the report show how extensive the problems at the facilities are.

Jokes About Migrant Deaths, Throwing Burritos At Latino Lawmakers Fester In Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group

KHN Morning Briefing

ProPublica received an inside look at some postings on a secret Facebook group for 9,500 former and current Border Patrol agents. The postings reflect what “seems to be a pervasive culture of cruelty aimed at immigrants within CBP. This isn’t just a few rogue agents or ‘bad apples,'” said Daniel Martinez, a sociologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson who studies the border. Customs and Border Protection said the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security would conduct an independent investigation.

Systemic, ‘Profoundly Heartbreaking’ Abuse Discovered At San Francisco Hospital, Sending Shock Waves Through City

KHN Morning Briefing

Twenty-three patients at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center who lived in two wards at the public hospital that primarily serves dementia patients were subjected to alleged physical and verbal abuse between 2016 and 2019. Health officials said Friday that the six alleged abusers took photos and videos of themselves engaging in the abuse — including having sexualized conversations with patients. The alleged abusers exchanged those photos and videos over text messages. News on hospitals comes out of Minnesota, Oregon, Florida and Kansas, as well.

9/11 Detective Who Pleaded With Congress Over Victims Fund Dies Of Cancer At Age 53

KHN Morning Briefing

Despite his illness, Luis Alvarez appeared with comedian Jon Stewart to urge Congress to authorize longterm health care funding for 9/11 first responders. “You all said you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t,” the former New York City police detective told lawmakers at the hearing. Alvarez was admitted to a hospice within a few days of his testimony.

Ex-FDA Head Scott Gottlieb Takes Seat On Pfizer’s Board Of Directors

KHN Morning Briefing

After resigning as FDA commissioner in March, Scott Gottlieb now joins the pharmaceutical industry he once regulated. In other pharma news: details emerge about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing proposal; a few states explore importing drugs from outside the U.S.; the future of biologics; and more.

‘The Children Come First’: House Passes Senate’s Border Aid Package Despite Progressive Democrats’ Objections

KHN Morning Briefing

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that in an effort to get the aid to the children at the border, she would give up her push to get the Senate to compromise on the Democrats’ demands. The decision came after an hour-long phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, who agreed that lawmakers would be notified within 24 hours after the death of a child in custody and to a 90-day time limit on children spending time in an influx facility, according to a source familiar with the agreement.

Once-Hidden Database Reveals Millions Of Injuries, Deaths Caused By Medical Device Malfunctions

KHN Morning Briefing

After two decades of keeping it hidden, the FDA published a database online, revealing 5.7 million medical device malfunctions and injuries publicly for the first time. KHN dives into the newly public reports. In other Trump administration news: EPA’s air pollution chief resigns; challenges with setting air quality measures; and how new China tariffs would impact the medical-supply industry.

New Hampshire’s Well-Established Price-Transparency Laws For Hospitals Shows Strategy Isn’t ‘A Home Run’

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would force hospitals and insurers to be more transparent about their prices. But a look at New Hampshire, which has the oldest and most comprehensive transparency laws in the country, reveals a more complicated outcome. In other hospital news: how systems profit from the poor they’re supposed to serve, drug shortages, and the struggles of rural hospitals.

Senate Rejects House’s Border Aid Bill And Passes Own $4.6B Version, Setting Up Stalemate As Crisis Continues To Worsen

KHN Morning Briefing

Lawmakers from both chambers are now facing a ticking clock to make a deal before their scheduled recess, as gruesome reports and heartbreaking photos of conditions from the border continue to capture the nation’s attention. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump with an appeal to make changes. Trump seemed open, but it’s unclear if the Senate will accept any amendments without assurances from the White House that Trump will sign the measure into law. Meanwhile, the new secretary of Homeland Security faces pressure to resign.

False, Misleading Information On Cancer ‘Cures’ Thrives On YouTube, Ensnaring Patients At Their Most Vulnerable Time

KHN Morning Briefing

“People with a new cancer diagnosis are often feeling vulnerable and scared,” said Renee DiResta, a researcher who studies disinformation. Facing the horrors of such a diagnosis and treatment, some people start searching for information and community online. But even as tech giants like YouTube and Facebook try to crack down on false health information shared on their platforms, it’s nearly impossible to get it all. In other health and technology news: robocalls, securing data and digital chronic disease management.

The Same Hospitals That Enjoy Tax-Exempt Status Hound Low-Income Patients With Aggressive Collection Efforts

KHN Morning Briefing

A new study finds that while not every hospital sues over unpaid bills, a few sue a lot. “Hospitals were built — mostly by churches — to be a safe haven for people regardless of one’s race, creed or ability to pay. Hospitals have a nonprofit status — most of them — for a reason,” says Martin Makary, one of the JAMA study’s authors and a surgeon and researcher at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “They’re supposed to be community institutions.”

In Midst Of A Suicide Crisis, VA Utilizes Algorithm To Try To Identify Those At Risk And Reach Out Before It’s Too Late

KHN Morning Briefing

Since the Department of Veterans Affairs adopted the technology in 2017, about 250 fewer veterans have died by suicide than would have been expected based on the previous rate, according to the agency’s estimates. It’s not clear how big a role the algorithms played in the reported decline. Meanwhile, veterans exposed to a chemical weapon while fighting in Iraq are fighting to be recognized by the government.