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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

18M High-Risk Americans Were Underinsured At Onset Of Pandemic

KHN Morning Briefing

Some of the groups that have been most susceptible to COVID-19 were also the ones with the highest rates of being underinsured or completely uninsured. “In a way lower-income people and racial minorities are in double jeopardy because of the way our healthcare system is financed,” said lead study author Dr. Adam Gaffney.

Trump Administration Sitting On More Than 75% Of Humanitarian Aid Allocated By Congress

KHN Morning Briefing

Relief workers say they were alarmed and bewildered as to why the vast majority of the aid money has not been distributed. Officials in charge of the funds say they want to ensure it goes to the right places, but relief organizations say the money is being released “demonstrably slower” than in past global health crises. Meanwhile, Bill Gates expresses his disappointment with President Donald Trump’s decision to cut ties with WHO.

Unemployment Rate Falls To 13.3%, Shocking Experts Who Expected Grimmer Numbers

KHN Morning Briefing

The report is the latest sign that the economic free fall may have bottomed out. But experts say that it still may take years for the economy to truly recover. The Labor Department said the improvements, “reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April.”

White House Winnows Sprawling Vaccine Field Down To Five Top Candidates But Hurdles Remain

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump has been eager to get a vaccine to market by the end of the year, but scientists have viewed that goal as extremely optimistic if not unrealistic. Vaccine development is notoriously difficult and time-consuming; the record is four years, and a decade is not unusual. In other news: the global race could lead to a Sputnik moment; the FDA struggles to remain neutral; a watchdog group calls for an investigation into Moderna’s stocks; and more.

Are Patient Privacy Rights Being Betrayed In Data Trades The Mayo Clinic Makes With Tech Companies?

KHN Morning Briefing

The data is ”de-identified”, but ethics experts pose questions about a patient’s rights to opt out and what, if anything, is owed to them. The trades help companies develop digital products and services and are worth about $5 million to the Mayo Clinic. Other technology news is on teleheath, new discussions about the future of national patient identifiers and phishing targeting WHO.

HHS Has Yet To Allot Nearly $100 Billion In Aid To Hard-Hit Hospitals, Health Clinics

KHN Morning Briefing

“Congress intended these dollars to go to health care providers quickly to combat the pandemic,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “It’s clear that the Trump administration’s distribution of this aid has been poorly targeted and too slow in coming.” Meanwhile, HHS changes its rules for provider relief grants.

Even Before Pandemic, A Third Of Hospitals Were Losing Money On Patient Care

KHN Morning Briefing

An extreme drop-off in procedures and patients other than those who have COVID-19 has taken the hospital industry out at the knees financially. Hospitals that were barely staying afloat before the pandemic have been hit especially hard. In other industry news: pediatric-care deserts crop up, California wants more power to stop mergers and more.

Masks And Social Distancing Help Curb Virus, But Scientists Say Don’t Forget To Wash Your Hands

KHN Morning Briefing

The report also found that eye gear can help as well, but that no single thing is the perfect solution. Meanwhile, a study reiterates the importance of health care professionals wearing N95s instead of just surgical masks. Other news on protective face coverings focuses on the challenges of kids wearing masks and state leaders’ efforts to secure protective gear.