Kaiser Health News covers health care in the Midwest, with a bureau headquartered in St. Louis and staff reporters based in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

A New Use for Dating Apps: Chasing STDs

For contact tracers of sexually transmitted diseases, telephones and text messages have become ineffective. Dating apps increasingly are their best bet for informing people of their exposure risks.

How Optimism Can Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap

Low-income residents in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are in a tough spot: They don’t qualify for the subsidies that people with slightly higher incomes get to buy marketplace plans because of a glitch in the federal health law. But a court decision last year makes it easier for them to make good-faith estimates of a pay increase, and there is no financial penalty if they don’t hit that figure.

Abortion Issue Helps Limit Democrats’ Losses in Midterms

Although control of Congress was still undecided Wednesday, Republicans seemed poised to take power in the House, while the fate of the Senate remained too close to call. Economic issues were at the top of voters’ minds, but abortion access also played a large role in their decisions.

Centene Showers Politicians With Millions as It Courts Contracts and Settles Overbilling Allegations

Centene, the largest Medicaid managed-care company in the U.S., has thrown more than $26.9 million at political campaigns across the country since 2015, especially focused on states where it is wooing Medicaid contracts and settling accusations that it overbilled taxpayers. Among its tactics: Centene is skirting contribution limits by giving to candidates through its many subsidiaries.

$38,398 for a Single Shot of a Very Old Cancer Drug

Lupron, a drug patented half a century ago, treats advanced prostate cancer. It’s sold to physicians for $260 in the U.K. and administered at no charge. Why are U.S. hospitals — which may pay nearly as little for the drug — charging so much more to administer it?