Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Intimidation, Fear Used To Prevent Potential Whisteblowers From Speaking Out, VA Employees Claim

KHN Morning Briefing

“If you say anything about patient care and the problems, you’re quickly labeled a troublemaker and attacked by a clique that just promotes itself. Your life becomes hell,” said one longtime employee at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. In other veterans’ health care news: a lawsuit over burn pits, the nomination hearing for the president’s pick to lead the VA, and staffing issues at medical centers.

Experts Emphasize Importance Of Incremental Improvements With New Flu Vaccine

KHN Morning Briefing

It was shown to be only slightly better than the old one. But baby steps are still forward movement, experts say. In other news on vaccinations: there’s a national shortage on the shingles vaccine; an experimental therapy for type 1 diabetes shows some early stages of success; and officials warn about hot spots for diseases where vaccination rates lag.

Trump Proposes Shaking Up Agencies With Model That Hearkens Back To 1950s

KHN Morning Briefing

The changes President Donald Trump wants to make to agencies that oversee government aid are unlikely to come to pass, but they signal the White House’s agenda toward social safety-net programs. Right now the focus is on the Education and Labor Departments, but officials are also looking at programs and offices within HHS.

Psychological Damage From Separation Has Already Been Done To Kids, Experts Say As Trump Caves On Immigration Policy

KHN Morning Briefing

“It’s not like an auto body shop where you fix the dent and everything looks like new. We’re talking about children’s minds,” said Luis H. Zayas, professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Texas at Austin. “We did the harm; we should be responsible for fixing the damage. But the sad thing for most of these kids is this trauma is likely to go untreated.” Media outlets dive into the mental health toll of President Donald Trump’s family separation policy, as well as the lasting political ramifications it may have in the coming months.

When Others Have Given Up On Patients, This Neurologist Steps In

KHN Morning Briefing

Dr. Alice Flaherty likes to tinker with machines until she fixes what’s broken. And her current interest involves patients who others say aren’t really sick or lack motivation to get better. “I got interested in that whole thing, like if you want to get better then you’re sick, if you don’t want to get better, then it’s a vice,” she says. “What was it that made us attribute willfulness to people who were obviously miserable?” In other public health news: smoking, video game addiction, autism, diets, ticks, alternative medicines, and more.

‘The Effect Is Catastrophic’: Medical Experts Speak Out Against Policy Of Separating Migrant Kids From Parents

KHN Morning Briefing

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association have all issued statements against the Trump administration’s new policy. “To pretend that separated children do not grow up with the shrapnel of this traumatic experience embedded in their minds is to disregard everything we know about child development, the brain, and trauma,” reads a separate petition from mental health professionals.