Kaiser Health News covers health care in the Midwest out of our bureau in St. Louis.

‘Almost Like Malpractice’: To Shed Bias, Doctors Get Schooled to Look Beyond Obesity

Research has long shown that doctors are less likely to respect patients who are overweight or obese — terms that now apply to nearly three-quarters of adults in the U.S. The Association of American Medical Colleges plans to roll out new diversity, equity, and inclusion standards aimed at teaching doctors, among other things, how to treat patients who are overweight with respect.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Invisible Pandemic

Covid cases are again climbing, but you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of public health and elected officials, much less the general public, all of whom seem to want to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, the fallout over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion continues even as the Senate fails — again — to muster the votes to write abortion rights into law. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.

As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

Georgia may soon join a growing list of states decriminalizing the use of fentanyl testing strips. Bans of the strips — on the books in about half of states, experts say — stem from laws criminalizing drug paraphernalia adopted decades ago. But the testing devices are now recommended to help prevent overdose deaths.

Downsized City Sees Its Health Care Downsized as Hospital Awaits Demolition

A 124-year-old hospital in a midsize Rust Belt city in Indiana will soon be torn down, despite protests from residents and city officials decrying the loss of local health services. The Catholic hospital system said it is downsizing the 226-bed hospital because of a lack of demand for inpatient care, as the organization has been building new hospitals in wealthier suburbs.

A sign outside of a hosp ital reads, "Franciscan Health Hammond." The hospital is seen in the background behind trees.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Finally, a Fix for the ‘Family Glitch’

President Joe Biden welcomed former President Barack Obama back to the White House this week to announce a new policy for the Affordable Care Act that would make subsidies available to more families with unaffordable employer coverage. Meanwhile, Congress struggled to find a compromise for continued federal funding of covid-19 vaccines, testing, and treatments. Tami Luhby of CNN, Shefali Luthra of The 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.