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

Missouri’s War on Public Health Shows Extent of National Rift

A public health official who said he was anti-abortion and anti-mandate for masks and covid vaccines did not pass the purity test of a Missouri senator who opposes covid public health restrictions. The senator killed the official’s nomination to be state health director, highlighting how hands may be tied in the nationwide fight against infectious diseases.

Faxes and Snail Mail: Will Pandemic-Era Flaws Unleash Improved Health Technology?

The covid-19 pandemic exposed how state and local governments’ severely outdated technology can hinder unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medicaid, vaccine registrations, and the flow of other critical information. Now, with hefty federal pandemic relief and unexpected tax windfalls, states may finally have the chance to revamp their information technology for health care and social services. But can they?

Left Behind: Medicaid Patients Say Rides to Doctors Don’t Always Come

States are required to set up transportation to medical appointments for adults, children and people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicaid program, and contracts can be worth tens of millions of dollars for transportation companies. But patients say the companies that deliver those rides are showing up late — and sometimes not at all — leaving them in bad weather, disrupting their care and even causing injuries.