As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Local health officials find themselves once again behind the covid curve as the delta variant drives their case counts. With resources already stretched, along with the politicization of covid-19, county and state health departments in places like Missouri and Texas are making tough calls on whom to trace.
Scientists have found little evidence that the kind of masks worn by students negatively affect oxygen or carbon dioxide levels.
North Carolina claims to be the “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State.” Now veterans are trying to capitalize on this dedication to the troops to persuade lawmakers to pass medical marijuana legislation. It’s an advocacy model that has led to success for pro-cannabis efforts elsewhere.
The Florida governor’s order said schools couldn’t mandate that students wear masks and that the state could deny funding to school districts that didn’t comply.
As the nation confronts the delta variant, many consumers are again facing delays getting tested. The problem appears most acute in the South and Midwest, where new infections are growing the fastest.
Pharmacy benefit managers have curtailed in-person audits of pharmacy claims during the pandemic, switching to virtual audits done by computer. That has markedly increased the number of claims they can review — and the chances for payment denials — squeezing pharmacies and bringing in more cash for the benefit companies.
Restrictive abortion regulations enacted across the South require women to drive across state lines to find safe services. With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear a challenge to Roe v. Wade, abortion rights defenders say long drives and wait times could become the norm across much of America.
The Supreme Court, come autumn, will consider a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That’s hardly the most restrictive abortion law passed in the South. How did anti-abortion views become concentrated in the South?
Community Health Systems, a large, for profit hospital chain, shrank from more than 200 to 84 facilities. It is continuing to sue patients for hospitals that now exist as little more than legal entities.
Big Bend Regional Medical Center, the only hospital in a sparsely populated region of West Texas, announced that because of a nursing shortage its labor and delivery unit must close for days at a time and patients must go instead to a hospital an hour away.
The summer that promised to let Americans resume a relatively normal life is turning into another summer of anxiety and face masks, as the delta variant drives covid caseloads up in all 50 states. Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 35, and the Missouri Supreme Court orders the state to expand Medicaid after all. Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Samantha Young, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about an Olympic-level athlete with an Olympic-size medical bill.
Only severely injured patients are supposed to be billed for “trauma team alert” fees that can exceed $50,000.
Thousands of schools have spent millions of federal covid relief dollars snapping up air cleaning technology that claims to inactivate covid-19. But the devices fall into a regulatory gap.
El 4 de julio no fue la celebración que esperaba el presidente Joe Biden. La nación no alcanzó el objetivo de la Casa Blanca de dar al menos una primera dosis de la vacuna contra covid al 70% de los adultos para el Día de la Independencia.
Vermont and Massachusetts lead the nation, with more than 70% of adults having had at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. Southern states like Tennessee lag far behind.
Black and Hispanic students have lost up to 12 months of learning, which could lead to lower incomes and shorter, sicker lives.
La pandemia proyectará una larga sombra sobre la salud estadounidense, lo que hará que millones de personas vivan más enfermas y mueran más jóvenes debido a las crecientes tasas de pobreza, hambre e inseguridad en la vivienda.
The pandemic will undermine Americans’ health for years. Even those not infected by the coronavirus could suffer health problems related to poverty, job loss, eviction — or all of the above.
In Texas’ border communities, which are overwhelmingly Hispanic, covid-19 death rates for people under age 65 were double those in the rest of the state and three times the national average. They were also significantly higher than rates in New Mexico border areas.