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Home Births Gain Popularity in ‘Baby Bust’ Decade

In a back-to-the-future twist on birth trends, California is seeing a sustained rise in the number of women choosing to deliver their babies in settings other than a hospital, a shift that accelerated as the pandemic created more risky and onerous conditions in many hospitals. About 5,600 people gave birth outside a hospital in California …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: They Turned Grief Into Action

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In 2004, 24-year-old Manny Lanza urgently needed surgery for a life-threatening brain condition. But he didn’t have insurance, so his hospital refused to schedule the treatment — until it was too late. Manny died waiting.  In the months that followed, Manny’s parents, Reynaldo Prieto and Levia Lanza, …

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California’s Reboot of Troubled Medi-Cal Puts Pressure on Health Plans

When Denise Williams’ baby boy was 2 months old, she became alarmed by a rattling sound in his lungs and took him to the emergency room. While undergoing treatment, he spiraled into a disabling neurological disorder. Now 2 years old, Markeano is attached to breathing and feeding tubes. He can’t walk or move his arms. …

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Scientists Examine Kids’ Unique Immune Systems as More Fall Victim to Covid

Eighteen months into the covid-19 pandemic, with the delta variant fueling a massive resurgence of disease, many hospitals are hitting a heartbreaking new low. They’re now losing babies to the coronavirus. The first reported covid-related death of a newborn occurred in Orange County, Florida, and an infant has died in Mississippi. Merced County in California …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Much Ado About Drug Prices

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Congressional Democrats are finding it harder to actually write legislation to lower drug prices than it is to make promises about it. But the drug price provisions of the $3.5 trillion social-spending bill …

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No Papers, No Care: Disabled Migrants Seek Help Through Lawsuit, Activism

Desperation led José Luis Hernández to ride atop a speeding train through northern Mexico with hopes of reaching the United States 13 years ago. But he didn’t make it. Slipping off a step above a train coupling, he slid under the steel wheels. In the aftermath, he lost his right arm and leg, and all …

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Over Half of States Have Rolled Back Public Health Powers in Pandemic

Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases. A KHN review of hundreds of pieces of legislation found that, in all 50 states, legislators have proposed bills …

Over Half of States Have Rolled Back Public Health Powers in Pandemic Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Future of Public Health

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Click here for a transcript of the episode. The covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on public health, a key part of the health care system that …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How Charity Care Made It Into the ACA

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Charity care is one tiny provision in the giant Affordable Care Act, and it can make a big difference for patients who face huge bills. How did it get into the law? One Republican senator made sure the ACA required nonprofit hospitals to act more like charities …

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Listen: Many Schools Are Buying High-Tech Air Purifiers. What Should Parents Know?

This is a collaboration between KHN and “Science Friday.” Listen to the conversation between KHN senior correspondent Christina Jewett and Science Friday’s host and executive producer, Ira Flatow. As students return to school, parents are getting a lot of mail about what schools are doing to better protect kids in the classroom — including details …

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Medicaid Vaccination Rates Founder as States Struggle to Immunize Their Poorest Residents

Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated against covid-19 at far lower rates than the general population as states search for the best strategies to improve access to the shots and persuade those who remain hesitant. Efforts by state Medicaid agencies and the private health plans that most states pay to cover their low-income residents has been …

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Jaw Surgery Takes a $27,119 Bite out of One Man’s Budget

For years, Ely Bair dealt with migraine headaches, jaw pain and high blood pressure, until a dentist recommended surgery to realign his jaw to get to the root of his health problems. The fix would involve two surgeries over a couple of years and wearing braces on his teeth before and in between the procedures. …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be known as “Comirnaty.” It is …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s and winning, worked on a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. The goal? Get nonprofit — or “charity” — hospitals to actually provide charity care instead of price-gouging and dunning low-income patients.  Scruggs …

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care Read More »

Pandemic Unveils Growing Suicide Crisis for Communities of Color

This story is a collaboration between KHN and “Science Friday.” Listen to the conversation between KHN national correspondent Aneri Pattani and John Dankosky, Science Friday’s director of news and radio projects. Rafiah Maxie has been a licensed clinical social worker in the Chicago area for a decade. Throughout that time, she’d viewed suicide as a problem …

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Biden’s No-Jab-No-Job Order Creates Quandary for Nursing Homes

President Joe Biden’s edict that nursing homes must ensure their workers are vaccinated against covid-19 presents a challenge for an industry struggling to entice its lowest-paid workers to get shots without driving them to seek employment elsewhere. Although 83% of residents in the average nursing facility are vaccinated, only 61% of a home’s workers are …

Biden’s No-Jab-No-Job Order Creates Quandary for Nursing Homes Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Booster Time

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. As covid-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise, the Biden administration is countering with new strategies. The latest efforts include preparing for vaccine boosters starting this …

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In Rural America, Twisting Arms to Take a Covid Vaccine First Takes Trust

CAIRO, Ill. — Lee Wright was hard at work, constructing a nail salon near the city’s abandoned hospital, when Jody Johnson stopped by to introduce himself on a recent afternoon. Johnson, who works for the University of Illinois Extension program, chatted with Wright casually in the summertime heat. For Johnson, it was the first step …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Senate Acts

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Senate has set the stage for a busy fall that will include debate on a broad array of health issues, such as prescription drug prices, Medicare …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Blues

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The U.S. is experiencing another surge of covid-19, particularly in Southern states where vaccination rates are generally lower than in other regions. But partisan fights rage on …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Hot Covid Summer

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Predictions of a “hot vax summer” that would let Americans who had their covid immunizations celebrate the waning of the pandemic are turning out to have been …

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Watch: More Long Covid Cases Seen in Kids

The vast majority of the pandemic’s 4.1 million covid infections in children have been mild. However, doctors are concerned about a growing number of long-haul covid cases and a rare but dangerous inflammatory disease, particularly among Black and Latino children. KHN correspondent Sarah Varney, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, reports on the phenomena. This story …

Watch: More Long Covid Cases Seen in Kids Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Changes the Covid Conversation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The resurgence of covid cases in the U.S. — largely attributable to the much more contagious delta variant — has given policymakers the jitters. The Biden administration …

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Novavax’s Effort to Vaccinate the World, From Zero to Not Quite Warp Speed

On a sweltering June morning, Novavax CEO and covid vaccine maker Stanley Erck stood on a stage unmasked and did something that would have been unthinkable six months ago: He shook hands with Maryland’s governor. Erck was with Gov. Larry Hogan to announce Novavax’s global vaccine headquarters ― a campus expected to house laboratories and …

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Fútbol, Flags and Fun: Getting Creative to Reach Unvaccinated Latinos in Colorado

Horns blared and drums pounded a constant beat as fans of the Mexican national soccer team gathered recently at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver for a high-profile international tournament. But the sounds were muted inside a mobile medical RV parked near the stadium, and the tone was professional. During halftime of Mexico’s game …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Here Comes Reconciliation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The expansion of health benefits is a major piece of the tentative budget deal reached this week by Democrats in Congress. They plan to press ahead — …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Becerra Urges Congress to Expand Medicare, Address Rx Prices

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration stands ready to work with Congress to address drug prices and expand Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a wide-ranging …

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California’s Highest Covid Infection Rates Shift to Rural Counties

Most of us are familiar with the good news: In recent weeks, rates of covid-19 infection and death have plummeted in California, falling to levels not seen since the early days of the pandemic. The average number of new covid infections reported each day dropped by an astounding 98% from December to June, according to …

California’s Highest Covid Infection Rates Shift to Rural Counties Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Tips for Fighting Medical Bills from ProPublica’s Marshall Allen

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Veteran health journalist Marshall Allen has been exposing health care grifters for years. Now, he’s written a book about how to fight them. Host Dan Weissmann spoke with Allen about some of the best tips from “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the …

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Tips for Fighting Medical Bills from ProPublica’s Marshall Allen Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Un-Trumping the ACA

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration this week proposed a series of changes aimed at boosting insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, undoing changes made by the Trump administration …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. For the third time in nine years, the Affordable Care Act has survived a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives Read More »

Pandemic Swells Medicaid Enrollment to Record 80 Million People

The pandemic-caused recession and a federal requirement that states keep Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled until the national emergency ends swelled the pool of people in the program by more than 9 million over the past year, according to a report released Thursday. The latest figures show Medicaid enrollment grew from 71.3 million in February 2020, when …

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Device Makers Have Funneled Billions to Orthopedic Surgeons Who Use Their Products

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin was little more than a decade out of Harvard Medical School when sales of his spine surgical implants took off. Chin has patented more than 40 pieces of such hardware, including doughnut-shaped plastic cages, titanium screws and other products used to repair spines — generating $100 million for his company SpineFrontier, …

Device Makers Have Funneled Billions to Orthopedic Surgeons Who Use Their Products Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: When Your Insurance Company Says No, How to Ask for a Yes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Jeannine Cain started her career dealing with insurance companies for various medical offices. Later she worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield, and now she is a health care data consultant. She really knows how things operate behind the scenes. When her son got a jumbo-size medical bill, …

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In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers

After falling from a ladder and cutting his arm, Ed Knight said, he found himself at Richmond, Virginia’s Chippenham Hospital surrounded by nearly a dozen doctors, nurses and technicians — its crack “trauma team” charged with saving the most badly hurt victims of accidents and assaults. But Knight’s wound, while requiring about 30 stitches, wasn’t …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Our 200th Episode!

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration found itself in the hot seat this week when it approved a controversial new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease with scant evidence …

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Montana Med School Clash Revives For-Profit Vs. Nonprofit Flap

Two universities are eyeing the chance to be the first to build a medical school in one of the few states without one. The jockeying of the two schools — one a nonprofit, the other for-profit — to open campuses in Montana highlights the rapid spread of for-profit medical learning centers despite their once-blemished reputation. …

Montana Med School Clash Revives For-Profit Vs. Nonprofit Flap Read More »

In Missouri and Other States, Flawed Data Makes It Hard to Track Vaccine Equity

Throughout the covid-19 vaccination effort, public health officials and politicians have insisted that providing shots equitably across racial and ethnic groups is a top priority. This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. But it’s been left up to states to decide how to do …

In Missouri and Other States, Flawed Data Makes It Hard to Track Vaccine Equity Read More »

In California, Nursing Home Owners Can Operate After They’re Denied a License

The pandemic has highlighted poor care in America’s nursing homes, where nearly 175,000 people have died of covid-19 — a third of all deaths from the disease nationwide. This story is part of a partnership that includes KPCC, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Even before the pandemic, patient advocates pointed to dangerous conditions …

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Caring for an Aging Nation

USE OUR CONTENT This story can republished for free. Please contact KHNweb@kff.org for embed codes. Table of Contents A Variety of Services Booming Number of Seniors The Cost of Long-Term Care Services The Physical – and Financial – Burden The $61 Billion Price Tag Health care for the nation’s seniors looms large as the baby-boom …

Caring for an Aging Nation Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Return of the Public Option

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The “public option” is back — both in Washington, D.C., and the states. President Joe Biden as a candidate supported the idea of a government-run or heavily regulated insurance …

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Suficiente para arruinar el descanso: le cobran $10,322 por un estudio del sueño

Los ronquidos de José Mendoza eran malos, pero para su esposa Nancy era peor cuando dejaba de respirar. El repentino silencio la despertaba, y si pasaban demasiados segundos, lo zarandeaba para que comenzara a respirar de nuevo. Esto sucedía varias veces a la semana. Diagnosticado con apnea del sueño severa hace 15 años, a Mendoza …

Suficiente para arruinar el descanso: le cobran $10,322 por un estudio del sueño Read More »

Enough to Wreck Their Rest: $10,322 for a Sleep Study

José Mendoza’s snoring was bad — but the silence when he stopped breathing was even worse for his wife, Nancy. The sudden quiet would wake her and she waited anxiously for him to take another breath. If too many seconds ticked by, she pushed him hard so that he moved and started breathing again. This …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Roe v. Wade on the Ropes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term that could result in a significant modification or overturn of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. At issue is a Mississippi law that would ban the procedure after 15 weeks of …

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Stark Racial Disparities Persist in Vaccinations, State-Level CDC Data Shows

Black Americans’ covid-19 vaccination rates are still lagging months into the nation’s campaign, while Hispanics are closing the gap and Native Americans show the highest rates overall, according to federal data obtained by KHN. This story also ran on CNN. It can be republished for free. The data, provided by the Centers for Disease Control …

Stark Racial Disparities Persist in Vaccinations, State-Level CDC Data Shows Read More »

Watch: Elisabeth Rosenthal on the Covid-19 Infodemic and the Media

Jon Greenberg interviewed Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of KHN; Shefali Luthra, health and gender reporter at The 19th; and Derek Thompson, staff writer for The Atlantic, about covid-19 misinformation during PolitiFact’s United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking. The journalists discussed the challenging environment for news and facts that grew out of the pandemic. One …

Watch: Elisabeth Rosenthal on the Covid-19 Infodemic and the Media Read More »

Homicides Surge in California Amid Covid Shutdowns of Schools, Youth Programs

<![CDATA[ window.addEventListener(‘message’, function(event) { if (typeof event.data[‘datawrapper-height’] !== ‘undefined’) { var iframes = document.querySelectorAll(‘iframe’); for (var chartId in event.data[‘datawrapper-height’]) { for (var i=0; i Amid a pandemic that left law enforcement agencies stretched thin and forced shutdowns that left young men with little to do, California registered a devastating surge in homicides in 2020 that …

Homicides Surge in California Amid Covid Shutdowns of Schools, Youth Programs Read More »

Listen: Pandemics, Patents and Profits

President Joe Biden has thrown his support to an international effort to waive drugmakers’ patent rights on the covid vaccines, but the pharmaceutical industry vows to fight back. Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, joins The Atlantic’s “Social Distance” podcast, hosted by Dr. James Hamblin and Maeve Higgins, to talk about the current patent controversy …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Effort Hits a Snag

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The high cost of prescription drugs is a top health issue for the public and politicians, but concerns raised by a group of moderate Democrats threaten to derail a bill being pushed by House Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the …

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‘I Just Feel Like Myself’: A Nonbinary Child In Their Own Words

It’s 7:30 a.m. on a school day. Two parents are racing to get their three young children dressed, fed, packed for the day, into coats and out the door when 6-year-old Hallel runs downstairs, crying. This story is part of a partnership that includes WBUR, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Ari, …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Sharing Vaccines With the World

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration — keeping a campaign promise — announced it would back a temporary waiver of patent protections for the covid-19 vaccines, arousing the ire of the drug industry. The administration is also picking a fight with tobacco companies, as the Food and Drug …

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In Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, Millions Face Long Drives to Stroke Care

Debbie Cook was in her pajamas on a summer morning in 2019 when she got a call from her son: “Something bad is wrong with Granny.” This story also ran on Investigate TV. It can be republished for free. The fear in his voice told Cook it was serious. She dialed 911 immediately, knowing it …

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En los Apalaches y el delta del Mississippi, millones deben viajar lejos para recibir atención por accidentes cerebrovasculares

Una mañana de verano en 2019, Debbie Cook estaba todavía en pijamas cuando recibió una llamada de su hijo: “Algo malo le pasa a la abuela”. This story also ran on Investigate TV. It can be republished for free. Por el miedo en la voz de su hijo supo que se trataba de algo serio. …

En los Apalaches y el delta del Mississippi, millones deben viajar lejos para recibir atención por accidentes cerebrovasculares Read More »

Covid ‘Doesn’t Discriminate by Age’: Serious Cases on the Rise in Younger Adults

After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in covid-19 hospital wards. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. It’s both a sign of the country’s success in …

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As Vaccine Demand Slows, Political Differences Go on Display in California Counties

<![CDATA[ window.addEventListener(‘message’, function(event) { if (typeof event.data[‘datawrapper-height’] !== ‘undefined’) { var iframes = document.querySelectorAll(‘iframe’); for (var chartId in event.data[‘datawrapper-height’]) { for (var i=0; i Demand for covid vaccines is slowing across most of California, but as traffic at vaccination sites eases, the vaccination rates across the state are showing wide disparities. This story also ran …

As Vaccine Demand Slows, Political Differences Go on Display in California Counties Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 100 Days of Health Policy

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. It’s been a busy 100 days for the Biden administration on health policy. The promise Joe Biden made as president-elect to get 100 million covid vaccinations in arms was doubled, healthcare.gov reopened to those without insurance, and steps were taken to undo a raft of …

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Watch: What Happens When Car and Health Insurance Collide

“CBS This Morning,” in collaboration with KHN and NPR, tells the story of Mark Gottlieb, a marketing consultant in Little Ferry, New Jersey, who faced more than $700,000 in medical bills after surgery on his spine. Gottlieb was injured in a car accident, and, despite having the maximum amount of personal injury protection in his …

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‘We’re Coming for You’: For Public Health Officials, a Year of Threats and Menace

[Editor’s note: This article contains strong language that readers might find offensive or disturbing.] SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. — Dr. Gail Newel looks back on the past year and struggles to articulate exactly when the public bellows of frustration around her covid-related health orders morphed into something darker and more menacing. Certainly, there was that …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration is speeding up the pace of efforts to undo Trump administration health policies. The two most recent: overturning a ban on fetal tissue research funded by the National Institutes of Health and canceling a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. …

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After Accident, Patient Crashes Into $700,000 Bill for Spine Surgery

Mark Gottlieb’s life changed in an instant when another driver crashed into his car, damaging four vertebrae in his upper spine and smashing six teeth. In the months following that January 2019 crash, Gottlieb got the teeth crowned and, for debilitating neck pain, tried injections, chiropractic care and physical therapy. The treatments were all covered …

After Accident, Patient Crashes Into $700,000 Bill for Spine Surgery Read More »

Public Health Experts Worry About Boom-Bust Cycle of Support

Congress has poured tens of billions of dollars into state and local public health departments in response to the covid-19 pandemic, paying for masks, contact tracers and education campaigns to persuade people to get vaccinated. This story also ran on The Associated Press. It can be republished for free. Public health officials who have juggled …

Public Health Experts Worry About Boom-Bust Cycle of Support Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure …

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Mysterious Ailment, Mysterious Relief: Vaccines Help Some Covid Long Haulers

An estimated 10% to 30% of people who get covid-19 suffer from lingering symptoms of the disease, or what’s known as “long covid.” This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Judy Dodd, who lives in New York City, is one of them. She spent nearly a year plagued …

Mysterious Ailment, Mysterious Relief: Vaccines Help Some Covid Long Haulers Read More »

‘Explained by KHN’: Health Insurance Help in Covid Relief Law

The twists and turns of the American health system can sometimes leave people lost, confused and looking for answers. We’ve created a new video series — “Explained by KHN” — in which our correspondents and editors answer common health care and health policy questions.  The $1.9 trillion covid relief package that President Joe Biden signed …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Health Care as Infrastructure

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Health care makes some surprising appearances in President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, even though more health proposals are expected in a second proposal later this month. The bill that would help rebuild roads, bridges and broadband capabilities also includes $400 billion to help …

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Montana Sticks to Its Patchwork Covid Vaccine Rollout as Eligibility Expands

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana’s covid-19 vaccine distribution is among the most efficient in the nation, but closer examination reveals a patchwork of systems among counties and tribal governments that will be put to the test as the state opens vaccine eligibility to all people 16 and older starting this month. This story also ran on …

Montana Sticks to Its Patchwork Covid Vaccine Rollout as Eligibility Expands Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress is out of session, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from planning their next round of health legislation. Together with President Joe Biden, they are looking at a broad array of possibilities, from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices to adding more benefits to the …

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‘It Didn’t Really Stick With Me’: Understanding the Rural Shrug Over Covid and Vaccines

At 70, Linda Findley has long been active in her small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, which sits more than an hour away from any major city. Findley, whose husband died in an accident just after the local hospital closed, helps with the Elks and fundraising, and — like many people in this part of …

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Her Doctor’s Office Moved One Floor Up. Her Bill Was 10 Times Higher.

Kyunghee Lee’s right hand hurts all the time. She spent decades running a family dry cleaning store outside Cleveland after emigrating from South Korea 40 years ago. She still freelances as a seamstress, although work has slowed amid the covid-19 pandemic. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. While Lee …

Her Doctor’s Office Moved One Floor Up. Her Bill Was 10 Times Higher. Read More »

The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?

KHN has put together an interactive tool of significant health policies implemented by the Trump administration using its own authority — executive orders, agency guidance or formal regulations — and is tracking Biden administration and court actions. We will update this chart as actions are taken. Topics: Affordable Care Act | HHS Operations | Immigration …

The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse? Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Getting Down to Work at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. As questions swirl about the covid vaccine made by AstraZeneca, public health experts are worried the confusion could create more doubts among people already hesitant to get a vaccine. Meanwhile, the first Senate-confirmed officials are settling into their offices at the Department of Health and …

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Stop Blaming Tuskegee, Critics Say. It’s Not an ‘Excuse’ for Current Medical Racism.

For months, journalists, politicians and health officials — including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Dr. Anthony Fauci — have invoked the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study to explain why Black Americans are more hesitant than white Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. This story is from a partnership that includes NPR, KQED and KHN. It …

Stop Blaming Tuskegee, Critics Say. It’s Not an ‘Excuse’ for Current Medical Racism. Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: In Vaccinating Philadelphia, A Mix of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In Philadelphia, the good, the bad and the ugly have all been on vivid display in the covid vaccine rollout. The Bad comes with a giant serving of gall: For a while, the city put its mass-vaccination program in the hands of Andrei Doroshin, a 22-year-old with …

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Listen: Crooked Media and KHN Deliver Diagnosis on Pandemic Relief and ACA

On this week’s episode of “America Dissected,” podcast host Dr. Abdul El-Sayed spoke with KHN correspondent Emmarie Huetteman about the pandemic aid package designed to give millions of people relief from expensive health care premiums. Huetteman, who wrote about the plan, explained it could throw a lifeline to lower- and middle-income Americans who have fallen …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: ACA Packs More Benefits — And More Confusion

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The covid relief bill signed by President Joe Biden a week ago includes billions of dollars in new health benefits for consumers. But those benefits may be hard for people to take advantage of because of the interaction with the income tax system and the …

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How Covid Has Changed Our Movement, as Revealed by Your Cellphone

<![CDATA[ window.addEventListener(‘message’, function(event) { if (typeof event.data[‘datawrapper-height’] !== ‘undefined’) { var iframes = document.querySelectorAll(‘iframe’); for (var chartId in event.data[‘datawrapper-height’]) { for (var i=0; iFor all of our grousing about covid fatigue, a few novel trends are clear one year into the pandemic. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. In the early weeks …

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‘Explained by KHN’: Consumer Concerns About the Covid Vaccines

The twists and turns of the American health system can sometimes leave people lost, confused and looking for answers. We’ve created a new video series — “Explained by KHN” — in which our correspondents and editors answer common health care and health policy questions.  As promising news about the development, efficacy and distribution of covid-19 …

‘Explained by KHN’: Consumer Concerns About the Covid Vaccines Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Expanding the ACA in an Unpredicted Way

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. For the first time since its enactment in 2010, the Affordable Care Act is slated for major benefit expansions, courtesy of the covid relief bill approved by Congress this week. But the changes are only temporary, so the measure also tees up a fight to …

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One Year In: How Covid’s Toll Compares With Other Causes of Death

Now that the coronavirus has been in the United States for roughly a year, new numbers are revealing the scale of covid-19’s impact on American health: Covid has become the country’s third-leading cause of death, and could be on its way to outpacing cancer. This story also ran on PolitiFact. It can be republished for …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Good and Not-So-Good News on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. There’s good news and bad news on covid-19 this week. On the one hand, several million doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine authorized by the FDA for emergency use are already going into the arms of people around the nation. And the Biden …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Good and Not-So-Good News on Covid Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Revisiting Insulin: How the Medicine Got So Expensive

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. We’re re-releasing a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so expensive. And this 2021 update  includes a check-in with people working to make the potentially lifesaving medicine more available. The story seems especially relevant right now, for two reasons: The rollout …

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‘Into the Covid ICU’: A New Doctor Bears Witness to the Isolation, Inequities of Pandemic

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. This story also ran on Reveal. It can be republished for free. This week marks a grim milestone: Half a million Americans have died of covid-19. KHN reporter Jenny Gold, in collaboration with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, spent eight months …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Open Enrollment, One More Time

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. An estimated 9 million Americans eligible for free or reduced premium health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have a second chance to sign up for 2021 coverage, since the Biden administration reopened enrollment on healthcare.gov and states that run their own marketplaces followed suit. …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Viral TikTok Video Serves Up Recipe to ‘Crush’ Medical Debt

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Jared Walker, who runs a nonprofit that helps people pay medical bills, posted a TikTok video explaining the recipe to “crush” hospital bills via charity care policies. “What that means is that if you make under a certain amount of money, the hospital legally has to forgive …

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Viral TikTok Video Serves Up Recipe to ‘Crush’ Medical Debt Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All About Budget Reconciliation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Joe Biden has said he still wants a bipartisan bill to provide the next round of covid relief. But in case that doesn’t happen, House committees this week got down to work on a budget reconciliation bill that could pass the Senate with a …

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Comparing Death Tolls From Covid to Past Wars Is Fraught

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. Counting the dead is one of the first, somber steps in reckoning with an event of enormous tragic scope, be it war, a natural disaster or a pandemic. This dark but necessary arithmetic has become all too routine during the covid-19 outbreak. The …

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California’s Rural Counties Endure a Deadly Covid Winter

Covid-19’s fierce winter resurgence in California is notable not only for the explosion in overall cases and deaths in the state’s sprawling urban centers. This latest surge spilled across a far greater geographic footprint, scarring remote corners of the state that went largely unscathed for much of 2020. Use Our Content It can be republished …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Covid and Kids

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Nearly a year into the pandemic, many public schools are still closed to in-person instruction. But while there is increasing evidence that schools are not a major source of infection, teachers and staffers remain concerned about going back to class before they are vaccinated. Meanwhile, …

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‘Cruel’ Digital Race For Vaccines Leaves Many Seniors Behind

With millions of older Americans eligible for covid-19 vaccines and limited supplies, many continue to describe a frantic and frustrating search to secure a shot, beset by uncertainty and difficulty.  This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. The efforts to vaccinate people 65 and older have strained under the enormous …

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Disipando información errónea y mitos sobre las vacunas en la región agrícola de California

Este artículo también fue publicado por Radio Bilingüe. It can be republished for free. MECCA, Calif. — El polvo hace remolinos en el aire mientras Luz Gallegos estaciona su SUV a un lado de la calle de tierra. Acaba de enterarse que su tía murió a causa de covid-19, el tercer familiar en sucumbir al …

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Dispelling Vaccine Misinformation and Myths in California’s Breadbasket

This story also ran on Radio Bilingue. It can be republished for free. MECCA, Calif. — Dust swirled in the air as Luz Gallegos parked her SUV on the side of a dirt road. She had just learned that her aunt died of covid-19 — the third family member to succumb to the disease in …

Dispelling Vaccine Misinformation and Myths in California’s Breadbasket Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Tips for Fighting Medical Bills From a Former ‘Bad Guy’ Lawyer

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Lawyer Jeff Bloom used to be the person whom medical providers and debt collectors would hire to represent them in court. “I was a bad guy, for sure,” he said. Then, a few years ago, he switched sides. Bloom now represents consumers and, in this episode, shares …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Long Road to Unwinding Trump Health Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Thursday was “health day” in President Joe Biden’s sprint to launch his presidency, and he signed two executive orders addressing health coverage and women’s reproductive rights. The orders will reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act from February to May and reverse the so-called Mexico …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Biden Health Agenda

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Joe Biden wasted no time getting down to work. Among the raft of executive orders he signed on Inauguration Day were several aimed at curtailing the covid crisis, including one requiring mask-wearing by federal employees and anyone on federal property for the next 100 …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Biden Health Agenda Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Host Dan Weissmann Talks Price Transparency on ‘Axios Today’

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. As we settle into the new year, we have two small doses of good news. First, a new federal rule could help cut through one health care issue. Host Dan Weissmann talked about the rule — which requires hospitals to make public the prices they negotiate with …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: On Capitol Hill, Actions Have Consequences

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The reverberations from the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump continue. A broad array of business groups, including many from the health industry, are halting contributions to Republicans in the House and Senate who voted against certifying the …

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‘An Arm And a Leg’: How a Former Health Care Executive Became a Health Care Whistleblower

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Former health care executive Wendell Potter spent part of 2020 publishing high-profile apologies for the work he used to do — the lies he said he told the American people for his old employers. These days, he said, he’s also trying to debunk myths he once sold. …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Georgia Turns the Senate Blue

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Surprise Democratic victories in Georgia’s two runoff elections this week will give Democrats control of the Senate, which means they will be in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2010. Although the narrow majorities in the …

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Listen: How Operation Warp Speed Became a Slow Walk

KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal appeared on Diane Rehm’s “On My Mind” podcast on NPR to discuss the bottlenecks that have prevented doses of precious covid-19 vaccine from making it from drugmakers’ factories into patients’ arms. It didn’t have to be this way, she explains. Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: A Look Back at 2020 — What We Learned and Where We’re Headed

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he learned in 2020 and what’s ahead for the show — with T.K. Dutes, a radio host and podcast-maker who is also a former nurse, so she knows a thing or two about the health …

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Video: The Healthy Nurse Who Died at 40 on the COVID Frontline: ‘She Was the Best Mom I Ever Had’

Yolanda Coar was 40 when she died of COVID-19 in August 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. She was also a nurse manager, and one of nearly 3,000 frontline workers who have died in the U.S. fighting this virus, according to an exclusive investigation by The Guardian and KHN. Read more of the health workers’ stories behind …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: 2020 in Review — It Wasn’t All COVID

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. COVID-19 was the dominant — but not the only — health policy story of 2020. In this special year-in-review episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast, panelists look back at some of the biggest non-coronavirus stories. Those included Supreme Court cases on the Affordable Care …

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No More ICU Beds at the Main Public Hospital in the Nation’s Largest County as COVID Surges

USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. She lay behind a glass barrier, heavily sedated, kept alive by a machine that blew oxygen into her lungs through a tube taped to her mouth and lodged at the back of her throat. She had deteriorated rapidly since arriving a short time earlier. “Her respiratory …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: All I Want for Christmas Is a COVID Relief Bill

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress appears to be inching ever closer to agreement on a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which would extend unemployment insurance and other emergency programs set to expire in the next several days. That bill, however, apparently will not include the top-priority items for both political …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Shopping for Health Insurance? Here’s How One Family Tried to Pick a Plan

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When host Dan Weissmann and his wife set out to pick a health insurance plan for next year, they realized that keeping the plan they have means paying $200 a month more. But would a “cheaper” plan cost them more in the long run?  It depends. And …

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Ataques a la salud pública generan éxodo de funcionarios en medio de la pandemia

Tisha Coleman ha vivido en el muy unido condado de Linn, Kansas, por 42 años. Y nunca se ha sentido tan sola. Como administradora de salud pública, ha luchado cada día de la pandemia para mantener a salvo a su condado rural, ubicado a lo largo de la frontera con Missouri. A cambio, ha sido …

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High-Poverty Neighborhoods Bear the Brunt of COVID’s Scourge

Over the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 infections have battered high-poverty neighborhoods in California on a staggeringly different scale than more affluent areas, a trend that underscores the heightened risks for low-wage workers as the state endures a deadly late-autumn surge. A California Healthline review of local data from the state’s 12 most populous counties …

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Pandemic Backlash Jeopardizes Public Health Powers, Leaders

This story also ran on The Associated Press. It can be republished for free. Tisha Coleman has lived in close-knit Linn County, Kansas, for 42 years and never felt so alone. As the public health administrator, she’s struggled every day of the coronavirus pandemic to keep her rural county along the Missouri border safe. In …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccines Coming Soon but COVID Relief Bill Still Stalled

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The first vaccine to protect against COVID-19 could be approved in the U.S. within days, but legislation to help fund its distribution remains mired in Congress. And President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his secretary of Health and Human Services. …

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Dialysis Industry Spends Millions, Emerges as Power Player in California Politics

SACRAMENTO — The nation’s dialysis industry has poured $233 million into California campaigns over the past four years, establishing its leading companies as a formidable political force eager to protect their bottom line and influence state policy. This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free. Most of the money …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Obamacare Alum Andy Slavitt Takes Stock of the COVID Pandemic — So Far

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Andy Slavitt has spent much of 2020 talking with almost everybody who knows anything about the COVID-19 pandemic — and sharing what he learns in real time, first on Twitter, then on his pandemic podcast, “In the Bubble.” To do our own podcast episode about what we’ve …

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What Happened When the Only ER Doctor in a Rural Town Got COVID

Kurt Papenfus, a doctor in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, started to feel sick around Halloween. He developed a scary cough, intestinal symptoms and a headache. In the midst of a pandemic, the news that he had COVID-19 wasn’t surprising, but Papenfus’ illness would have repercussions far beyond his own health. Papenfus is the lone full-time emergency …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Who Will Run the Biden Health Effort?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The quadrennial guessing game about who will get what health job in a new presidential administration has taken on a new urgency in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage. Meanwhile, as two promising vaccine candidates inch closer to approval, the federal government is …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How to Avoid a Big Bill for Your COVID Test

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Tests for the coronavirus are supposed to be free. And, usually, they are. But sometimes … things happen. Here’s how to keep those things from happening to you. New York Times reporter Sarah Kliff has been asking readers to send in their COVID-testing bills. She’s now seen hundreds of …

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Rural Areas Send Their Sickest Patients to Cities, Straining Hospitals

Registered nurse Pascaline Muhindura has spent the past eight months treating COVID patients at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. But when she returns home to her small town of Spring Hill, Kansas, she’s often stunned by what she sees, like on a recent stop for carryout food. “No one in the entire restaurant was …

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Surging LA

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. On a Monday afternoon in March, four days after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, some of Southern California’s most famous landmarks were deserted and few cars traveled the region’s notoriously congested freeways. Eight months …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Transition Troubles Mount as COVID Spreads

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President-elect Joe Biden is still being blocked from launching his official transition while President Donald Trump contests the outcome of the election. That could be particularly dangerous for public health as COVID-19 spreads around the country at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, a second vaccine to …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: What Would Dr. Fauci Do?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Since the mid-1980s, whenever there’s been a public health crisis, America — and six U.S. presidents — have turned to Dr. Anthony Fauci. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (one of the National Institutes of Health), Fauci has helped guide …

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Facebook Live: Helping COVID’s Secondary Victims: Grieving Families and Friends

Can’t see the video player? View the video here. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 246,000 people in the U.S., but it also has left hundreds of thousands of others grieving, and often feeling as if they have been robbed of the usual methods for dealing with the loss. For every person who dies of …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: For Your Next Health Insurance Fight, an Exercise in Financial Self-Defense

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. A listener asked: ‘How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?” So we called veteran self-defense teacher Lauren Taylor for advice. She leads Defend Yourself, an organization that works to empower people against violence and abuse.  As Taylor teaches it, self-defense involves a lot more than …

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Clots, Strokes and Rashes: Is COVID a Disease of the Blood Vessels?

Whether it’s strange rashes on the toes or blood clots in the brain, the widespread ravages of COVID-19 have increasingly led researchers to focus on how the novel coronavirus sabotages blood vessels. As scientists have come to know the disease better, they have homed in on the vascular system — the body’s network of arteries, …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Transition Interrupted

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Five days after the election was called for President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has not conceded — and instead ordered his administration not to begin the transition of power. That could have serious ramifications for health care, particularly as nearly every state is …

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When False Information Goes Viral, COVID-19 Patient Groups Fight Back

For decades, people struggling with illnesses of all kinds have sought help in online support groups. This year, such groups have been in high demand for COVID-19 patients, who often must recover in isolation. But the fear and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus have made online groups targets for the spread of false information. And to …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 7: After a Rural Town Loses Hospital, Is a Health Clinic Enough?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Family physician Maxwell Self is doing his same old job for a new employer. For two decades he was a doctor with Mercy Hospital. But when Mercy packed up and left, a federally qualified health center moved to town — into the hospital building itself — and …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Change Is in the Air

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Assuming former Vice President Joe Biden becomes President-elect Joe Biden and Republicans retain control of the Senate, the health agenda could be very different from what Democrats campaigned on. A GOP Senate is unlikely to want to pursue many of Biden’s agenda items, including expanding …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 6: Trickle-Down Heartache Reaches the Next Generation in a Rural Town With No Hospital

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Josh is 17. He said he smokes marijuana. He struggles with anger. He’s also juggling some extraordinary responsibilities for a teenager. Josh’s mother died of a drug overdose when he was 3 years old and he has lived with his grandparents ever since. When his grandfather’s heart …

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They Work in Several Nursing Homes to Eke Out a Living, Possibly Spreading the Virus

To make ends meet, Martha Tapia works 64 hours a week at two Orange County, California, nursing homes. She is one of thousands of certified nursing assistants who perform the intimate and physical work of bathing, dressing and feeding the nation’s fragile elderly. “We do everything for them. Everything you do for yourself, you have …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: David vs. Goliath: How to Beat a Big Hospital in Small Claims Court

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When Jeffrey Fox and his wife got an outrageous medical bill for a simple test, he said to his wife, “No way am I paying this.” In a classic — and hilarious — David vs. Goliath story, Fox takes on a huge hospital, and wins. He’s a …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said this week that “we’re not going to control the pandemic,” effectively conceding that the administration has pivoted from prevention to treatment. But COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in most of the nation, and the issue is playing …

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As Anxieties Rise, Californians Buy Hundreds of Thousands More Guns

Handgun sales in California have risen to unprecedented levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts say first-time buyers are driving the trend. The FBI conducted 462,000 background checks related to handgun purchases in California from March through September, an increase of 209,000, or 83%, from the same period last year. That’s more than in any …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 5: In Rural America, Cancer Care Is Often Far From Home

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Sixty-five-year-old Karen Endicott-Coyan is living with a blood cancer.  Her chemotherapy takes less than 30 minutes. Before the hospital closed, it was just a short drive into the small town of Fort Scott, Kansas, for her to get treatment. But these days getting to chemo means a …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Little Good News and Some Bad on COVID-19

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. For the first time in a long time, there is some good news about the coronavirus pandemic: Although cases continue to climb, fewer people seem to be dying. And there are fewer cases than expected among younger pupils in schools with in-person learning. But the …

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 4: So, 2 Nuns Step Off a Train in Kansas … A Hospital’s Origin Story

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Ever since Mercy Hospital went “corporate,” things just haven’t been the same — that’s what lots of locals in Fort Scott, Kansas, said when the Mercy health system shuttered the only hospital in town. It’s been years since Catholic nuns led Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, but town …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Vetting TikTok Mom’s Advice for Dealing With Debt Collectors

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. TikTok mom Shaunna Burns used to be a debt collector, so she knows a few things about what’s legal and what’s not when a company contacts you to settle a debt. We fact-checked her advice with a legal expert: Jenifer Bosco, an attorney with the National Consumer …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Democrats May Lose on SCOTUS, But Hope to Win on ACA

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Republicans appear to be on track to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before Election Day, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court regardless of what happens Nov. 3. Democrats, meanwhile, lacking the votes to block the nomination, used the …

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COVID Crackdowns at Work Have Saved Black and Latino Lives, LA Officials Say

Los Angeles County officials attribute a dramatic decline in COVID-19 death and case rates among Blacks and Latinos over the past two months to aggressive workplace health enforcement and the opening of tip lines to report violations. Now, officials intend to cement those gains by creating workplace councils among employees trained to look for COVID-19 …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Trump vs. COVID

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis — and that of two dozen or more other officials in the White House and Capitol Hill — has scrambled an already confusing autumn. The president’s illness has thrown into doubt the remaining two presidential debates, and positive tests for …

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People on the Move: October 2020

The latest news on pharmaceutical industry hires, promotions, acquititions and other events includes Medable, Eversana, Parexel, Astellas and more.

‘No Mercy’ Chapter 2: Unimaginable, After a Century, That Their Hospital Would Close

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Closing a hospital hurts. In Fort Scott, Kansas, no one was a bigger symbol for that loss — or bigger target for the town’s anger — than hospital president Reta Baker. Baker was at the helm when the hospital doors closed. “I don’t even like going out …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: TikTok Mom Takes On Medical Bills

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Shaunna Burns went viral on TikTok, partly because of a series of videos dishing out real-talk advice on fighting outrageous medical bills. She said the way to deal with medical debt is to be vigilant about what debt you incur in the first place. “What you can …

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Watch: Young Man Faces Medical Bankruptcy — Even With Insurance

“CBS This Morning” tells the story of Matthew Fentress, a young man who developed serious heart disease after a bout of flu when he was just 25. Now 31, he owes more than $10,000 in hospital bills. KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal explains that the same cardiomyopathy Fentress got can also be a complication of COVID-19. …

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Evictions Damage Public Health. The CDC Aims to Curb Them ― For Now.

In August, Robert Pettigrew was working a series of odd jobs. While washing the windows of a cellphone store he saw a sign, one that he believes the “good Lord” placed there for him. “Facing eviction?” the sign read. “You could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rent assistance. Apply today.” It seemed a …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Replay: What’s at Stake When High Court Hears ACA Case

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The “What the Health?” panelists are taking a break for two weeks. But since the Supreme Court recently scheduled arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it seemed like a good opportunity to replay an episode from March, when the …

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Prognosis for Rural Hospitals Worsens With Pandemic

Jerome Antone said he is one of the lucky ones. After becoming ill with COVID-19, Antone was hospitalized only 65 miles away from his small Alabama town. He is the mayor of Georgiana — population 1,700. “It hit our rural community so rabid,” Antone said. The town’s hospital closed last year. If hospitals in nearby …

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Feeling Anxious and Depressed? You’re Right at Home in California.

It’s official, California: COVID-19 has left us sick with worry and increasingly despondent. And our youngest adults — ages 18 to 29 — are feeling it worst. Weekly surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau from late April through late July offer a grim view of the toll the pandemic has taken on the nation’s …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How to Fight Bogus Medical Bills Like a Bulldog

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. After Izzy Benasso had knee surgery, she and her dad received a letter from a surgical assistant giving notice that he “had been present” at the procedure. The surgical assistant was out-of-network and seemed to be laying the groundwork to get the Benassos to pay his fee. …

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Deadly Mix: How Bars Are Fueling COVID-19 Outbreaks

From the early days of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, states have wrestled with the best course of action for bars and nightclubs, which largely have their economic prospects tied to social gatherings in tight quarters. As the virus has pinched the industry’s lifeblood, bar owners in a handful of states are fighting in court against …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Democrats in Array (For Now)

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Democrats have shown a remarkably united front, including on health care, in their socially distant, made-for-TV convention this week. That’s likely due, at least in part, to the physical separation of party members who disagree on issues — this year they cannot chatter on live …

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COVID Testing Choke Points

In some ways, the nation’s COVID testing system is like a game of Jenga: When one piece falters, the entire tower collapses. Take Sacramento County, home to 1.5 million people and California’s capital. Coronavirus cases started surging in late June, and on July 15, 360 residents were diagnosed, marking an ominous single-day record. Around that …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Kamala Harris on Health

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. California Sen. Kamala Harris, the newly named running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, doesn’t have a lot of background in health policy. But that’s unlikely to prevent Republicans from using her on-again, off-again support for “Medicare for All” against her in the …

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Listen: Will Telemedicine Outlast the Pandemic?

Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, on Tuesday joined WDET’s “Detroit Today” host Stephen Henderson and Dr. George Kipa, the deputy chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, to talk about the future of telemedicine and whether Medicare and private insurers will continue to pay for those services. You can listen to …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Financial Self-Defense School Is Now in Session

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. When you need medical care, it can be a lot like entering a casino — playing for your financial life with the deck stacked against you. But in this episode, reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen offers insight and tips no dealer will divulge. She got a health care executive …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Still Waiting for That Trump Health Plan

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump keeps promising to unveil a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, but it keeps not appearing. However, this week he did order an expansion of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and a program to help struggling rural hospitals. Meanwhile, the administration …

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People on the Move: August 2020

This month’s spotlight on new hires, promotions and company acquisitions involves Elligo Health Research, PPD, Pfizer, Covance and other industry firms.

Listen: ACA Heading to Supreme Court — Again

Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, joins “SCOTUStalk” podcast host Amy Howe to talk about the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act. The two look at the law’s history before the court — it will be the seventh hearing in eight years on the ACA or one of its provisions — and …

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Listen: NPR Interview About Less Lethal Weapons That Can Maim Or Kill

The streets in many U.S. cities have erupted with protests recently and police and federal officers have fired rubber bullets and other projectiles into crowds, injuring or even blinding some of the participants. This has been going on for decades, yet efforts to crack down on less-lethal ammo have failed locally and nationally. KHN senior …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Republicans in COVID Disarray

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump’s pivot to a more serious view of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t last long. This week, he was again touting hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that has not been shown to work against the virus. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans continue to struggle to …

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Missourians to Vote on Medicaid Expansion as Crisis Leaves Millions Without Insurance

ST. LOUIS — Haley Organ thought she had everything figured out. After graduating from a small private college just outside Boston, she earned her master’s degree, entered the workforce and eventually landed a corporate job here as a data analyst. Life seemed to be going as planned until the national retailer that Organ worked for …

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Dental and Doctors’ Offices Still Struggling with COVID Job Loss

California’s outpatient health care practices largely shrugged off two recessions, adding more than 400,000 jobs during a two-decade climb from the start of 2000 to early 2020. It was an enviable growth rate of 85% and a trend largely mirrored on the national level. Then came COVID-19. Anecdotal stories abound about the crushing impact the …

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Watch: When a Surprise Helper During Surgery Is Out-of-Network

Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” spoke with KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal about the latest installment of KHN-NPR’s Bill of the Month. College student Izzy Benasso underwent surgery for a torn meniscus after a tennis injury last summer and was surprised to be contacted afterward by a surgical assistant, who said he would be billing …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Trump Twists on Virus Response

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. President Donald Trump — who has spent the past six months trying to play down the coronavirus pandemic — seems to have pivoted. In back-to-back briefings on July 21 and 22, Trump cautioned that the U.S. is in a dangerous place vis-a-vis the pandemic. He …

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Listen: Outbreak of Trench Fever Grips Coloradans

KHN senior correspondent Markian Hawryluk joined KUNC’s Henry Zimmerman on “Colorado Edition” to discuss his recent story about an outbreak of trench fever, a rare disease carried by body lice. Public health officials are trying to find a common thread among the four cases identified so far in Colorado. They occurred months apart, and the …

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Medicaid Mystery: Millions of Enrollees Haven’t Materialized in California

The predictions were dire: Coronavirus lockdowns would put millions of Americans out of work, stripping them of their health insurance and pushing them into Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration projected that the pandemic would force about 2 million additional people to sign up for the state’s …

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Listen: How the Pandemic Further Politicized Public Health

KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber joined Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies on “The Source” call-in show to discuss her recent reporting on how politics is shaping the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. Weber has been reporting on the issue in collaboration with the Associated Press for the ongoing “Underfunded and Under Threat” …

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As Coronavirus Patients Skew Younger, Tracing Task Seems All But Impossible

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). Younger people are less likely to be hospitalized or die of COVID-19 than their elders, but they circulate more freely while carrying the disease, and their cases are harder to trace. Together, these facts terrify California hospital officials. People under 50 make up 73% …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci

What The Health? · The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Erin Mershon STAT @eemershon Read Erin’s Stories Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice’s Stories Paige Winfield Cunningham The Washington Post @pw_cunningham Read Paige’s Stories Not …

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Vacuna contra el coronavirus: ¿en qué punto está la investigación?

Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). A más de cuatro meses del comienzo de la pandemia en los Estados Unidos, ¿qué tan cerca está el país y el mundo de una vacuna segura y efectiva? Científicos dicen que ven un progreso constante y expresan un optimismo cauteloso de que una …

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Listen: A Bureaucratic Shuffle for Hospital COVID Data

Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, on Wednesday joined Rob Ferrett, host of “Central Time” on Wisconsin Public Radio, to discuss the Trump administration’s announcement that hospital data on coronavirus cases will no longer be routed to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and instead will go to the Department of Health and …

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A Coronavirus Vaccine: Where Does It Stand?

More than four months into the coronavirus pandemic, how close are the U.S. and the world to a safe and effective vaccine? Scientists say they see steady progress and are expressing cautious optimism that a vaccine could be ready by spring. As of early July, roughly 160 vaccine projects were underway worldwide, according to the …

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Listen: Colorado Cuts Back Health Care Programs Amid Dual Crises

KHN senior correspondent Markian Hawryluk joined KUNC’s Erin O’Toole on “Colorado Edition” to discuss his recent story on how Colorado is one of the many states having to cut back on health care programs and new policy initiatives as part of the economic fallout of the pandemic. These cuts, which in Colorado include slashing $1 …

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: ‘Open The Schools, Close The Bars’

What The Health? · ‘Open The Schools, Close The Bars’ Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Joanne Kenen Politico @JoanneKenen Read Joanne’s Stories Kimberly Leonard Business Insider @leonardkl Read Kimberly’s Stories Mary Ellen McIntire CQ Roll Call @MelMcIntire Read Mary Ellen’s Stories …

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Behind The Byline: ‘Everybody Hit Record’

https://khn.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/07/BTB-WTH-Final.mp4 Podcast KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ May 14 Join Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, along with top health policy reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and other media outlets to discuss the latest news and explain what the health is going on here in Washington. Although the …

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