Month: October 2020

Posted in News

‘It’s Science, Stupid’: A School Subject Emerges as a Hot-Button Political Issue

This story also ran on The BMJ. This story can be republished for free (details). At the top of Dr. Hiral Tipirneni’s to-do list if she wins her congressional race: work with other elected officials to encourage mask mandates and to beef up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Those choices…

Posted in News

If They Sweep on Election Day, Dems Still Face a Challenge Meeting Health Promises

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). Democrats are favored to win both chambers of Congress after years of campaign-trail promises about health care. But with a pandemic, a more conservative Supreme Court and lingering disagreements between progressives and moderates, it could be difficult for Democrats…

Posted in News

A $200 Debit Card Won’t Do Much for Seniors’ Drug Costs

If they’ve been listening to President Donald Trump, seniors may be expecting a $200 debit card in the mail any day now to help them pay for prescription drugs. He promised as much this month, saying his administration soon will mail the drug cards to more than 35 million Medicare…

Posted in News

Why State Mask Stockpiling Orders Are Hurting Nursing Homes, Small Providers

This story also ran on NBC News. This story can be republished for free (details). Nursing homes, small physician offices and rural clinics are being left behind in the rush for N95 masks and other protective gear, exposing some of the country’s most vulnerable populations and their caregivers to COVID-19…

Posted in News

Democrats Link GOP Challengers to Trump’s COVID Record, Efforts to Undo Obamacare

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). In a tweet to his 78,000 followers Sunday, U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda, a Democrat from Orange County, California, described his Republican opponent Michelle Steel’s attendance at an indoor fundraiser without a mask as “sickening.” Democratic U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros…

Posted in News

Haiku Winner Unmasked! Read If You Dare

A big thanks to our readers who participated in our second annual KHN Halloween Haiku Contest. Your entries — like our health care system — ranged from eerie and haunting to downright spooky. And, based on a review by our expert panel of judges, here’s the winner and a sampling…

Posted in News

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,…

Posted in News

A $10,000 Obamacare Penalty? Doubtful.

“Because our family couldn’t afford health insurance, Obama/Biden penalized us about $10,000, then took that $10,000 and used it to pay for others’ free Obamacare. Trump ended that theft.” In a Facebook post, Oct. 20, 2020 A viral Facebook post claims that former President Barack Obama’s health insurance law penalized…

Posted in News

Sen. Graham Complains That 3 Blue States Get a Third of ACA Funding

“Under the Affordable Care Act, three states get 35% of the money, folks. Can you name them? I’ll help you: California, New York and Massachusetts. They’re 22% of the population.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in comments during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the Supreme…

Posted in News

Hospital Bills for Uninsured COVID Patients Are Covered, but No One Tells Them

This story is from a reporting partnership that includes WPLN, NPR and KHN. This story can be republished for free (details). When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying…

Posted in News

Despite COVID Concerns, Teams Venture Into Nursing Homes to Get Out the Vote

RALEIGH, N.C. — Each time Beverly Tucker visited a nursing home or long-term care facility this fall, she brought along a rolling tote bag packed with supplies from the Durham County Board of Elections. Boxes of face masks and face shields. Latex gloves and cleaning wipes. Hand sanitizer from Mystic…

Posted in News

App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?

“They’ll get guaranteed earnings, health care benefits, personal protections, and they can maintain their flexible schedules.” Political ad paid for by Lyft in favor of California’s Proposition 22. The ad was posted on YouTube on Oct. 8, and emailed by Lyft to its customers. This story was produced in partnership…

Posted in News

The Trump Medicaid Record: Big Goals, Yet Few Successes

President Donald Trump entered office seeking a massive overhaul of the Medicaid program, which had just experienced the biggest growth spurt in its 50-year history. His administration supported repealing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which has added millions of adults to the federal-state health program for lower-income Americans. He…

Posted in News

Científicos advierten que se espera demasiado de una vacuna para COVID

SOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOL Noticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita…

Posted in News

For Each Critically Ill COVID Patient, a Family Is Suffering, Too

The weeks of fear and uncertainty that Pam and Paul Alexander suffered as their adult daughter struggled against COVID-19 etched itself into the very roots of their hair, leaving behind bald patches by the time she left the hospital in early May. Tisha Holt had been transferred by ambulance from…

Posted in News

Readers and Tweeters Shed Light on Vaccine Trials and Bias in Health Care

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. On the ‘Subject’ of Vaccine Trial Participants In the piece about the AstraZeneca vaccine trial subject who suffered severe spinal cord inflammation, that person was…

Posted in News

Scientists Warn Americans Are Expecting Too Much From a Vaccine

This story also ran on NBC News. This story can be republished for free (details). The White House and many Americans have pinned their hopes for defeating the COVID-19 pandemic on a vaccine being developed at “warp speed.” But some scientific experts warn they’re all expecting too much, too soon….

Posted in News

As Anxieties Rise, Californians Buy Hundreds of Thousands More Guns

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). 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…

Posted in News

Savvy Patient Fought for the Price She Was Quoted − And Didn’t Give Up

This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). When Tiffany Qiu heard how much her surgery was going to cost her, she was sure the hospital’s financial department had made a mistake. Qiu, who already knew from a breast cancer scare earlier that year…

Posted in News

‘No Mercy’ Chapter 5: With Rural Hospital Gone, Cancer Care Means a Daylong Trek

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…

Posted in News

‘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…

Posted in News

Telemedicine or In-Person Visit? Pros and Cons

About Asking Never Hurts A series of columns addressing the challenges consumers face in California’s health care landscape. Send questions to [email protected] As COVID-19 took hold in March, U.S. doctors limited in-person appointments — and many patients avoided them — for fear of infection. The result was a huge increase in…

Posted in News

For People With Visual Impairments, Truly Secret Ballots Are Elusive

Norma Crosby remembers when she relied on blind faith to cast her vote. The 64-year-old Texan was born virtually without sight, a side effect of her mother catching rubella while pregnant with her. Friends and relatives stood beside her and filled out her ballot at polling precincts for more than…

Posted in News

If Trump Wins, Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for That ACA Replacement Plan

About HealthBent KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, who has covered health care for more than 30 years, offers insight and analysis of policies and politics in her regular HealthBent columns. Send questions to [email protected] This story also ran on The BMJ. This story can be republished for free (details). If…

Posted in News

Verily’s COVID Testing Program Halted in San Francisco and Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — Amid fanfare in March, California officials celebrated the launch of a multimillion-dollar contract with Verily — Google’s health-focused sister company — that they said would vastly expand COVID testing among the state’s impoverished and underserved communities. But seven months later, San Francisco and Alameda counties — two…

Posted in News

North Carolina Treasurer Took On the Hospitals. Now He’s Paying Political Price.

Cartel is a term frequently associated with illegal narcotics syndicates. In North Carolina, it has become the favored word of State Treasurer Dale Folwell to describe the state’s hospital industry, the antagonist in his quest to lower health care prices for state employees. The treasurer manages the state employees’ health…

Posted in Florida News

Florida Fails to Attract Bidders for Canada Drug Importation Program

Florida’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada — designed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and endorsed by President Donald Trump — has tasted its first bitter pill. No private firms bid on Florida’s $30 million contract to set up and operate a drug importation program. Bids were due at…

Posted in News

COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

COVID-19 cases are surging in rural places across the Mountain States and Midwest, and when it hits health care workers, ready reinforcements aren’t easy to find. In Montana, pandemic-induced staffing shortages have shuttered a clinic in the state’s capital, led a northwestern regional hospital to ask employees exposed to COVID-19…

Posted in Colorado News

Colorado Initiative Would Further Limit Access in Middle America’s ‘Abortion Desert’

Colorado voters are deciding a ballot question that seeks to limit how far into pregnancy an abortion can be legally performed. While the measure would change the law only in Colorado, it would resonate throughout the Rocky Mountain states and Midwest amid an intensifying national fight, fueled by a Supreme…

Posted in News

Déjà Vu for California Voters on Dialysis

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The survival of California’s dialysis clinics is in the hands of its voters this November. Sound familiar? Voters heard the same dire campaign claim two years ago, when the dialysis industry spent a record $111 million…