To contain the spread of covid, hospitals and nursing homes barred visits. The separation and isolation took a toll on patients and families. Florida is one of the latest states to ensure access for visitors.
As states expand Medicaid’s dental benefits, they’re running up against a shortage of dentists willing to work on those patients, especially in rural communities. So Tennessee is helping dental schools expand and offering to pay off student loans for those who work in high-need areas.
Five states have created “assistant physician” licenses that allow medical school graduates to practice without completing residency training. But a federal indictment in Missouri of one assistant physician has some original supporters trying to rein in the medical specialty.
The Biden administration is getting rid of several policies implemented by Trump-era appointees that restricted enrollment. Federal officials now say states can no longer charge premiums to low-income residents enrolled in Medicaid and have ruled out work requirements.
The omicron variant upended a system in which states shared rapid covid tests with those that needed them more. Cooperation has turned into competition as states run out of supplies, limit which organizations get them, or hold on to expired kits as a last resort.
At least 26 states have passed laws to permanently limit public health powers, a KHN investigation has found, weakening the country’s ability to fight not only the current resurgence of the pandemic but other health crises to come.
No-shows for behavioral health appointments have been a long-standing problem, with up to 60% skipped. Now telehealth, fueled by the pandemic, makes it easier for people dealing with depression and other mental health issues to make it to their appointments at a time when such care is in high demand. But teletherapy creates other challenges.
As President Biden calls for more support to help schools hold in-person classes, public health experts say schools can be relatively safe if they take well-known steps to prevent covid. But a KHN investigation shows many districts and states have ignored health advice or written their own questionable safety rules for schools.
After missteps in Washington, each state and county is left to juggle where to send vaccines first and how to get them to each nursing home, hospital local health department and even school.
Organized labor is divided over whether to support “Medicare for All.” Meanwhile, many of the Democratic presidential candidates seem unable to use the health issue to their advantage. Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists offer their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.