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.
Black Americans’ vaccination rates still trail all other groups, while Hispanics show improvement. Native Americans show the strongest rates nationally.
Hesitancy toward routine childhood vaccines doesn’t necessarily predict hesitancy toward a covid shot.
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.
The threat of COVID-19 forced many county fairs to cancel this year. But some rural communities that depend on the annual economic and cultural boost decided to go ahead despite a pattern of outbreaks.
Once there were 23 of these nonprofit plans across 26 states; in January there will be only three, serving Maine, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Thousands of firefighters from across the U.S. have converged on the West as the wildfire season enters its peak. The inherently dangerous job now carries the additional risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fire managers are adapting their plans for crowded fire camps in the hope of preventing outbreaks that could sideline crews and weaken the nation’s firefighting infrastructure.
Health was a featured player in President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address. The president set goals to bring down prescription drug prices, end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. and cure childhood cancer, among other things. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Alice Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and, for “extra credit,” provide their favorite health policy stories of the week. Rovner also interviews KHN senior correspondent Phil Galewitz about the current “Bill of the Month” feature.
The legislators say that despite voter support for expansion, they are concerned that a change in the Medicaid program will be a financial burden for the states.