Back-to-school season has fueled immediate covid outbreaks. Instead of beefing up protections, some districts are letting students go without masks, physical distancing and quarantines. And parents are left to make impossibly tough decisions.
Efforts by states and the private health plans that many states pay to cover low-income Americans has been scattershot and hampered by a lack of data.
The FDA’s formal approval of the first vaccine to prevent covid-19 may or may not prompt doubters to go out and get shots, but it has clearly prompted employers to make vaccination a work requirement. Meanwhile, moderates and liberals in the U.S. House put aside their differences long enough to keep a giant social-spending bill on track, at least for now. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Students in many places are starting the new school year with their masks off — even in one Colorado county that was one of the nation’s first delta variant hot spots.
Big Bend Regional Medical Center, the only hospital in a sparsely populated region of West Texas, announced that because of a nursing shortage its labor and delivery unit must close for days at a time and patients must go instead to a hospital an hour away.
In Texas’ border communities, which are overwhelmingly Hispanic, covid-19 death rates for people under age 65 were double those in the rest of the state and three times the national average. They were also significantly higher than rates in New Mexico border areas.
In 2015, Houston police officers stepped into Alan Pean’s hospital room, closed the door and shot him through the chest. Nearly six years later, his survival has brought the Pean family a wrenching legacy and conflicted sense of purpose.
The Biden administration has started to speed efforts to reverse health policies forged under Donald Trump. Most recently, the administration overturned a ban on fetal tissue research and canceled a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. That latter move may delay the Senate confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) seeks to fight back. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
California stresses equity for minority groups. Texas is all about personal choice and liberty. Both are struggling to vaccinate Latinos and contending with vaccine hesitancy among conservative communities.
For some, a vaccine appointment a few hours away is no biggie. For others, it’s a major barrier to gaining protection from the coronavirus.