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LA’s First Heat Officer Says Helping Vulnerable Communities Is Key to Achieving Climate Goals

As a child growing up in San Jose, California, Marta Segura heard horrific stories from her parents about women fainting on the factory lines and men overheating in the farm fields. They didn’t know those jobs exposed them to life-threatening conditions. Then, it hit home. “My dad, himself, got really sick one time and almost […]

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Journalists Investigate Private Equity, Medical Debt, and Mental Health Care

KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble examined how private equity hijacks health care, reporting on rural hospital closures in Missouri, on KBIA’s “All Things Considered” on June 23. KHN senior Colorado correspondent Markian Hawryluk also discussed private equity, along with power wheelchairs and Colorado’s “right to repair” law, on “Texas Standard” on June 22. KHN […]

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States Have Yet to Spend Hundreds of Millions of Federal Dollars to Tackle Covid Health Disparities

The Biden administration in March 2021 announced it was investing $2.25 billion to address covid health disparities, the largest federal funding initiative designed specifically to help underserved communities hardest hit by the virus. Two months later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded grants to every state health department and 58 large city and […]

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As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

With time running out in the 2022 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers took up a bill to regulate raw milk. An amendment suddenly got tacked onto the House version of the bill, although the new wording had nothing to do with dairy. The language called for legalizing the use of strips that test drugs for fentanyl, […]

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California Opens Medicaid to Older Unauthorized Immigrants

On May 1, California opened Medi-Cal to older immigrants residing in the state without legal permission. Unauthorized immigrants over age 49 who fall below certain income thresholds are now eligible for full coverage by Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, the federal-state partnership that provides health insurance to low-income people. Unauthorized immigrants of all ages account […]

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Battle Lines Are Drawn Over California Deal With Kaiser Permanente

[Editor’s note: KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.] California counties, health insurance plans, community clinics, and a major national health care labor union are lining up against a controversial deal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract as the bill heads for its first legislative hearing Tuesday. The deal, hammered out […]

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How a Former Catholic Priest Is Navigating a California Medicaid Plan Through Big Changes 

ORANGE, Calif. — For Michael Hunn, the path from priesthood to health care was seamless. Hunn, a native of St. Louis, counseled hospitalized patients as a Catholic priest in the 1980s before leaving the clergy and shifting to health care administration. Over the next three decades, he was CEO of nine different hospitals — in […]

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Refurbished Walkers and Wheelchairs Fill Gaps Created by Supply Chain Problems

DENVER — Michele Lujan needed a wheelchair for her 52-year-old husband who had been hospitalized with covid-19. But she had lost her job, and money was tight. Insurance wouldn’t cover the cost, and she didn’t see the use in buying something to meet a temporary need. So she turned to a loan closet not far […]

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Black Students Experiencing Racism on Campus Lack Mental Health Support

Three years ago, Lauren Bryant was walking across Appalachian State University’s campus with several other Black students when they were verbally assaulted with a racist tirade. “This guy in a pickup truck stopped at the light, rolled down his window, and just started calling us a bunch of N-words,” she recalled. It wasn’t the only […]

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Senators Ask GAO to Examine Medicaid’s Low Covid Vaccination Rates

Two prominent Democratic senators have requested a Government Accountability Office study of why covid vaccination rates remain far lower among Medicaid enrollees than the general population and what barriers are impeding state efforts to increase immunizations among program beneficiaries, low-income people who have been disproportionately affected by the virus. Sens. Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania […]