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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure […]

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Biden Moves to Overturn Trump Birth Control Rules

The Biden administration Wednesday formally proposed the repeal of Trump-era regulations barring abortion referrals and making other changes intended to evict Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the federal family planning program, Title X. The 2019 rules dramatically limited access to these family planning services for many low-income people. In promising to return to […]

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring […]

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Baby Blues: First-Time Parents Blindsided by ‘the Birthday Rule’ and a $207,455 NICU Bill

In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter’s arrival. Their long to-do list included mapping out their family’s health insurance plan and registering for baby gear and supplies. They even nailed down child care ahead of her birth. “We put a deposit […]

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Black Women Find Healing (But Sometimes Racism, Too) in the Outdoors

It would be the last hike of the season, Jessica Newton had excitedly posted on her social media platforms. With mild weather forecast and Colorado’s breathtaking fall foliage as a backdrop, she was convinced an excursion at Beaver Ranch Park would be the quintessential way to close out months of warm-weather hikes with her “sister […]

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Retiree Living the RV Dream Fights $12,387 Nightmare Lab Fee

Lorraine Rogge and her husband, Michael Rogge, travel the country in a recreational vehicle, a well-earned adventure in retirement. This spring found them parked in Artesia, New Mexico, for several months. In May, Rogge, 60, began to feel pelvic pain and cramping. But she had had a total hysterectomy in 2006, so the pain seemed […]

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For Nurses Feeling the Strain of the Pandemic, Virus Resurgence Is ‘Paralyzing’

For Christina Nester, the pandemic lull in Massachusetts lasted about three months through summer into early fall. In late June, St. Vincent Hospital had resumed elective surgeries, and the unit the 48-year-old nurse works on switched back from taking care of only COVID-19 patients to its pre-pandemic roster of patients recovering from gallbladder operations, mastectomies […]

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Black Hair Matters: How Going Natural Made Me Visible

The night before I chopped off my hair, I got nervous. This decision felt bigger than me, given all the weight that Black women’s hair carries. But after three months of wearing hats and scarves in a pandemic when trips to the hairdresser felt unsafe, I walked into a salon emotionally exhausted but ready to […]

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‘Breakthrough Finding’ Reveals Why Certain COVID Patients Die

This story also ran on NBC News. This story can be republished for free (details). Dr. Megan Ranney has learned a lot about COVID-19 since she began treating patients with the disease in the emergency department in February. But there’s one question she still can’t answer: What makes some patients so much sicker than others? […]