January 17, 2020

Medi-Cal’s Very Big Decade

California’s health insurance program for low-income people grew 78% between 2010 and 2019 to 12.8 million enrollees. The federal Affordable Care Act spurred the increase, aided by state policies broadening eligibility.

With Fate Of Roe V. Wade Unsure, Abortion Fight Shifts To New Territory

The Supreme Court in March will hear a Louisiana case that tests whether the new five-member conservative majority is willing to overturn the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. Even if the court does not go that far, it could hasten the procedure’s demise by saying abortion providers cannot sue on behalf of their patients.

January 16, 2020

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Trump Takes Credit Where It Isn’t Due

President Donald Trump says he “saved” popular protections for preexisting conditions, even though his administration is in court asking them to be struck down. Meanwhile, Democrats who want to run against Trump in the fall continue to argue among themselves over health issues. And Kansas may become the next state to expand Medicaid. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.

What The 2020s Have In Store For Aging Boomers

On the bright side, advances in medical science and a push for healthier lifestyles might extend the quality of life for aging boomers. Among clouds on the horizon: ageism, strained long-term care services and the need to work well past retirement age.

January 15, 2020

No Shield From X-Rays: How Science Is Rethinking Lead Aprons

A number of radiology organizations are trying to end the decades-old practice of shielding patients from radiation with lead aprons. They say it provides no benefit and might even inadvertently expose people to higher radiation levels. But the policy about-face is moving slowly.

January 14, 2020

Loopholes Limit New California Law To Guard Against Lofty Air Ambulance Bills

A new state law limits what consumers owe if they’re transported by an air ambulance that’s not part of their insurance network to the amount that they’d be charged if they used an in-network provider. But the law won’t protect millions of consumers whose health plans aren’t regulated by the state.

January 13, 2020

Homeless Californians Adapt To Camp Sweeps And ‘The Caltrans Shuffle’

Communities across California, frustrated with the growing number of homeless people living on public property, have tasked police and sanitation workers with dismantling encampments they say pose a risk to health and safety. The routine cleanups have spawned another public health concern: the loss of the displaced people’s personal possessions, including medicines.

January 10, 2020

High-Deductible Plans Jeopardize Financial Health Of Patients And Rural Hospitals

Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.



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