Trump’s Vow on Welfare Faces an Uncertain Future

March 15, 2018, The New York Times, Gleen Thrush- In his State of the Union speech two months ago, President Trump vowed to end welfare as he defined it, heralding a plan to force recipients off federal housing vouchers, food assistance and Medicaid if they were not willing to do “a hard day’s work.“Days before the speech, as part of the plan, several federal departments took steps to impose the stricter work requirements on able-bodied adults receiving noncash aid. The move could result in the loss of subsistence benefits for as many as four million poor, single adults over the next few years, experts say. But Mr. Trump’s effort faces an uncertain future. The centerpiece of the plan, a sweeping executive order mandating that federal agencies review safety net programs with an eye toward cutting their rolls, has been delayed indefinitely, according to three senior administration officials.

How healthy are people where you live and why?: Map

March 13, 2018, The Clarion Ledger, Anna Wolfe- The people of Rankin County, a suburb of Jackson and a political force in Mississippi, had the best health outcomes in 2018. Hinds County, which encompasses the state Capitol, ranked 39th, better than just over half of the state’s 82 counties. Holmes County, one of the poorest areas of the state located along the border of the Mississippi Delta, came in last.  The ninth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, reinforces data showing health disparities still exist between white communities and communities of color.

The Health 202: Hey Republicans, Medicaid is a key way to tackle opioid abuse

March 12, 2018, The Washington Post, Paige Winfield Cunningham- The health insurance program for low-income individuals covers a whopping four in 10 non-elderly adults with opioid addiction, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s why experts and dozens of activist groups agree that expanding counseling, medication-assisted treatment and other crucial addiction interventions for Medicaid patients would go a long way toward countering the country’s sweeping struggle with opioid overdoses. “We hope as Republicans are thinking through their next steps on the opioid epidemic, they’re thinking about how Medicaid can reach these individuals,” Rebecca Farley, vice president of policy for the National Council for Behavioral Health, told me on Friday.

Medicaid Is Rural America’s Financial Midwife

March 12, 2018, Kaiser Health News, Shefali Luthra- Brianna Foster, 23, lives minutes away from Genesis Hospital, the main source of health care and the only hospital with maternity services in southeastern Ohio’s rural Muskingum County. Proximity proved potentially lifesaving last fall when Foster, pregnant with her second child, Holden, felt contractions at 31 weeks - about seven weeks too soon. Genesis was equipped to handle the situation - giving Foster medication and an injection to stave off delivery. After his birth four weeks later - still about a month early, at 5 pounds 12 ounces - Holden was sent to the hospital’s special care nursery for monitoring. Mother and son went home after a few days. “He was pretty small - but he’s picking up weight fast,” said Foster of Holden, now almost 4 months old.

How health care changed since 1965 and what this rural Mississippi doctor did about it

March 12, 2018, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Dr. Charles Ozborn is the small-town Mississippi doctor who still makes house visits. His patients have his cellphone number, free to call on the weekends. It’s a close-knit community. Real close.“In my practice, nobody comes in here without me finding some way to give them a colonoscopy,” Ozborn said. They agree to the procedure more often, he said, because they trust him. This isn’t a random admission: Ozborn estimates he’s reduced cases of colon cancer at his Eupora clinic by 80 percent. Ozborn, winner of Staff Care’s 2018 “Country Doctor of the Year Award,” is not just a country doctor. The 78-year-old’s compassionate, personable practice doesn’t make him old-fashioned.

Mississippi could still see an increase on tobacco tax

March 9, 2018, WDAM, Melissa Egan- Smokers could still see an increase in tax on their cigarettes in Mississippi. Senate Bill 3048, introduced by Senator Joey Fillingane, is a bond bill to authorize general obligations bonds for capital improvements in communities, junior colleges and state universities that has moved to the House Ways and Means committee. One part of the bill includes funding from an imposed tax increase on cigarettes.