Tenn. health care task force eyes new ways to cover uninsured

May 9, 2016, The Tennessean, Ryan Poe- As the third meeting of the task force charged with finding alternatives to Insure Tennessee began breaking up Monday in Memphis, Rep. Steve McManus took hold of the microphone to rebut citizens’ criticism that the panel is a farce. “We’re for real, and we’re going to work for you,” said McManus, a Cordova Republican who sits on the task force. The task force, which was created by House Speaker Beth Harwell in April, is holding meetings across the state to get feedback from health care providers, along with business and community leaders, as it crafts a “conservative” plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured.

Where Dentists Are Scarce, American Indians Forge a Path to Better Care

May 22, 2016, The New York Times, Kirk Johnson- Going to the dentist evokes a special anxiety for Verne McLeod. He grew up on the Swinomish Indian reservation here in northwest Washington State in the 1950s and vividly remembers the dentist who visited periodically. The doctor worked from a trailer, and did not bother with painkillers. “They just strapped us down and drilled,” said Mr. McLeod, 70. Poor oral health a has plagued tribal lands across the nation. Indian preschool-aged children had four times the rate of untreated tooth decay as white children in a recent study. Poverty, diet and a decades-long lack of access to good care on remote reservations compound the problem.

Here’s what CEOs think of candidates’ healthcare ideas

May 21, 2016, Modern Healthcare, Shannon Muchmore- The nation’s top healthcare leaders overwhelmingly back the Affordable Care Act and support its goal of pushing providers away from fee-for-service medicine and toward delivering value-based care, according to Modern Healthcare’s second-quarter CEO Power Panel poll.While the Republican Party and its presumptive nominee, businessman Donald Trump, continue to stand by their “repeal and replace” slogan, the sector’s CEOs overwhelmingly reject that idea, in large part because they are unimpressed with the GOP’s attempts to articulate what it would replace it with.

How Obamacare Affects Our Wallets And Debt Ratio

May 18, 2016,, Shankar Vedantam- A study examined the economic effects of the Affordable Care Act. Researchers found states that opted to expand Medicaid through Obamacare had residents with fewer unpaid bills and less debt overall.

Medicaid Expansion Moves Forward in Oklahoma. Will Texas Follow Suit?

May 17, 2016,, Ashley Lopez- Oklahoma officials are seriously considering expanding Medicaid in that state under the Affordable Care Act. That means all of the states surrounding Texas - including New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana - could soon have expanded Medicaid programs. During a meeting at the Capitol yesterday, advocates said it’s an opportunity for Texas officials to revisit this issue back home. State officials in both Oklahoma and Texas have been ideologically opposed to expanding Medicaid. But Oklahoma is facing a serious budget shortfall thanks to rising health care costs in the state.

Should Pediatricians Ask Parents If They’re Poor?

May 18, 2016,, Elaine Korry- A single question asked at an annual checkup - whether parents have trouble making ends meet - could help pediatricians identify children at risk for serious health problems associated with poverty and the chronic levels of stress that often accompany it. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges members to ask if their patients’ families are struggling financially and then commit to helping them get the resources they need to thrive. And some communities are trying to make that happen. Since almost half of young children in the United States live in poverty or near poverty, it’s no small challenge.