News

Their first day of school turned into a nightmare after record immigration raids

August 12, 2019, CNN, Ray Sanchez - When the unprecedented immigration raids were over, only the children remained. Some sobbed inconsolably. “Let my parents be free,” one girl cried. “I need my dad. He’s not a criminal.” Others clutched backpacks on a first day of school they would probably never forget. The latest salvo in the Trump administration’s hardline stance against immigration came Wednesday at seven Mississippi food-processing plants.Immigration officials described it as the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in US history. In all, some 680 undocumented immigrants were rounded up in six cities, leaving friends, neighbors and, in some instances, strangers to temporarily care for children who did not know whether they would see their parents again, according to CNN affiliate WJTV.


To Save Money, American Patients And Surgeons Meet In Cancun

August 12, 2019, Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz -  Donna Ferguson awoke in the resort city of Cancun before sunrise on a sweltering Saturday in July.  She wasn’t headed to the beach. Instead, she walked down a short hallway from her Sheraton hotel and into Galenia Hospital. A little later that morning, a surgeon, Dr. Thomas Parisi, who had flown in from Wisconsin the day before, stood by Ferguson’s hospital bed and used a black marker to note which knee needed repair. “I’m ready,” Ferguson, 56, told him just before being taken to the operating room for her total knee replacement. For this surgery, she would not only receive free care but would receive a check when she got home.  The hospital costs of the American medical system are so high that it made financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to leave the country and meet at an upscale private Mexican hospital for the surgery.


Lack of tech, not jobs, could ding Medicaid enrollees facing work requirements

August 12, 2019, Healthcare Dive, Ron Shinkman - Some of the states using Medicaid work requirements, such as New Hampshire, Kentucky and Indiana, expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Others, such as Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, have not expanded eligibility and are not expected to do so in the foreseeable future.  Work requirements have been controversial and haven’t generally held up in court. Three states have had their proposals shot down, with the latest ruling coming last month against New Hampshire. The judge said then that HHS, in approving the state’s plan, failed to consider the risk of beneficiaries losing coverage as a result of the requirements. He vacated the approval. KFF concluded the work requirements, if fully implemented, would affect some 23.5 million Medicaid enrollees. Of those, 70% are under age 45, and nearly 30% are raising at least one child.


Medical groups show influence in gun violence debate

August 9, 2019, Modern Healthcare, Susannah Luthi - Major medical groups’ push for tempered gun control gained bipartisan support in Congress last week, as lawmakers outlined the next round of legislation to try to grapple with mass killings with assault weapons. The latest drive for legislative answers to widespread national gun violence followed shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead. The federal bipartisan proposal with the most traction through last week is an agreement Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reached with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), giving states grants to enact so-called “red-flag” protection order laws. These allow judges to temporarily take firearms or ammunition from people posing immediate threats.


Court battles place crucial coverage for preexisting conditions under fire

August 8, 2019, The Hill, Byron Dorgan - The battle playing out in our federal courts will determine whether health insurance companies could once again be able to reject you for insurance coverage simply because you have a preexisting condition. The attorneys general of 18 states, including North Dakota, filed a suit in federal court alleging that the Affordable Care Act, which contains those protections, violates the Constitution. A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the law was unconstitutional. I am well aware they went “judge shopping” and got the Texas judge that they wanted for this case. That ruling was appealed.The case was argued last month in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Then in a nearly unheard of government twist, the Justice Department refused to support the constitutionality of the law in the court proceedings, presumably at the request of the Trump administration. This litigation will now almost certainly go to the Supreme Court, where the newly selected majority of President Trump will then issue its verdict.


KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Gun Violence And The Politics Of Public Health

August 8, 2019, Kaiser Health News, What the Health Podcast - ” Three mass shootings in eight days have refocused the nation’s attention on the problem of gun violence - and restarted the long-running debate over guns as a public health issue.  Although Congress is on its summer break, before lawmakers left Washington they passed a two-year budget deal to make it easier to fund health programs - but it also cements funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal abortion funding.  This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News.