Latest KFF Health News Stories
Debt Deal Leaves Health Programs (Mostly) Intact
The bipartisan deal to extend the U.S. government’s borrowing authority includes future cuts to federal health agencies, but they are smaller than many expected and do not touch Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, Merck & Co. becomes the first drugmaker to sue Medicare officials over the federal health insurance program’s new authority to negotiate drug prices. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature, about the perils of visiting the U.S. with European health insurance.
More States OK Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Beyond Two Months
Montana, Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming are among the latest states moving to provide health coverage for up to a year after pregnancy through the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people.
How a Medical Recoding May Limit Cancer Patients’ Options for Breast Reconstruction
The federal government’s arcane process for medical coding is influencing which reconstructive surgery options are available, creating anxiety for breast cancer patients.
Mammograms at 40? Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Spark Fresh Debate
There is no direct evidence that screening women in their 40s will save lives, yet modeling suggests expanding routine mammography to include them might avert 1.3 deaths per 1,000. Highlighting the risk of false positives, some specialists call for a more personalized approach.
¿Mamografías a los 40? Nueva pauta para la detección del cáncer de seno genera debate
Algunos médicos e investigadores que están interesados en un enfoque más individualizado para encontrar tumores problemáticos se muestran escépticos y plantean preguntas sobre los datos y el razonamiento detrás del cambio radical del Grupo de Trabajo de Servicios Preventivos de Estados Unidos
A Catch-22 for Clinics: State Bans Limit Abortion Counseling. Federal Title X Rules Require It.
Family planning clinics are getting caught between state abortion bans and a federal requirement to refer patients for abortion care on request.
When an Anti-Vaccine Activist Runs for President
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s official entry into the presidential race poses a thorny challenge for journalists: how to cover a candidate who’s opposed to vaccines without amplifying misinformation. And South Carolina becomes the latest state in the South to ban abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News senior correspondent Aneri Pattani about her project to track the billions of dollars coming from opioid makers to settle lawsuits.
Abortion Bans Are Driving Off Doctors and Closing Clinics, Putting Basic Health Care at Risk
Doctors say they are reluctant to practice in abortion-banned states, where making the best decision for a patient could run afoul of the law. Even former President Donald Trump’s surgeon general is concerned about the repercussions for women’s health, writes KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner.
Domestic Violence Shelters Move Out of Hiding
A new domestic violence shelter in Bozeman, Montana, reflects efforts nationwide to rethink the model that keeps survivors of abuse in hiding. But there are no guidelines for bringing shelters out into the open, leaving each to make it up as they go.
Refugios para víctimas de violencia doméstica dejan de esconderse
Por mucho tiempo, el estándar para este tipo de refugios, también llamados casas de acogida, ha sido alojar a las víctimas de violencia doméstica en casas ocultas con direcciones secretas
Small, Rural Communities Have Become Abortion Access Battlegrounds
After local leaders in rural Nevada reached an impasse over a proposed Planned Parenthood clinic, an anti-abortion activist pitching local abortion bans across the U.S. arrived at their remote City Hall.
Pequeñas comunidades rurales se han convertido en campos de batalla por el acceso al aborto
La búsqueda por promulgar prohibiciones locales se ha vuelto particularmente crítica en pueblos pequeños, situados en las fronteras entre estados que han restringido el aborto y estados donde las leyes preservan el acceso.
A Striking Gap Between Deaths of Black and White Babies Plagues the South
Infant mortality rates across the South are by far the worst in the U.S. A look at South Carolina — where multimillion-dollar programs aimed at improving rates over the past 10 years have failed to move the needle — drives home the challenge of finding solutions, especially in rural communities.
The Abortion Pill Goes Back to Court
A three-judge appeals court panel heard testimony this week about revoking the FDA’s 22-year-old approval of a key pill used in medication abortion and miscarriage management. The judges all have track records of siding with abortion foes. Meanwhile, as the standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling continues in Washington, a major sticking point is whether to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid coverage. Victoria Knight of Axios, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Watch: 5th Circuit Judges Question Two-Decade-Old Approval of Abortion Pill
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case brought by conservative Christian abortion opponents seeking to revoke FDA approval of mifepristone, a medication used in more than half of abortions in the U.S.
New Mexico Program to Reduce Maternity Care Deserts in Rural Areas Fights for Survival
A federally funded program in remote New Mexico has helped hundreds of pregnant mothers stay healthy, but it’s running out of time and money despite a growing national maternity care crisis. The four-year, nearly $3 million grant has provided telehealth, coordinated care, and social services to mothers in need.
The Crisis Is Officially Ending, but Covid Confusion Lives On
The public health emergency declaration for covid-19 ends May 11, ushering in major changes in how Americans can access and pay for the vaccines, treatments, and tests particular to the culprit coronavirus. But not everyone will experience the same changes, creating a confusing patchwork of coverage — not unlike health coverage for other diseases. Meanwhile, outside advisers to the FDA formally recommended allowing a birth control pill to be sold without a prescription. If the FDA follows the recommendation, it would represent the first over-the-counter form of hormonal contraception. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus for “extra credit” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.
Drive-Thru Baby Showers Serve Express Needs of Pregnant Veterans in Atlanta
Women are the fastest-growing group among U.S. veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is working to meet their health needs, including pregnancy care.
In Idaho, Taking a Minor Out of State for an Abortion Is Now a Crime: ‘Abortion Trafficking’
Under the nation’s first law of its kind, teens must have parental consent to travel for medical care, including in cases of sexual assault or rape. Any adult, including an aunt, grandparent, or sibling, convicted of violating the criminal statute faces up to five years in prison — and could be sued for financial damages.
Can a Fetus Be an Employee? States Are Testing the Boundaries of Personhood After ‘Dobbs’
Laws granting rights to unborn children have spread in the decades since the U.S. and Missouri supreme courts allowed Missouri’s definition of life as beginning at conception to stand. Now, a wrongful death lawsuit involving a workplace accident shows how sprawling those laws — often intended to curb abortion — have become.