Chaos? Irrelevant? Pandemic shifts Affordable Care Act legal fight
AUSTIN, Texas — A lot has happened since March 2, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Texas’ bid to strike down the Affordable Care Act.Two days later, Texas discovered its first case of COVID-19, and Gov. Greg Abbott declared a statewide emergency over the pandemic nine days after that.As the coronavirus spread over the next five months — cutting short more than 161,000 lives nationwide — the toll has changed the tenor of the case before the country’s highest court.Supporters of the wide-ranging law have flooded the court with pleas to preserve the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it ...
2 transgender teens sue Arizona's Medicaid program for refusal to cover chest surgery
Two transgender teens in Arizona are challenging the state’s Medicaid ban on surgical treatment for gender dysphoria.The two plaintiffs, named in court documents as 15-year-old D.H. and 17-year-old John Doe, are both teens enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.They are seeking male chest reconstruction surgery as a treatment for their gender dysphoria — defined in the lawsuit as “the distress that can result from the incongruence between a person’s gender identity and their assigned sex at birth” — but the state’s Medicaid will not cov...
New York Daily News
As Florida nursing home residents died, operators raked in federal handouts
MIAMI — Heather Williams knew on April 28 that her mom, 63-year-old Sarita Redmond, had tested positive for COVID-19. But the Southern Oaks Care Center, which had become a petri dish of infection, would tell Williams nothing more.Call after call to the Pensacola nursing home went unanswered, Williams said. And a state executive order intended to protect elders in long-term care barred her from visiting her mother.Williams asked local police to make a welfare check in mid-May. The Pensacola Police Department told her that COVID-19 restrictions forbid that, too.“I didn’t know what else I could d...
Missouri voters narrowly approve Medicaid expansion
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Ignoring pleas from Republican leaders, Missouri voters approved a plan Tuesday to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 230,000 low-income people in the state.Missouri voted to expand its Medicaid program, as 53% of voters supported the measure. Missouri now joins 37 other states that have already expanded the federally subsidized health insurance program.The decision will mean adults between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level will be covered. As of this year, that amounts to $17,608 for an individual and $36,156 for a hou...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GoHealth raises $914 million through IPO and plans to expand its Medicare offerings
CHICAGO — GoHealth, an online health insurance marketplace, raised $914 million through an initial public offering Tuesday, but shares of the Chicago-based company fell 7.3% on Wednesday’s first day of trading.The company will use the funds raised through the IPO to expand, said Brandon Cruz, co-founder and chief strategy officer.The company’s IPO of 4.6 million shares was priced at $21 a share, higher than the expected range of $18 to $20 a share. Shares closed at $19.46 a share Wednesday. GoHealth is trading under the ticker GOCO.Founded in 2001, GoHealth uses data to identify potential cust...
Florida adds 12,624 COVID-19 cases
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida announced another 12,624 cases of COVID-19 Monday, the second-highest daily total for a state now known as one of the world centers for the disease.The number of people hospitalized continued to rise, going from 7,511 Sunday to 8,072 on Monday, according to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration.The new case total fell short of the record-shattering 15,300 cases announced Sunday, a figure that generated headlines across the United States and maintained Florida’s status as one of the states driving the disease’s resurgence.There were 35 additional death...
How our sewage could warn us of future outbreaks of COVID-19
TACOMA, Wash. — Down a gravel pathway, past a scattering of needle caps and food wrappers and beneath a graffiti-sprayed overpass for Tacoma’s East 32nd Street, lies a portal into the public’s health.For millennia, sewer systems have carried off waste and disease. More recently, they’ve drawn coronavirus-searching scientists in their wake.On a Friday last month, Chad Atkinson, a senior environmental technician for Tacoma, lifted up a maintenance hole cover with a metal hook.The stench of decomposition pricked the nostrils as a flashlight beam illuminated a stream of untreated wastewater flowin...
The Seattle Times
Doctor walks to Wrigley Field during his journey to hit every MLB ballpark, raising awareness about preventable deaths in health care settings
CHICAGO — Wearing a Chicago Cubs cap, T-shirt and shorts, Dr. David Mayer finished a 7.2-mile morning walk from Northwestern University behind a group of supporters holding a “Patient Safety Movement” sign Saturday morning under the Wrigley Field marquee.Mayer, a Cubs season ticket holder who grew up in Chicago, is more than 1,000 miles since February into a walk to every Major League Baseball park and spring training fields, hoping to raise awareness about preventable deaths that occur in health-care settings.It’s a cause he has been advocating for two decades, noting preventable medical harm...
Florida reports 11,433 new coronavirus cases, close to the one-day record high
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — After Florida notched another 92 people who died of COVID-19 on Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said deaths would likely be in the thousands had the state not made changes to long-term care centers. He also defended his decision to reopen the state in early May — which was criticized on Thursday by Dr. Anthony Fauci.“I think there was really no justification to not move forward,” DeSantis said.He said that in the initial weeks after the state reopened, positive test results trended under 5%. Given the virus’s incubation time of five to seven days, he said it doesn’t make sens...
LGBTQ icon Aimee Stephens found 'second purpose' fighting her case
DETROIT — Donna Stephens was working last month at home when the text came through from her lawyer. She read it and cried.“Aimee, we won,” she said.But the place where her wife, Aimee Stephens, would have sat was empty. Aimee, 59, died in May at their Redford home due to kidney disease.Five weeks after the hospice nurses had left and Aimee was buried in North Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor.The case stemmed from Aimee suing her employer, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes in Garden City, for firing her after she announced she was transitioning from male to female in 2013.The ...
The Detroit News