healthcare

Biden-Harris Debate Rematch Highlights Health Plan Differences

Aug 1, 2019

Which of these Democrats can insure more Americans?

As Wednesday’s debate made vividly clear, there are almost as many versions of “Medicare for All” as there are Democratic candidates — and each one thinks their plan is the path to insuring every American.

For California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, health care became the sequel to their first fiery exchange — when Harris, peering over at Biden, movingly recalled during the first round of debates last month how the busing policy he once backed had changed the course of her life. 

So your doctor has told you some of the scariest words you can possibly hear: You need surgery. What do you do next?

If you need an emergency surgery, like an appendectomy or a procedure after an accident, you usually don't have much choice in the matter. You'll likely get it done in the hospital where you went to the emergency room, unless the hospital isn't equipped to do it. If that's the case, you'll get transferred.

The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line Tuesday, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional.

The American Medical Association is suing North Dakota to block two abortion-related laws, the latest signal the doctors' group is shifting to a more aggressive stance as the Trump administration and state conservatives ratchet up efforts to eliminate legal abortion.

The group, which represents all types of physicians, has tended to stay on the sidelines of many controversial political issues, and until recently has done so concerning abortion and contraception. Instead, it has focused on legislation that affects the practice and finances of large swaths of its membership.

The federal government's rule designed to support health workers who opt out of providing care that violates their moral or religious beliefs will not go into effect in July as scheduled. The effective date has been delayed by four months, according to court orders.

President Trump called on Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation this year to end surprise medical bills, in remarks made in the White House's Roosevelt Room Thursday.

"We're determined to end surprise medical billing for American patients," Trump said.

Bills like those have been featured in the NPR-Kaiser Health News series launched in February 2018. Two patients whose medical bills were part of the series attended the event.

Timmy Gunz/C.M. Guerrero/Martin County Health Dept / Creative Commons/Flickr/Miami Herald

Florida lawmakers have finished their work for the year. The 60-day legislative session had to have a few extra hours on Saturday for them to okay a $91.1 billion state budget.

Music Therapy In NICUs Can Help Babies Get Home Sooner

May 2, 2019
DAVE BARFIELD / TALLAHASSEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it's expanding. 

For centuries, lullabies have helped soothe babies to sleep. But it's only in the last couple decades that research showed, for premature babies, these slow, simple tunes could be life-changing.

The Trump administration issued a new rule Thursday that gives health care workers leeway to refuse to provide services like abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide, if they cite a religious or conscientious objection.

The rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to protect the religious rights of health care providers and religious institutions.

According to a statement issued by HHS's Office for Civil Rights, the new rule affirms existing conscience protections established by Congress.

Key Hospital Budget Issues Resolved

Apr 29, 2019

Florida lawmakers are close to reaching a deal on health-care spending for the coming year.

House and Senate negotiators Friday agreed on many spending issues across five state health-care agencies, including how to pay Florida’s hospitals for treating poor, elderly and disabled people.

A high-profile dispute over hospital payments ended with lawmakers agreeing to redirect about $9.5 million from a pot of money that is used to supplement payments for 28 hospitals that treat the largest numbers of Medicaid patients in the state.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, on her second visit to Florida since becoming a Democratic presidential candidate, emphasized her support on Tuesday for a universal public health insurance option and also called on the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.

During a meeting with Venezuelan exiles in Doral, Klobuchar discussed the ongoing political turmoil in Venezuela and said she approved of recent sanctions against the regime of embattled president Nicolás Maduro.

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF

Floridians spend a lot on prescription drugs -- more than $30 billion last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now at least some Florida lawmakers say they have a way to save consumers money on drugs: get them for less from Canada.

In his first weeks in office, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed the idea of the state importing drugs from Canada. State lawmakers quickly took up the idea. They say that could save Floridians up to 80 percent on what they currently pay for drugs.

It wasn't the rash covering Meliza's feet and legs that worried Dr. José Manuel de la Rosa. What concerned him were the deep bruises beneath. They were a sign she could be experiencing something far more serious than an allergic reaction.

Meliza's mom, Magdalena, told the doctor it started with one little bump. Then two. In no time, the 5-year-old's legs were swollen and red from the knees down.

Olivia Expresses Optimism On Health Regulation Issues

Apr 4, 2019

They can work it out. That was House Speaker Jose Oliva’s sentiment Wednesday when asked about the differences between the House and Senate versions of certificate of need legislation. 

The University of Central Florida is using virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It's worked well enough that the Pentagon will fund similar programs elsewhere.


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