Heathy Life News

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Still Waiting for That Trump Health Plan

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

President Donald Trump keeps promising to unveil a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, but it keeps not appearing. However, this week he did order an expansion of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and a program to help struggling rural hospitals.

Meanwhile, the administration still lacks a comprehensive plan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and Congress remains unable to agree on another round of COVID relief funding, despite broad agreement on the need.

Outside Washington, Missouri this week became the sixth state where voters approved an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act over the objections of Republican governors and/or Republican-controlled legislatures.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.

Among the takeaways from this week’s

Read More

With Caveats, Hopeful News for Preschools Planning Young Kids’ Return

Sabrina Lira Garcia is proud to work as a clinical assistant in the COVID-19 ward of a Los Angeles hospital, but sometimes she wishes she could just stay home with her infant son until the pandemic is over.

Pulling her child from day care has never been an option for Lira Garcia, however. She can’t let her career lapse. Her husband was born in Mexico and is undocumented. The family pays monthly legal fees to help him get residency papers. If he were ever deported, she’d have to support Jeremiah, born in October, by herself.

“I couldn’t afford to just stay home,” she said. “I have no kind of family who lives around me or any source of help.”

Lira Garcia and thousands of other essential workers have had no choice but to use day care, and thereby run the risk of exposing their children to possible coronavirus

Read More

America’s Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID Vaccine

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that COVID-19 vaccines will be any different.

“Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way,” said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no.”

More than 107 million American adults are obese, and their ability

Read More

Health Care Workers of Color Nearly Twice as Likely as Whites to Get COVID-19

Health care workers of color were more likely to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, more likely to report using inadequate or reused protective gear, and nearly twice as likely as white colleagues to test positive for the coronavirus, a new study from Harvard Medical School researchers found.

The study also showed that health care workers are at least three times more likely than the general public to report a positive COVID test, with risks rising for workers treating COVID patients.

Dr. Andrew Chan, a senior author and an epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the study further highlights the problem of structural racism, this time reflected in the front-line roles and personal protective equipment provided to people of color.

“If you think to yourself, ‘Health care workers should be on equal footing in the workplace,’ our study really showed that’s definitely not the case,” said Chan, who

Read More