Care

Avoiding Care During the Pandemic Could Mean Life or Death

These days, Los Angeles acting teacher Deryn Warren balances her pain with her fear. She’s a bladder cancer patient who broke her wrist in November. She still needs physical therapy for her wrist, and she’s months late for a cancer follow-up.

But Warren won’t go near a hospital, even though she says her wrist hurts every day.

“If I go back to the hospital, I’ll get COVID. Hospitals are full of COVID people,” says Warren, a former film director and author of the book “How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love With You.”

“Doctors say, ‘Come back for therapy,’ and my answer is, ‘No, thank you.’”

Many, many patients like Warren are shunning hospitals and clinics. The coronavirus has so diminished trust in the U.S. medical system that even people with obstructed bowels, chest pain and stroke symptoms are ignoring danger signs and staying out of the emergency room,

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In Arizona Race, McSally Makes Health Care Pledge At Odds With Track Record

Trailing Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in one of the country’s most hotly contested Senate races, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is seeking to tie herself to an issue with across-the-aisle appeal: insurance protections for people with preexisting health conditions.

“Of course I will always protect those with preexisting conditions. Always,” the Republican said in a TV ad released June 22.

The ad comes in response to criticisms by Kelly, who has highlighted McSally’s votes to undo the Affordable Care Act. That, he argued, would leave Americans with medical conditions vulnerable to higher-priced insurance.

The Arizona Senate race has attracted national attention and is considered a toss-up, though Kelly is leading in many polls. McSally’s attempt to present herself as a supporter of protecting people with preexisting conditions — a major component of the 2010 health law — is part of a larger pattern in which vulnerable Republican incumbents stake out

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California Lawmakers Block Health Care Cuts

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic state lawmakers agreed Monday on a state budget plan that would avoid the deep cuts to essential health care services that the governor had initially proposed.

Even though the state faces a massive budget deficit, legislators flatly rejected Newsom’s proposed cuts to safety-net programs intended help keep older adults and low-income residents out of long-term care homes, the epicenters of coronavirus outbreaks.

“The demand for these services is even more imperative, even more needed,” said Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who chairs the Senate Health Committee. “The more people keep out of nursing homes, the better.”

To address the estimated $54 billion deficit in the 2020-21 state budget, the deal relies partly on drawing down state cash reserves and rainy day funds. But it still includes cuts, such as reductions to state employee pay and deferred payments to K-12 public schools. It also counts

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COVID-19 Batters A Beloved Bay Area Community Health Care Center

MARIN CITY, Calif. ― A small band of volunteers started the Marin City Health and Wellness Center nearly two decades ago with a doctor and a retired social worker making house calls in public housing high-rises. It grew into a beloved community resource and a grassroots experiment in African American health care.

“It was truly a one-stop shop,” said Ebony McKinley, a lifelong resident of this tightknit, historically black enclave several miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. “And it was ours.”

By early 2020, the center had a multimillion-dollar annual operation with two clinics, in Marin City and Bayview-Hunters Point, a predominantly black community in an industrial section of southeastern San Francisco. The clinics offered primary care geared to low-income residents of color, as well as access to dentists, psychotherapists, a substance abuse clinic and chiropractor.

In Marin City, ladies shouldering empty tote bags lined up on Tuesday afternoons

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