Pandemic

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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Next Showdown in Congress: Protecting Workers vs. Protecting Employers in the Pandemic

Congressional leaders are squaring off over the next pandemic relief bill in a debate over whom Congress should step up to protect: front-line workers seeking more safeguards from the ravages of COVID-19 or beleaguered employers seeking relief from lawsuits.

Democrats want to enact an emergency standard meant to bolster access to protective gear for health care and other workers and to bar employers from retaliating against them for airing safety concerns.

Republicans seek immunity for employers from lawsuits related to the pandemic, an effort they say would give businesses the confidence to return to normal. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene later this month.

The debate reflects a deepening schism between the major political parties, with Democrats focused on protecting lives and Republicans focused on protecting livelihoods.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed frustration over efforts to pass an emergency worker-protection standard, which keeps running into GOP resistance.

“They’re saying

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Essential Worker Shoulders $1,840 Pandemic Debt Due To COVID Cost Loophole

Carmen Quintero works an early shift as a supervisor at a 3M distribution warehouse that ships N95 masks to a nation under siege from the coronavirus. On March 23, she had developed a severe cough, and her voice, usually quick and enthusiastic, was barely a whisper.

A human resources staff member told Quintero she needed to go home.

“They told me I couldn’t come back until I was tested,” said Quintero, who was also told that she would need to document that she didn’t have the virus.

Her primary care doctor directed her to the nearest emergency room for testing because the practice had no coronavirus tests.

The Corona Regional Medical Center is just around the corner from her house in Corona, California, and there a nurse tested her breathing and gave her a chest X-ray. But the hospital didn’t have any tests either, and the nurse told her to

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Pandemic Shifts; The Politics, Not So Much

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

President Donald Trump caused a stir when he said at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last weekend that he wanted less testing for COVID-19. While aides denied that, it didn’t help when on Wednesday the administration announced it would cut off federal funding for a number of state testing sites, including several in Texas, which is in the midst of a large spike in cases.

Meanwhile, in non-coronavirus news, the Trump administration won a round in its effort to require hospitals to make the prices they charge public, although that case is far from over. And as the administration submits its brief for the Supreme Court case that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act, Democrats on Capitol Hill unveil their bill to shore up the health law.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Margot

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