States

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: When It Comes To COVID-19, States Are On Their Own

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At least so far, states that reopened their economies are not seeing a major spike in cases of COVID-19. But it remains unclear if that is because the coronavirus is not spreading, because the data is lagging or because the data is being manipulated.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he’s taking the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure after he was exposed to a White House valet who tested positive for the coronavirus. Despite the fact that there is no data to suggest the drug works to prevent infection, the president’s endorsement has apparently led to new shortages for patients who take the medication for approved purposes.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.

Among

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As Congress Weighs COVID Liability Protections, States Shield Health Providers

Coronavirus patients and their families who believe a doctor, nurse, hospital or other provider made serious mistakes during their care may face a new hurdle if they try to file medical malpractice lawsuits.

Under pressure from health provider organizations, governors in Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois and several other states have ordered that most providers be shielded from civil ― and, in some cases, criminal — lawsuits over medical treatment during the COVID-19 health emergency. In New York and New Jersey, immunity is now part of state law. In California, six hospital, physician and long-term care provider groups are pressing Gov. Gavin Newsom to also issue an order assuring immunity.

The efforts are attracting congressional attention as well and threatening to derail the next federal coronavirus stimulus package on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is demanding that Congress include liability protections against COVID-related suits for businesses and health care providers.

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