Health and Poverty News
"Most fish in the United States contain mercury, but states rarely explain the health dangers to immigrants and low-income people who often rely on catching fish for their daily meals. Studies show up to 10 percent of women of child-bearing age have mercury levels that exceed federal standards. The substance, which occurs naturally in fish and is exacerbated by power plant pollution, can be devastating for the neurological development of children."
The Board of Health recently convened to discuss the lack of doctors in Aspen that accept Medicaid, and look at three potential options to ensure that all valley residents have timely access to a primary care physician. Liz Stark, Pitkin County public health director, said that more than 4,500 of Pitkin County’s 17,000-plus residents live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level — where an individual earns less than $23,500, or a family of four brings in less than $48,500. Many of these residents either rely on Medicaid for health insurance, or have no coverage at all."
"Low income senior citizens in Philadelphia are being given vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Senior farmers’ market produce vouchers were distributed at Reading Terminal Market, and Sue Gibson, nutrition manager at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, says that while Wednesday was their final distribution date here, it’s not too late to pick up a voucher elsewhere."
"Dr. Jay Mitchell of Rochester Hills retired as a pediatrician and now volunteers full time with his nonprofit KidzKare, which provides goods and services for low-income children in the Rochester Area."
"Northwestern University study found that it has been documented that children from low-income families typically complete less education, have worse health and are convicted of more crimes relative to their affluent peers."
"Succeeding academically and socially, a new Northwestern University study finds, may require self-control but ultimately this same trait will undermine health — but only in those who come from a low-income background. For the disadvantaged, self-control provides success while stealing vigor, the researchers suggest."
"Diet-related health problems have been worsening in the U.S., and obesity rates have skyrocketed in recent decades. The search for an explanation in recent years has often zeroed in on “food deserts,” generally defined as places where many residents don’t have access to a full-service grocery store within a mile of home in urban areas or 10 miles in rural ones."
"A longtime Coconino County dental clinic that is the only one of its kind in the state will shut its doors this fall. The clinic will close Sept. 30, the last day of work for resigning public health dentist Thomas Cardwell. The county Board of Supervisors decided last week that it was no longer feasible to keep operating the clinic after Cardwell's departure."
"So how do lower-income families feel about mandatory vaccination? It turns out that while they may struggle to get their kids vaccinated, they are very supportive of making it mandatory."
"The young people who are struggling with dental issues their families can’t afford to fix are nearly universally more appreciative than some other patients who take this kind of care for granted, he said."
"If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them? They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school."
"About 1 million low-income Ohio residents could be required to pay a new monthly cost for Medicaid health coverage or potentially lose it under a Republican provision in the state budget, officials estimate. The idea, which will require federal approval, was part of the $71.2 billion, two-year spending blueprint that Republican Gov. John Kasich signed Tuesday."
"Low-income black, Hispanic and Latino U.S. residents are disproportionately affected by mental health issues and chronic conditions, according to a study by UCLA researchers published in the journal Psychological Trauma, Medical News Today reports."
"The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, after the Supreme Court rules insurance tax credits should be available to Americans in all 50 states. In Ohio, that means 160,000 residents get to keep their current health coverage. Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton says the ruling takes a weight off many of their patients shoulders."
"The Obama administration and the state have reached an agreement in principle to continue funding Florida's hospital low-income pool for two more years but at a much lower cost, officials said Tuesday. Florida will receive $1 billion this year, about half of what the state has been receiving, and $600 million for 2016-2017. The federal government must still wait until the end of a public review to issue its final ruling."
"Hoosiers’ income rose in the first quarter of the year thanks primarily to Indiana’s expansion of Medicaid, according to federal figures released Monday. Medicaid benefits increased nearly 8 percent, after the state received permission from the federal government in January to receive federal funds for a modified version of the joint federal and state health care program for the poor, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis."
"Hundreds of people living with HIV and AIDS in Alabama are finally getting health insurance for the first time ever. A new program through the Alabama Department of Public Health, called the Alabama Insurance Assistance Program, is providing critical health care for those who may not have otherwise afforded it."
"Most members of Tampa Bay's predominantly Republican congressional delegation would vote to maintain financial aid — at least temporarily — for the 6.4 million Americans at risk of losing their health insurance subsidies if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act."
"A new grocery store in Boston is on a mission to solve two problems: preventing tons of food from going to waste and offering healthy alternatives to families who might not be able to afford traditional stores, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. Daily Table in Dorchester looks like a boutique supermarket, but the founder says it's the first fully not-for-profit grocery store in the country that provides affordable and nutritious meals for low-income families."
"Some 17 million elderly Americans are in need of government-funded meal services, but 90 percent of them don't receive it, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. About 83 percent of those adults in need are food insecure."
"The biggest piece of Florida's budget puzzle fell into place Friday as state legislators divvied up $2 billion to hospitals for the costs of treating millions of people with no health insurance."
"Residents in this low- to middle-income neighborhood likely don’t realize how lucky they are. The majority of Americans have to travel miles to see a dentist who takes their insurance, particularly if they’re covered by Medicaid. Many dental patients with private insurance cannot afford to pay their share of the bill."
"In low-income Latino patients with type 2 diabetes who took part in a diabetes education program that was specifically designed for them, those with 'food insecurity' — a belief that they could not access adequate food to feed their families — reported eating fewer healthy vegetables at their main meal and had worse initial glycemic control than their peers."
"Facing a court-ordered deadline to respond to Gov. Rick Scott's request for mediation over federal funding for hospitals serving low-income patients, the Obama administration said Tuesday they don't need to mediate because they are in ongoing discussions with Florida. Gov. Rick Scott said a deal most be done to keep $1.3 billion in federal funding to several of Florida's biggest hospitals, including $95 million annually to UF Health in Jacksonville."
"A federal judge on Monday ordered some quick work out of the federal government in response to a request by Gov. Rick Scott that federal health care officials be forced to settle his lawsuit over the Low Income Pool. Scott filed a motion on Monday seeking court-ordered mediation in the lawsuit he has brought against the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Chief U.S. District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers responded by issuing an order calling for CMS to respond to the request no later than noon Tuesday."