Health and Poverty News
"Last month, Texas officials announced they intended to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood clinics — saying that, in light of the videos, the group can’t be trusted to provide 'medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.' Essentially, that means the group would no longer be reimbursed with state or federal Medicaid dollars for the health services it provides to low-income patients in the public health insurance program."
"A recent study published in medical journal The Lancet suggests that working long hours can increase your risk of a stroke.
The study, published in August, found those who worked 55 hours a week or more saw a 33 percent increase in the risk of stroke and 13 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease, compared with those who worked 35-40 hours a week. 'These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours,' the study's authors wrote."
"Researchers have found that children in low-income families experience greater access to preventive medical and dental care under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) than children covered by private insurance. However, for all types of insurance coverage, access to pediatric specialty care was a challenge."
"Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it."
"Physicians opting for cash-only practices must consider the impact that the practice model will have on their community and low-income patients struggling with to access care, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said this week in a policy statement."
"What Michigan's low-income seniors and disabled people don't know could their make health care a whole lot easier. It also could help them tap into care, such as dental services, that they've long been unable to get."
"The largest grant Central Community College has received will help low-income students achieve educational goals. The $11.9 million Health Profession Opportunity Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families will be used to fund and further develop the existing Project HELP (Health Education Laddering Program)."
"Confronting the consequences of high-priced drugs, the Obama administration Thursday pointedly reminded states that they cannot legally restrict access by low-income people to revolutionary cures for liver-wasting hepatitis C infection."
"But some candidates up for consideration this month have conflicting views on the current status of Medicaid expansion in their state, and, if elected, could drastically influence low-income residents’ access to affordable health care."
"Ruopeng An, assistant professor of kinesiology and community health, conducted a study that found a cost-effective way to improve the dietary consumption of low-income people. The study was based on a USDA report of the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP). The pilot was a large-scale randomized trial conducted in 2011-2012; it provided 30 percent rebate on targeted fruits and vegetables to 7,500 study participants enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)."
"Like other notable GOP Obamacare replacement plans, the core of Mr. Bush’s is a federal tax credit for all people lacking health-care coverage from an employer. The credit would not enable low-income people to buy comprehensive health-care plans of the quality Obamacare requires and helps needy people afford. Instead, it would enable them to buy low-value, highdeductible “catastrophic” plans that protect against high-cost medical events. To help people finance everyday medical costs, Mr. Bush would dramatically increase the amount of money people could put into tax-advantaged health savings accounts."
"The Obama administration is doubling down on its efforts to encourage low-income Americans to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act as another open enrollment period begins on Sunday. Although millions of people have enrolled since the ACA was signed into law in 2010, misconceptions about the affordability of available plans have left many uninsured. The administration plans to launch an ad campaign targeting low-wage workers to encourage them to sign up, The New York Times reports. Some advocates say the most effective way to reach uninsured individuals is to guide them through what can be a maze-like world of options."
"A popular incentive for low-income shoppers at farmers markets is moving into grocery stores. The expansion promises nourishment for both rural and urban areas. Around 5,000 low-income shoppers used the program from June through August in a trial run at four Price Chopper supermarkets in metro Kansas City. They spent nearly US$30,000 on produce, mostly from smaller scale farmers in the region."
"Federal health officials are targeting low-income consumers with new advertisements unveiled Thursday that emphasize the affordability of health insurance, two days after new data showed the average increase in premiums was higher than for 2015 plans."
"Dr. Roy M. Arnold owns a healthcare practice in the deep south, where physicians can be scarce. To help those who can’t afford time or transportation to see a doctor, he has started using a wearable device system called Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry, which monitors weight and heart rates and delivers a printout to him. 'It’s important in chronic congestive heart failure because a sign of the heart function worsening is gain of weight.'"
"A low-cost, low-co-pay health insurance plan is now available for low income earners in New York state. The Essential Plan offers ten health benefits for less than $20 a month for anyone making less than $24,000. Steve Wood of ACR Health said the plan is very affordable."
"A new study from the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system, revealed that about 23 percent of Americans with coverage are considered underinsured—up from 12 percent in 2003 since the inception of Obamacare in 2012. That means roughly 31 million Americans who bought health insurance still have trouble affording treatment under their policies, according to the study."
"New Yorkers who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford health plans on the state exchange will have another free or low-cost option next year. The essential plan, which begins coverage in January, will cover adults who earn up to $23,540 a year for an individual or $48,500 for a family of four, providing them with coverage for the Affordable Care Act’s 10 essential benefits with no deductible and low copayments; premiums will be free or $20 a month, depending on income. Their children will be covered by Child Health Plus."
"But 10 months after the first phase of the mandate took effect, covering companies with 100 or more workers, many business owners say they are finding very few employees willing to buy the health insurance that they are now compelled to offer. The trend is especially pronounced among smaller and midsize businesses in fields filled with low-wage hourly workers, like restaurants, retailing and hospitality."
"Low household income was associated with higher risk of death after cardiac surgery in Sweden despite that the entire population has access to free health care, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology."
"The impact of denying abortion coverage is devastating, especially for women struggling to make ends meet. In the Northwest, where the average cost of a first-trimester abortion is $650 and the monthly income of a full-time, low-wage worker is about $1,400, the coverage bans force women to choose between rent and medical care."
"Low-income cancer patients are much less likely to participate in clinical trials than their more affluent peers, a U.S. study confirms. Even after accounting for gender, age, race, travel distance from treatment sites and certain diagnosis details, patients with household income of less than $50,000 a year were 32 percent less likely to enroll in trials than those who make more annually, according to the study published Thursday in JAMA Oncology."
"Low-income HIV patients who enrolled in Obamacare may be faring better than they did on traditional state assistance, a new study suggests."
"A team of researchers from Columbia University recently evaluated vaccine effectiveness among low-income, urban households, hypothesizing that this population is less likely to seek health care for the flu. Their study, published ahead-of-print in Clinical Infectious Diseases, found infection rates consistent with national estimates based on health care visits."
"In a study published this year in Nature Neuroscience, several co-authors and I found that family income is significantly correlated with children's brain size — specifically, the surface area of the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain that does most of the cognitive heavy lifting. Further, we found that increases in income were associated with the greatest increases in brain surface area among the poorest children."