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The Cruelest Bills

Shattered Dreams and Bills in the Millions: Losing a Baby in America

On top of fearing for their children’s lives, new parents of very fragile, very sick infants can face exorbitant hospital bills — even if they have insurance. Medical bills don’t go away if a child dies.

KHN On Air

Journalists Dissect Medical Coding and Parse the President's Words

KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.

Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Skirts Marijuana Laws and Raises Health Concerns

A cannabis product called delta-8 was made legal when the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp. But unlike its cousin CBD, delta-8 has psychoactive properties. And the FDA warns it has “serious health risks.” The agency has received more than 100 reports of bad reactions among people who consumed it.

In Jackson, the Water Is Back, but the Crisis Remains

Unsafe water and all that comes with it — constant vigilance, extra expenses, and hassle — complicate every aspect of daily life for residents of Jackson, Mississippi. Health advocates say stress exacerbates underlying health problems. That is why a free clinic in one of Jackson’s poorest neighborhoods has been organizing water giveaways for the past year and a half.

Shift in Child Hospice Care Is a Lifeline for Parents Seeking a Measure of Comfort and Hope

Terminally ill children, unlike adults, can get hospice services while continuing to receive life-extending or curative care. More than a decade after the inception of the federal policy, it is widely credited with improving the quality of life for ailing children and their families, even as some parents find themselves in a painful stasis.

Podcast

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Biden Declares the Pandemic ‘Over’

President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” declared the covid-19 pandemic “over,” stoking confusion for members of his administration trying to persuade Congress to provide more funding to fight the virus and the public to get the latest boosters. Meanwhile, concerns about a return of medical inflation is helping boost insurance premiums even as private companies race to get their piece of the health pie. Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Lauren Weber of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for extra credit, the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories they think you should read, too.

Patients for Profit

Death Is Anything but a Dying Business as Private Equity Cashes In

Investors are banking on increased demand in death care services as 73 million baby boomers near the end of their lives.

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Special Coverage

Shift in Child Hospice Care Is a Lifeline for Parents Seeking a Measure of Comfort and Hope

Terminally ill children, unlike adults, can get hospice services while continuing to receive life-extending or curative care. More than a decade after the inception of the federal policy, it is widely credited with improving the quality of life for ailing children and their families, even as some parents find themselves in a painful stasis.

KHN & PolitiFact HealthCheck

Opponents of California’s Abortion Rights Measure Mislead on Expense to Taxpayers

California Together, which opposes Proposition 1, warns that taxpayers will pay millions more if the abortion rights constitutional amendment passes because it would attract women from out of state. We take a closer look.

Look Up Your California Hospital

Is it being penalized by Medicare?

COVID-19

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

Medical Coding Creates Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients

The codes used by U.S. medical providers to bill insurers haven’t caught up to the needs of trans patients or even international standards.

Postcard From Sonoma

Postcard from Sonoma

Children in northern California learn to cope with wildfire trauma.

From Book Stacks to Psychosis and Food Stamps, Librarians Confront a New Workplace

As public libraries morph into support hubs for homeless people with mental illness or addiction, librarians are struggling to reconcile their shifting roles.

More Communities Are Giving Flavored Tobacco the Boot

Will California follow?

Spotlight

Spotlight

California state Sen. Richard Pan, who spearheaded some of the country’s most ambitious vaccine mandate legislation, is leaving office this year because of term limits. A pediatrician, he plans to practice medicine full time but has not ruled out a future run for office.

Picture of Health

Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting

Californians were far less likely to die from covid in the first seven months of 2022 than during the first two years of the pandemic. Still, the virus remained among the state’s leading causes of death in July, outpacing diabetes, accidental death, and a host of debilitating diseases. We break down who’s at risk.

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