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In a town in the southwestern corner of Missouri, where COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Latino immigrants, language barriers and economic pressures among factory workers have stymied efforts to slow the virus that causes the disease.
Missouri is the sixth state to use a ballot initiative to extend Medicaid eligibility. Most of the remaining states that have not expanded Medicaid are Republican-leaning states in the South.
Around the country, Medicaid enrollment is up as people who have lost jobs during the pandemic seek health insurance. Expanding eligibility for Missouri’s program, which could help thousands of recently unemployed residents, will be on the ballot Tuesday.
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber joined Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies on “The Source” show to talk about the politicization of public health during the COVID pandemic.
Missouri Hospital Association says the switch of data collection from the CDC to a new HHS contractor is “a major disruption.” In Kansas, the move likely will delay hospitalization data.
The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.
Experts say a bit of extra drinking isn’t a problem for many people, but they recommend watching out for specific behaviors that signal addiction.
Counting deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic is easier said than done. Without widespread testing, officials must sort through presumed COVID deaths and those who died with infections rather than from them. Then there are the indirect deaths of people who died from circumstances created by the pandemic.
Darnell Hill, a mental health caseworker, is teaching black teens in St. Louis how to safely walk through the park, run to the store or handle an encounter with the police. Beyond tangible skills, he offers comfort and a semblance of control to those for whom birding, running or walking down the street hold the risk of racial violence.
Check out the revamped video series from KHN — Behind The Byline: How The Story Got Made. Come along as journalists and producers offer an insider’s view of health care coverage that does not quit.