Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Texas' Medicaid Coverage Gap Cited for Healthcare Woes


Monday, December 20, 2021   

Texas is one of 12 states to not expand Medicaid, and a new report showed it is one reason the state is falling further behind others in providing access to health care.

The Build Back Better Act would have given Texans with incomes below the poverty line a free health insurance option, but the legislation stalled in the Senate and will not be considered again until next year.

Peter Clark, communications director of Texans Care for Children, said the latest report from United Healthcare illustrates the challenge families face.

"When I looked at this report, I'd say it's really disappointing to see that Texas gets a failing grade when it comes to health care," Clark asserted. "But that is the reality of the choices that our state leaders have made."

The percentage of American adults who reported their health as very good or excellent climbed by 13% starting in 2012, but progress plummeted as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, with a 17% increase in the U.S. death rate between 2019 and 2020.

The report showed Texas has a higher-than-average teen birth rate, and significant levels of food insecurity.

Dr. Nicole Brady, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare, said in contrast, multiple chronic conditions are not excessive among Texans.

"So, it may not be that we actually got healthier as a nation, from a chronic disease standpoint," Brady contended. "It may be that there's just more undiagnosed disease out there as a result of the way that care changed during the pandemic."

One undiagnosed disease could be cancer, according to Clark. Currently, more than 700,000 Texans fall into the Medicaid coverage gap and don't see a doctor with any regularity.

"The report shows that Texans are missing out on cancer screenings, which means that by the time you realize you have cancer, it's already spread," Clark explained. "It's more dangerous, and it's more expensive to treat."

Dr. Arethusa Kirk, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Community and State, reported breast cancer screenings in the U.S. declined by 17% from 2019 and 2020, and the number was even higher for people missing colon cancer screenings, at 23%.

"Get back into your primary care office," Kirk urged. "Make sure you get all of the screenings that occur in preventive care."

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to allow the Department of Water and Power to convert Scattergood Power Plant near Playa del Rey to burn a blend of hydrogen gas and natural gas, something environmental groups say would create air pollution. (Facewizard/Wikimedia Commons)


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

A 2021 Congressional report said tens of thousands of COVID-19 infections, as well as hundreds of worker deaths, were traced to meatpacking plants in the United States at the onset of the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

The average annual pay for a fast-food worker in the U.S. is $27,040 a year, or approximately $13.00 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Congress is considering three bills that would sidestep the Endangered Species Act to de-list the Northern Continental Divide and Yellowstone grizzly …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021