Health Care

Christine Herman / Illinois Public Media

After 18 years serving the Metro East region of Illinois, pediatrician Kristin Stahl is crafting an exit strategy - and may eventually close her practice.  Two years of unpaid bills during the state’s budget impasse have driven her into debt and to the end of her patience.        

Brandon Smith/IPBS

Indiana governor Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate. His decisions about health and healthcare in Indiana have drawn attention from within and outside the state. And his record could be important in November, because his running mate doesn’t have a legislative record at all.

Over the past six decades, China has been experimenting with radically different forms of health care systems.

As the country struggles to figure out the best way to get health care to 1.3 billion people, the rest of the world can learn from its past successes and failures, researchers wrote Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live.

In addition to the normal thrills and chills of the income tax filing season, this year people will have the added excitement of figuring out how the health law figures in their 2014 taxes.

The good news is that for most folks the only change to their filing routine will be to check the box on their Form 1040 that says they had health insurance all year.

"Someone who had employer-based coverage or Medicaid or Medicare, that's all they have to do," says Tricia Brooks, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families.

In the numbing cold, several thousand demonstrators marched in Moscow on Sunday, protesting plans to make drastic cuts in the city's health care system. It was the second protest in the past month over a pocketbook issue that affects most Russian consumers — especially as people feel the effects of a weakening economy.

About a year ago at a Miami-Dade County school board meeting, superintendent Alberto Carvalho was happy to announce the district and the teacher's union had just ratified a new contract.

"I believe that this contract honors and dignifies what you do every single day," he told the school board members. It included bonuses for most teachers and it settled how to handle health care expenses after yet another year of rising costs.

"We know exactly what the district pays out in terms of claims, because we are the insurance company. There's no profit to be made," he said.

Dr. Oliver Korshin practices ophthalmology three days a week in the same small office in east Anchorage, Alaska, he's had for three decades. Many of his patients have aged into their Medicare years right along with him.

For his tiny practice, which employs just one part-time nurse, putting all his patients' medical records in an online database just doesn't make sense, Korshin says. It would cost too much to install and maintain — especially considering that he expects to retire in just a few years.

There's a project in the neighborhood of Harlem in New York that has a through-the-looking-glass quality. An organization called City Health Works is trying to bring an African model of health care delivery to the United States. Usually it works the other way around.

If City Health Works' approach is successful, it could help change the way chronic diseases are managed in poverty-stricken communities, where people suffer disproportionately from HIV/AIDS, obesity and diabetes.

Obamacare 2.0 is underway with another round of open enrollments that continues until the middle of February. Colorado is one state that’s seen a decline in the number of uninsured since the federal Affordable Care Act went into effect nearly a year ago.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, John Daley of Colorado Public Radio explains that the push is on to sign up even more people.