Health Care The state of health care, health insurance, new medical research, disease prevention, and drug treatments. Interviews, news, and commentary from NPR's correspondents. Subscribe to podcasts.

Health Care

Farida Azizova-Such inside the nursery rocking her son to sleep. "He was 5 weeks when we started coming. It's just my husband and I taking care of him, so I was alone at home. I wanted to find new moms to connect with and a safe space to be able to come and learn about how to take care of a baby, and also my identity shifted when you become a mother." Ali Lapetina for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ali Lapetina for NPR

A coalition of advocates call for full Medicaid expansion in Mississippi at a rally at the State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, April 17, 2024. The gathering drew supporters from throughout the state representing religious, social and human service organizations, medical professionals and legislators. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Alondra Mercado, a community health worker with the Central California Asthma Collaborative, helps provide services through an ambitious California Medicaid initiative. On a recent morning in March, she visited a family in Turlock to teach a mother how to control in-home asthma triggers that cause flare-ups in her young son. Angela Hart/KFF Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Angela Hart/KFF Health News

Abortion rights activists at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on March 26, the day the case about the abortion drug mifepristone was heard. The number of abortions in the U.S. increased, a study says, surprising researchers. Drew Angerer/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Drew Angerer/AFP via Getty Images

Despite state bans, abortions nationwide are up, driven by telehealth

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1251086997/1251408188" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Medical debt is as much a hallmark of having children as long nights and dirty diapers. The Crivilare family, Andrew, Heather and Rita, 2, are pictured at their kitchen table in Jacksonville, Ill. Neeta Satam for KFF Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Neeta Satam for KFF Health News

Their first baby came with medical debt. These Illinois parents won't have another.

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1250233411/1250321384" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Match Day ceremony at the University of California, Irvine, on March 15. Match Day is the day when medical students seeking residency and fellowship training positions find out their options. Increasingly, medical students are choosing to go to states that don't restrict abortion. Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Miguel Divo shows his patient, Joel Rubinstein, a dry powder inhaler. It's an alternative to some puff inhalers that emit potent greenhouse gases, but is equally effective for many patients with asthma. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Jesse Costa/WBUR

Could better asthma inhalers help patients, and the planet too?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1248504466/1249296754" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A survey shows that doctors have trouble taking full vacations from their high-stress jobs. Even when they do, they often still do work on their time off. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Mary Long/Getty Images

In 'The Unexpected,' Emily Oster tackles the emotional toll of difficult pregnancies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1248422484/1248648098" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dr. Todd Rasmussen stands in his home office in Rochester, Minn. He is a former combat surgeon who did six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jenn Ackerman for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Jenn Ackerman for NPR

After downsizing health care for years, Pentagon says medical readiness was a casualty

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1246636334/1248662265" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The medical community dates pregnancy to the first day of a woman's last period, even though fertilization generally happens two weeks after that. It's a long-standing practice but a confusing one. Nikola Stojadinovic/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Nikola Stojadinovic/Getty Images

Thousands of abortion rights protesters rallied in Tampa on Oct. 2, 2021. Stephanie Colombini/WUSF hide caption

toggle caption
Stephanie Colombini/WUSF

Florida's 6-week abortion ban is now in effect, curbing access across the South

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247990353/1248403524" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The new guidelines were prompted by increased rates of breast cancer in women in their 40s. They recommend mammograms every other year, starting at age 40. izusek/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
izusek/Getty Images

Mammograms should start at age 40, new guidelines recommend

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247941059/1248403530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

When he arranged to undergo top surgery, Cass Smith-Collins of Las Vegas selected a surgeon touted as an early developer of the procedure who does not contract with insurance. "I had one shot to get the chest that I should have been born with, and I wasn't going to chance it to someone who was not an expert at his craft," he says. Bridget Bennett for KFF Health News/Bridget Bennett for KFF Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Bridget Bennett for KFF Health News/Bridget Bennett for KFF Health News

Sign here? Financial agreements may leave doctors in the driver's seat

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247881082/1248014508" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cases about transgender people and their rights have been working their way through the court system for years. Here, people demonstrate in favor of trans rights in front of the Supreme Court in 2019. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Transgender health care must be paid for by state insurance, says an appeals court

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247896150/1247975491" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Pro-abortion rights activists gathered April 13 at a rally in Orlando, Fla., to back a referendum in November that could increase access to abortion. Nearby were activists opposed to abortion. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Both sides prepare as Florida's six-week abortion ban is set to take effect Wednesday

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247080113/1247689085" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Employers are required to make accommodations for pregnant women and new moms like time off for doctor's appointments. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The Supreme Court will hear another case about abortion rights on Wednesday. Protestors gathered outside the court last month when the case before the justices involved abortion pills. Tom Brenner for The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Tom Brenner for The Washington Post/Getty Images

Drug companies often do one-on-one outreach to doctors. A new study finds these meetings with drug reps lead to more prescriptions for cancer patients, but not longer survival. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1246054537/1246257369" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Anderson Family Care in Demopolis, Alabama, is like a lot of rural health providers that treat many uninsured or underinsured patients. Drew Hawkins/Gulf States Newsroom hide caption

toggle caption
Drew Hawkins/Gulf States Newsroom

Why haven't Kansas and Alabama — among other holdouts — expanded access to Medicaid?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1245146972/1245995744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">