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Lawmakers in the Texas Legislature passed a law intended to protect consumers against surprise medical bills, but loopholes may weaken it before it is enacted. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images hide caption

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Law To Protect Patients Against Surprise Medical Bills In Texas Proves Hard To Enact

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Sandra King Young runs Medicaid in American Samoa, a U.S. territory that faces dramatic funding cuts to islanders' health care unless Congress acts. "This is the United States' shame in the islands," she says. Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR hide caption

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Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR

America's 'Shame': Medicaid Funding Slashed In U.S. Territories

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A demonstrator celebrated outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 after the court voted to uphold key tax subsidies that are part of the Affordable Care Act. But federal taxes and other measures designed to pay for the health care the ACA provides have not fared as well. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attendees hold "We Vape, We Vote" signs ahead of a Trump rally last month in Dallas. The politics surrounding vaping and industry pushback against regulation appear to have derailed the Trump administration's plan to ban the sales of many vaping products. Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kathy Kleinfeld opened Houston Women's Reproductive Services, which offers medication abortions, because she saw a need for more flexible scheduling. Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT hide caption

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Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

For Supporters Of Abortion Access, Troubling Trends In Texas

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José's son, who has schizophrenia, recently got into a fight that resulted in a broken window — an out-of-control moment from his struggle with mental illness. And it could increase his chances of deportation to a country where mental health care is even more elusive. Hokyoung Kim for NPR hide caption

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Hokyoung Kim for NPR

A Young Immigrant Has Mental Illness, And That's Raising His Risk of Being Deported

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One rule announced by the Trump administration Friday puts pressure on hospitals to reveal what they charge insurers for procedures and services. Critics say the penalty for not following the rule isn't stiff enough to be a an effective deterrent. Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

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Catie Dull/NPR

Trump Wants Insurers and Hospitals To Show Real Prices To Patients

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Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden (left), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (right) debate different ways to expand health coverage in America. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

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John Minchillo/AP

Maryland now offers the country's first master's degree in the study of the science and therapeutics of cannabis. Pictured, an employee places a bud into a bottle for a customer at a weed dispensary in Denver, Colo. Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg via Getty Images

You Can Get A Master's In Medical Cannabis In Maryland

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Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, was a major driver of the rule struck down Wednesday. A federal judge found the rule issued earlier this year — making it easier for health care workers to refuse care for religious reasons — to be an overreach by the department. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images hide caption

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Kate Clyatt, 28, works seasonally as a ranch hand in southwest Montana, and relies on the state's Medicaid program for health coverage. "Ranching is just not a job with a lot of money in it," Clyatt says. "I don't know at what point I'm going to be able to get off of Medicaid." Corin Cates-Carney/Montana Public Radio hide caption

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Corin Cates-Carney/Montana Public Radio

Rural Seasonal Workers Worry About Montana Medicaid's Work Requirements

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Colorado estimates that about 15% of the 12 million letters it sends to beneficiaries of public assistance programs each year are returned unopened, left to pile up in county offices like this one in Colorado Springs. That amounts to about 1.8 million pieces of undelivered mail each year statewide. Markian Hawryluk/KHN hide caption

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Markian Hawryluk/KHN

Myriad Genetics is among a handful of companies that make a genetic test to help doctors choose psychiatric medicines for patients. Evidence that the tests are effective has been called "inconclusive." Myriad Genetics hide caption

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Myriad Genetics

President Trump talked to seniors about health care in central Florida in early October. "We eliminated Obamacare's horrible, horrible, very expensive and very unfair, unpopular individual mandate," Trump told the crowd. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Trump Is Trying Hard To Thwart Obamacare. How's That Going?

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The latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, Texas v. Azar, was argued in July in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Robert Henneke, representing the plaintiffs, spoke outside the courthouse on July 9. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption

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Gerald Herbert/AP

Already, Health Canada has posted safety and efficacy data online for four newly approved drugs; it plans to release reports for another 13 drugs and three medical devices approved or rejected since March. Teerapat Seedafong/EyeEm/Getty Images hide caption

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Teerapat Seedafong/EyeEm/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order requiring changes to Medicare on Oct. 3. The order included some ideas that could raise costs for seniors, depending how they're implemented. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Trump greets supporters after arriving at Florida's Ocala International Airport on Thursday to give a speech on health care at The Villages retirement community. In his speech, Trump gave seniors a pep talk about what he wants to do for Medicare, contrasting it with plans of his Democratic rivals. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

Sgt. Anna Lange filed a lawsuit against the county where she works in Georgia for refusing to allow her health insurance plan to cover gender-affirmation surgery. Audra Melton for NPR hide caption

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Audra Melton for NPR

Missouri resident Patricia Powers had no health insurance when she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago; she and her disabled husband were struggling to get by on, at most, $1,500 a month. If they'd lived across the river in Illinois, she'd have been eligible for Medicaid. Laura Ungar/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Laura Ungar/Kaiser Health News
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