Policy-ish : Shots - Health News Who gets what sort of care often boils down to big decisions about policy. Find the latest on the federal health overhaul, the intersection of government regulation and health, and the battle to contain costs.
Shots - Health News

Shots

Health News From NPR

Policy-ish

Protesters take part in the Women's March and Rally for Abortion Justice in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 2. The demonstration targeted Senate Bill 8, a state law that bans nearly all abortions as early as six weeks in a pregnancy, making no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. SERGIO FLORES/Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
SERGIO FLORES/Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

A box and container of ivermectin arranged in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Americans against taking ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, as treatment or prevention against Covid-19. Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Like many seniors, William Stork of Cedar Hill, Mo., lacks dental insurance and doesn't want to pay $1,000 for a tooth extraction he needs. Health advocates see President Biden's Build Back Better agenda as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide dental coverage to people like Stork who are on Medicare. An unlikely adversary: the American Dental Association. Joe Martinez for Kaiser Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Martinez for Kaiser Health News

Expanded funds for in-home care can help seniors and disabled Americans stay in their homes. Here, Lidia Vilorio, a home health aide, gives her patient Martina Negron her medicine and crackers for her tea in May in Haverstraw, N.Y. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In between answering 911 calls, Jerrad Dinsmore (left) and Kevin LeCaptain perform a wellness check at the home of a woman in her nineties. The ambulance team in the small town of Waldoboro, Maine was already short-staffed. Then a team member quit recently, after the state mandated all health care workers get the COVID-19 vaccine. Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio hide caption

toggle caption
Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio

In Maine, a looming vaccine deadline for EMTs is stressing small-town ambulance crews

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1040425763/1047850992" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins is stepping down by the end of the year. Sarah Silbiger/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sarah Silbiger/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic lawmakers are proposing a way to offer low-income adults Medicaid in states that have so far refused to expand the program. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spoke about the issue during a press conference with fellow lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol on September 23, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced the "Cover Now Act" outside the U.S. Capitol on June 17, 2021. The bill intends to close the health insurance gap in Texas and 11 other states that have not expanded Medicaid to uninsured adults. A similar fix is part of the spending bill being debated in Congress this week, and would provide affordable coverage for more than 2.2 million Americans. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Death In Dallas: What's At Stake As Congress Weighs A Medicaid Fix For The Uninsured

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1041296206/1055106314" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, appears before a Senate committee in July. Many public health leaders say letting the agency go so long without a permanent director has demoralized staff and sends the wrong message about the agency's importance. Stefani Reynolds/Pool/The New York Times via AP hide caption

toggle caption
Stefani Reynolds/Pool/The New York Times via AP

The FDA Has Been Without A Permanent Leader For 8 Months As COVID Cases Climb

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1039293816/1041244123" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Macaques check out a camera in Galtaji Temple in Jaipur, India. Monkeys have been known to sneak into swimming pools, courts and even the halls of India's Parliament. One attorney told author Mary Roach about a macaque that infiltrated a medical institute and began pulling out patient IVs. Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Monkey Thieves, Drunk Elephants — Mary Roach Reveals A Weird World Of Animal 'Crime'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1036701285/1037050798" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City this year. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mary Altaffer/AP

The term "fetal heartbeat," as used in the new anti-abortion law in Texas, is misleading and not based on science, say physicians who specialize in reproductive health. What the ultrasound machine detects in an embryo at six weeks of pregnancy is actually just electrical activity from cells that aren't yet a heart. And the sound that you "hear" is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Texas Abortion Ban Hinges On 'Fetal Heartbeat.' Doctors Call That Misleading

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1033727679/1033727680" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Only kids 12 and older are eligible — so far — to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the U.S. But the shots could be available for younger children as soon as this fall, say researchers studying the vaccine in that age group. Chris O'Meara/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Chris O'Meara/AP

Medicare is funded by a combination of money paid directly to the federal government from paychecks and taxes paid by working Americans. Most dental procedures and tests are not covered under traditional Medicare. Cavan Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Cavan Images/Getty Images

A special open enrollment period on all Affordable Care Act marketplaces, including on the federal insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov, runs until Aug. 15. Many people qualify for free or low-cost plans. HealthCare.gov/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
HealthCare.gov/Screenshot by NPR

Uninsured Or Unemployed? You Might Be Missing Out On Free Health Insurance

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1024219932/1024277834" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Mikkel and Kayla Kjelshus' daughter, Charlie, had a complication during delivery that caused her oxygen levels to drop and put her at risk for brain damage. Charlie needed seven days of neonatal intensive care, which resulted in a huge bill — $207,455 for the NICU alone — and confusion over which parent's insurer would cover the little girl's health costs. Christopher Smith for KHN hide caption

toggle caption
Christopher Smith for KHN

Insurers sometimes don't cover certain contraceptive methods for free, though they are supposed to cover most by law. Even for long-established methods, like IUDs, insurers sometimes make it hard for women to get coverage by requiring preapproval. BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

President Biden has stepped lightly into the abortion politics fray, taking few actions to reverse the previous administration's anti-abortion-rights policies. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A Teton County emergency medical services volunteer outside the Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau, Mont. Aaron Bolton/Montana Public Radio hide caption

toggle caption
Aaron Bolton/Montana Public Radio

Rural Ambulance Services At Risk As Volunteers Age And Expenses Mount

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1012418938/1013108201" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Shots - Health News

Shots

Health News From NPR

About