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4.18.16 Idaho woman can’t get health insurance or Medicaid and other top news storiesThe Idaho Statesman continues to shed light on cases in Idaho where the people who need health care the most aren’t able to get it because of insurance and coverage problems. Brittany Long of Twin Falls is 25 years old and has a neurological condition called a Chiari malformation. She needs surgery to treat the condition, but she’s among 78,000 Idahoans in the Medicaid gap – she doesn’t make enough money to afford health insurance but does not qualify for Medicaid. As the Statesman Journal notes: “The Medicaid gap has been in the headlines as people like Long shared personal stories in the past year. Dannielle Ryals, of Albion, has endometriosis and wants Medicaid expanded so she can see a doctor regularly. Jenny Steinke, a 36-year-old Idaho Falls woman, died in September 2015 from untreated asthma. Dr. Kenneth Krell, critical care director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, told Idaho senators in February that not passing a Medicaid expansion ‘has probably resulted in over 1,000 deaths in this state.’” Asked whether the state is doing enough for Idaho residents in Long’s position, state Rep. Stephen Hartgen of Twin Falls told the newspaper, “As a lawmaker, I guess my honest answer would be no. … But we’re not playing God here; we’re trying to pass laws.” Here are five other articles of note:
  1. Portland’s war of the retail clinicsPortland, Oregon, is seeing a huge increase in the number of retail health clinics, offering the chance of easier, more accessible care for patients. You can read more in the Portland Business Journal by clicking here.
  2. Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute hires new Zika expertA Seattle-based research clinic is gearing up to fight the spread of the Zika virus through the hiring of an expert on the disease, according to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal. Let’s hope they are able to stop this deadly and terrible disease before it spreads any further. Read more here.
  3. Living near green spaces helps you live longer, a new study showsThis story from NBC News is a great reminder that healthy living isn’t just about the treatments we get, it’s about the way we live our lives. Read more about a new information from the Harvard School of Public Health by clicking here.
  4. Long-term benefits to kidney in simultaneous liver-kidney transplantA new study has shown there may be benefits to pairing a kidney transplant with a liver transplant. With new and innovative treatments for chronic diseases being developed all of the time, it is more important than ever to ensure patients have the coverage that will allow them access to these breakthroughs.
  5. Five steps to deal with a chronic illnessTon Feldstein, a Hepatitis C survivor and advocate for patients struggling with liver disease, recently offered excellent advice in a Huffington Post piece. “Once I accepted my condition, instead of fighting it, I learned how to live with my virus and overcome its physical, emotional and spiritual implications in my life,” she wrote, outlining five tips for other chronic disease patients. Read more here.