Georgia congressional Dems keep drumbeat for Medicaid expansion in holdout GOP states

BY: - September 23, 2021

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and other congressional Democrats are vowing to keep pushing for some form of Medicaid expansion for low-income residents living in hold-out states like Georgia to be included in the reconciliation package. Warnock, who is up for reelection next year, centered his 2020 campaign for the Senate on expanding health care access. […]

Regular flu season looms as wildcard as Georgia hospitals strain to treat COVID patients

BY: - September 20, 2021

It won’t be long before autumn comes to Georgia, but the changing season could bring more than just cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage. For pharmacists, cold weather means more people coming through their doors looking for relief from stuffy noses and sore throats or to ward off infection with a flu vaccine. October marks the […]

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

Georgia’s rural Trump-supporting turf drags down state’s COVID vaccination rank

BY: - September 9, 2021

When Grantville Councilman Jim Sells started feeling sick this summer, he tried to tough it out. He described himself as a hardcore conservative and a skeptic of masks, vaccines and other COVID-19 precautions. He tried some home remedies he read about online, but nothing helped, so he checked himself into the hospital, not knowing just […]

Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: A hospital bed opens. Because someone died.

BY: - September 8, 2021

Editor’s note: This is a story from our States Newsroom sibling the Idaho Capital Sun on the draining expereinces the Gem State’s health care workers are coping with as they battle the latest surge of coronavirus in Idaho. The morning after a middle-aged man with COVID-19 died in a Treasure Valley emergency room last month, […]

Georgians in recovery in double struggle to remain healthy in pandemic

BY: - September 7, 2021

Hank Arnold helplessly watched the camera feed from his long-term recovery center in downtown Newnan as, one after another, people walked up to the door and tried the handle. This was in the early days of the pandemic last March, when the facility centered on human connection was upended by a global crisis that required […]

Georgia behavioral health services strained by budget woes, pandemic fallout

BY: - August 26, 2021

Officials with the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities say the agency is feeling the squeeze as more people turn to their services and a pandemic-weary workforce eyes lower-stress, higher-paid opportunities elsewhere. But even so, the state agency will submit a spending plan for next year to the governor that – as requested […]

Sickle cell research chair named for state Rep. Smyre threatened by budget squeeze

BY: - August 19, 2021

A proposal that would boost research for sickle cell anemia in Georgia could offer an early glimpse of some of the funding fights to come next year. A research chair named in honor of long-time state Rep. Calvin Smyre was announced in Columbus earlier this year with the governor and other state officials on hand after […]

Biden vaccine mandate for senior homes prompts warnings of ‘dire’ Georgia nurse shortage

BY: and - August 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nursing homes will be required to ensure their staffers are vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Biden administration announced Wednesday in a major move on vaccinations as the delta variant sweeps many states. Under the new nursing home policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

Georgia hospital workers ‘at wits end’ as COVID crowds ERs with unvaccinated

BY: - August 10, 2021

A group of exasperated medical professionals gathered at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah Monday to plead with Georgians to protect themselves from COVID-19 as emergency departments statewide overflow with patients. “We’re tired. We’re at wit’s end,” said Donna Cochrane, chief nursing officer at Liberty Regional Medical Center, a 25-bed critical care facility with […]

U.S. Health Secretary questions Georgia’s Trump-approved Medicaid plan

BY: - August 3, 2021

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says he hopes to soon wrap up the federal review of the governor’s health care plans even as state officials again push back the launch of Georgia’s slight expansion of Medicaid. Becerra participated in a series of panel discussions Monday during a visit to the Atlanta area, including […]

State Democratic lawmakers want Medicaid expansion on special session agenda

BY: - July 27, 2021

State Democrats are trying to hitch full Medicaid expansion onto the agenda for this year’s special session when lawmakers gather to draw new district lines. State Rep. Matthew Wilson, a Brookhaven Democrat, hand-delivered a letter Tuesday to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp urging him to open the door for state lawmakers to consider expanding the state’s […]