Health

UNITED STATES MISSION GENEVA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

In a post Tuesday on the Health Affairs blog, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius calls the Republican health care plans passed by the House and proposed by the Senate “a very cruel war on the poor.”

The post, co-authored with Ron Pollack, founding executive director of consumer health group Families USA, states, “By far, no demographic group would be hurt more by these legislative proposals than low-income people. They are the bulls-eye!”

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

This post was updated Wednesday at 10:54 a.m. to reflect Sen. Moran's statement on the Senate health care bill. 

Disability rights advocates are among the strongest opponents of the Obamacare replacement legislation that Republicans are attempting to push through Congress.

If anything resembling the bill that the U.S. House approved in May or the one the Senate now is considering passes, they say it will roll back decades of progress.

Jim Crocker / flickr Creative Commons

As temperatures rise this summer, the Wichita Fire Department is warning people not to leave kids or pets in hot cars.

Even on mild days, the temperature inside of a car can climb to dangerous levels.

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says every year, his team has to respond to reports of kids or pets being left in cars—sometimes it’s by accident, sometimes a parent just isn’t aware of the danger.

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr, Creative Commons

Tuesday is National HIV Testing Day, and clinics in Wichita are offering the tests to all adults for free.

The Centers for Disease Control says that one in seven people who have HIV don't know it. There are an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., and in Kansas, there are over 3000 living with the disease.

All adults ages 13-64 are encouraged to get tested at least once, and those with higher risks should do so more often.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Safety concerns continue to prevent recertification of Osawatomie State Hospital, although a recent inspection didn’t find any evidence of the patient violence that prompted federal officials to decertify it in late 2015.

Staffing shortages and concerns about security and patient safety prompted the initial order. Certain they had addressed those issues, state officials appeared confident the state-run psychiatric hospital would pass muster.

Courtesy Wesley Medical Center

Wesley’s Children’s Hospital is about to begin a year-long project to expand its emergency room.

The $2 million expansion will add four private beds, bringing the total to 14. The pediatric ER will also be remodeled to reflect the new look of the main Wesley Children’s Hospital, which unveiled its own renovation last year.

Ashley Lunkenheimer, associate director of the emergency department, says the pediatric ER has seen 30 percent growth 2013.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Given all the controversy about KanCare – Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program – it would be reasonable to expect big crowds at public hearings about renewing the program.

But that wasn’t the case Wednesday when relative handfuls of health care providers and consumers turned out in Topeka for the first in a series of forums scheduled across the state.

The sparse turnout disappointed state officials and legislators who attended.

Kaiser Family Foundation

Just 31 percent of Kansans and 32 percent of Missourians support the House-approved bill to repeal Obamacare, according to new estimates published Wednesday in The New York Times.

In fact, not one state has a majority of residents who are for the measure, with support ranging from a low of 22 percent in Massachusetts (Washington, D.C., is even lower at 16 percent) to a high of 38 percent in Oklahoma, according to the estimates.

healthcare.gov

Three weeks after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City said it will pull out of the Affordable Care Act exchange in 2018, Centene Corp. says it plans to offer coverage through the exchange in Missouri and Kansas.

The St. Louis-based insurer already has a presence in both states administering Medicaid plans, but the move to sell individual and small group health plans is new.

wikipedia.org

West Nile Virus has been found in the state, and the Kansas Department of Heath and Environment (KDHE) believes that the virus may be a problem earlier this year than previous years.

The virus was found in pools collected from mosquito traps in Shawnee, Johnson and Reno counties. They also found the virus in two birds.

The first case of West Nile virus in 2017 was reported by a person from Barton County. KDHE says that this indicates that problems could develop much earlier than in previous years.

Pages