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Florida's controversial Medicaid privatization program has made the system more difficult to navigate over the past decade, according to some patients and health advocates. Has the U.S. Supreme Court's ACA ruling given the state an opening to expand privatization further?

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New advice for urpy babies, your brain on traffic fumes, and another legal victory for health reform, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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What makes or keeps us healthy often has nothing to do with what happens in our doctor's office or a hospital. Angila Griffin made this discovery a few months ago when a community health worker stopped by to check on her kids, who have asthma. Jean Figaro came armed with vinegar and baking soda. They're cleaning products, he explained.

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To encourage more doctors to work in underserved areas, state Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, proposed a bill for the Steven M. Thompson Medical School Scholarship Program to help students pay for medical school. The bill, Assembly Bill 589, has a condition: The students contractually commit to work their first three years after residency in an underserved area.

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This story is Part 8 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Gary resident Teresa Johnson said she recognizes the woman in the “before” pictures and remembers her pain.

Johnson, 50, who worked with developmentally disabled adults in Lake and Porter counties before becoming disabled, said she has been overweight all her life.

“I had very little success losing weight on my own,” she said. “I’d lose weight and then gain it right back. But last year I needed a knee replacement surgery and didn’t want to have it while I was still morbidly obese.”

Picture of Beatrice Motamedi

Since this conference began on Thursday (an eon ago), we health writers have been confronted with a series of fascinating if not always easily grasped topics in public health. Elicitation strategies in social epidemiology. The use of P-values to analyze medical findings. Grandfathered insurance plans. The biochemistry of the hippocampus.

It’s a deluge that can send you scurrying for cover. In my case, it’s made me do some thinking about the power of story.

Picture of William Heisel

The Center for Healthcare Decisions has given itself a tough task. Its staff tries to bring together people from different economic brackets and get them to talk in very specific terms about all facets of health care.

Announcements

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Let us support your next ambitious health reporting project through our National Fellowship program. Apply today.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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