Health News Roundup

1M+ Americans ration insulin, and more in this week’s roundup

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Over 1 million Americans with diabetes rationed insulin in past year
Linda Searing, The Washington Post, Nov. 8
An estimated 1.3 million adults with diabetes – 16.5 percent of those who have been prescribed insulin to manage their condition – have rationed their use of the medication in the past year, according to a new report. The report notes that more Black participants rationed than did white or Hispanic participants, and that rationing was most frequent among people who were uninsured.

People with long COVID face barriers to government disability benefits
Betsy Ladyzhets, Kaiser Health News, Nov. 9
Among people seeking disability benefits for long COVID, many are facing years-long wait times, insufficient legal support, and a lack of clear guidance on how to prove they are disabled. These barriers are compounded by the challenges of a medical system that does not have a uniform process for diagnosing long COVID. Patient advocacy organizations are pushing for a more efficient application process, specific guidance for officials who evaluate long COVID cases, and faster eligibility for Medicare coverage after a disability application is approved.

Possible end of public health emergency spurs debate on Medicaid
Justin Papp, Roll Call, Nov. 7
The potential end of the COVID-19 public health emergency has reinvigorated a federal debate over the merits and costs of expanding Medicaid. The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Medicaid expansion was optional, but 39 states and Washington D.C. have capitalized on significant federal financial incentives and expanded their programs. Now, with the end of the public health emergency looming, advocates in the remaining states argue that expansion is a moral imperative with significant financial incentives.

Race, economics, environment continue to drive state’s asthma disparities
Erik Ofgang, Connecticut Health I-Team, Oct. 27
While some improvements have been made in reducing asthma prevalence rates, significant racial and economic disparities remain. Proven strategies for reducing asthma incidence and severity include working to ensure all residents have access to culturally competent health care and improving indoor air and outdoor air quality for those in cities.