Health News Roundup

The income gap in cancer deaths, how the government shutdown is impacting CT, and more

health equity

We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.
Julia Belluz, Vox, January 8
In the past, cancer was seen as a death sentence. These days, it’s increasingly a survivable or chronic disease. But that’s especially true if you’re rich. That’s the takeaway from the latest big reports on cancer deaths in the US and globally. Cancer is increasingly a microcosm of the inequality that defines our time. As the gap between the haves and have-nots widens, the income gap in cancer deaths will continue to grow, too.

Emergency medical responders confront racial bias
Kristian Foden-Vencil, NPR, January 3
A recent study out of Oregon suggests emergency medical responders — EMTs and paramedics — may be treating minority patients differently from the way they treat white patients. Specifically, the scientists found that black patients in their study were 40 percent less likely to get pain medication than their white peers.

For older black men, a lifesaving push for more prostate cancer tests
Justin Wm. Moyer, The Washington Post, January 5
African American men are more likely than white men to develop and die of prostate cancer, and there is an ongoing debate about when tests should be given to them.


Class action lawsuit seeks answers about rides to doctors
Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, January 10
Six Medicaid recipients filed a class action lawsuit against the state Department of Social Services, alleging that it had failed to provide disabled residents with necessary transportation to medical appointments. The complaint follows months of concerns by patients and health care providers about the company the state contracted to provide non-emergency medical transportation for the state’s 800,000 Medicaid clients. Among the plaintiffs is a 56-year-old Terryville woman being treated for lymphedema. Her transportation was canceled before seven of her eight scheduled appointments. In other cases, a clients who needed wheelchair vans were sent taxicabs.

As shutdown continues, government contractors feeling the pinch
Ana Radelat, The Connecticut Mirror, January 10
Catholic Charities helps dozens of federal prisoners return to society through programs the organization runs in Waterbury and Hartford that provide counseling and behavioral health care to former inmates and their families. But, because of the federal government shutdown, the organization is no longer getting paid for its services.