Health News Roundup

Week of January 15, 2018


Can requiring people to work make them healthier?
Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, January 11
One of the clearest patterns in public health research is the correlation between income and health. The richer you are, the more likely you are to have good health, and live a long life. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be sicker, and die younger. Studies of the Medicaid population suggest that most of them work already or would qualify for exceptions.

Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ Should you work for your Medicaid coverage?
Kaiser Health News, January 12
This week’s “What The Health?” panelists Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Sarah Kliff of and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times discuss the work policy of adding a work requirement to Medicaid eligibility.


With the ACA’s federal mandate disappearing, Maryland legislators propose new “down-payment” plan
Josh Hicks, Washington Post, January 9
Two of Maryland’s Democratic lawmakers unveiled their answer to the federal rollback of Obamacare: a program that would charge a fee to residents who do not buy medical insurance and use the money as a “down payment” to enroll them in coverage from the state’s health-care exchange.

Uninsured rate rose in 2017
Katie Keith, Health Affairs Blog, January 17
Gallup and Sharecare released their most recent poll on the percentage of uninsured adults in the United States this week. The poll found that 12.2 percent of U.S. adults were uninsured, an increase of 1.3 percent in the past year. While that may not sound significant, it represents an additional 3.2 million Americans who were uninsured in 2017.


Her sister’s keeper: Caring for a sibling with mental illness
Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News, January 9
Few bonds are as tight as those between sisters. But when one has paranoid schizophrenia, the relationship grows complicated. Ruby Wilson, 54, has paranoid schizophrenia and lives in an assisted living facility in North Carolina. Her sister Jean Moore, 57, is her legal guardian. An estimated 8.4 million Americans are caregivers to adult loved ones with a mental illness, most often a son or daughter, parent, spouse or sibling.