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What We’re Reading: Medicaid Coverage Errors; Gender Disparities in Health Research; Improved Lung Cancer Survival Rates


Up to 30 million individuals could lose Medicaid coverage; a new initiative demands increased focus on women's health issues; survey reports increased 5-year lung cancer survival rates from 2015 to 2019.

Millions of America's Poorest at Risk of Losing Medicaid Coverage

A report from Avalere reveals that up to 30 million of the most vulnerable Americans may lose Medicaid coverage due to flawed state reviews, with issues ranging from prolonged wait times in Florida to confusing paperwork in Arkansas, according to The Associated Press. Despite warnings from poverty experts, the Biden administration is accused of not effectively intervening. Advocates fear systemic problems are being ignored, pointing to procedural disenrollments, erroneous removals, and a lack of transparency in the reevaluation process.

Administration Seeks to Address Gender Disparities in Health Research

The Biden administration, led by First Lady Jill Biden, is launching a new initiative to address the longstanding neglect of women's health in research, giving officials 45 days to propose specific actions for improvement, according to USA Today. Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, a renowned expert in women's health from Yale University, will lead the initiative, focusing on critical areas such as heart attacks and menopause. Despite progress since the establishment of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research on Women’s Health in 1990, significant gaps persist, with conditions like Alzheimer disease and heart disease disproportionately affecting women but receiving inadequate research funding.

Encouraging Trends in Lung Cancer Survival Rates for Marginalized Communities

A recent survey by the American Lung Association indicates a positive shift in lung cancer survival rates, particularly among historically marginalized communities, despite ongoing racial disparities in health care, according to NPR. The 5-year survival rate for lung cancer increased by 22% from 2015 to 2019, reaching 26.6% across all racial and ethnic groups. Notably, people of color experienced a 17% improvement in survival rates between 2017 and 2019, now standing at 23.7%. Despite the progress, disparities persist, with varying survival rates among different racial groups, highlighting the need for continued efforts to address health care inequities.

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