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What We're Reading: Governors Prepare Health Plan; New Parents; Opioids Overwhelm Hospitals


Bipartisan Health Reform Effort From Governors

Two governors—Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Republican John Kasich of Ohio—are working together to stabilize the health insurance markets in the wake of Congress’ failure to do so. According to NPR, Hickenlooper and Kasich will present Congress with a set of principles that will positively impact coverage and care. The governors intend to get other governors to sign on their support for the plan and the details will be released before the Senate starts holding hearings in September on how to stabilize the markets.

Home Visits for Troubled New Parents

Workers with family support programs across the country visit with new parents, particularly those with troubled backgrounds, to help them learn about child development and cope with the stress of parenting on top of other duties. However, funding for a federal home visiting program is set to expire at the end of September and Congress will need to reauthorize it to keep the program going, reported Kaiser Health News. The parents benefitting from these programs are often struggling with poverty, substance abuse, depression, and other issues. The federal program helped 160,000 parents and children in 2016 and without renewed funding, the program will have to reduce the number of families served.

Opioid Epidemic Overwhelms Hospitals

From 2005 to 2014 the number of inpatient stays involving opioids in the United States increased 64%. The New York Times reported that hospitals across the country are seeing sharp growth rates of patients with opioid-related issues. While large metropolitan hospitals had the highest rates of opioid-related inpatient stays, the rates in small and medium metropolitan counties and rural areas grew far faster. In 2014, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island had the highest rates of opioid hospitalization.

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