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Must-Reads Of The Week | Kaiser Health News

Damon Darlin

The Big News

It was a brief work week for these nonetheless in a position to work, however there was a substantial quantity of well being care information. That hasn’t modified.

The story that in all probability received essentially the most consideration was that the loss of life toll within the United States from COVID-19 passed 100,000 people. It will be onerous to get a deal with on what meaning. The Washington Post seemed on the people who count the deaths and observe the deaths.

There will probably be extra. The Texas Tribune famous how the coronavirus was a menace to people living in homeless shelters. Nursing homes proceed to be a significant scorching spot on this pandemic. Same goes for areas where poorer people live.

The Reopening

But one other supply of infections simply could be the crowds of people that suppose all hazard has handed and it’s time to frolic in shut proximity with others.

You in all probability noticed the images and video of the crowds Memorial Day weekend within the pool at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, or on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. Missouri well being officers pondered how to somehow place the partiers in self-quarantine, however that’s unlikely. Cities, states and counties can also play fast and loose with the metrics that indicate when it’s protected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly removed a recommendation to restrict singing in church buildings. (Singing has been proven to propel saliva particles.) So on it goes.

Disneyland is likely to open in July. Las Vegas casinos additionally announced their reopening and issued rules. Players can’t contact playing cards and slot machines will probably be fewer and farther aside.

Things That Don’t Change

Meanwhile, well being care suppliers proceed to seek out methods to make customers pay extra. The federal authorities’s Department of Health and Human Services stated it will watch for “upcoding” of medical procedures — billing for a costlier process.

We are already seeing it. KHN reporter Phil Galewitz wrote about a big invoice for what was supposed to be a free COVID test. (This was not a fluke. We’ve already heard of different comparable circumstances and will probably be writing about them.)

Drugmakers are additionally a supply of concern. Critics note that the development of remdesivir, a attainable COVID remedy, was closely sponsored by the federal government, but Gilead Sciences will be capable to place no matter price ticket it needs on the drug. Not that what was accessible went to the right places, The Washington Post reported.

And Stat did a wonderful evaluation of how there was quite a bit much less to President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday about lower insulin prices for seniors. Stat additionally reported how executives of Moderna, a drug firm that reported it was having success with a COVID vaccine, cashed out as the share price soared. The shares have since fallen as buyers took one other take a look at the hype.

Well performed, Moderna. Well performed. pic.twitter.com/oY4pVDOXTa

— John Arnold (@JohnArnoldFndtn) May 26, 2020

And NPR famous a White House staffer with some interesting health care investments.

Toolkits

All of us are on the lookout for methods to measure the epidemic, to quantify it, to seek out patterns that both agitate or reassure. Here are a couple of classics and newer ones that I and the employees at KHN discovered this week.

ProPublica created a fairly amazing tool that tracks the businesses that gained federal contracts associated to COVID-19. It helped them develop several very interesting tales about some of those contractors. (Related tales: The federal authorities’s efforts to get Americans examined for the virus are still failing in myriad ways.)

Stuff You Should Know

For the previous couple of weeks, you would hear dialogue of “herd immunity” defending us from the coronavirus effervescent up in conversations on cable TV information exhibits, on Twitter and amongst neighbors nonetheless observing social distancing. It’s the notion that if sufficient individuals are immune from a illness, the few who usually are not are protected. It’s the fundamental idea that makes measles pictures so necessary; it protects the younger youngsters and weak individuals who can’t be immunized. It’s why we would like a coronavirus vaccine so shortly.

So The Upshot at The New York Times looked at the possibility of herd immunity in a sequence of tight graphics. Their conclusion: “Even in some of the hardest-hit cities in the world, the studies suggest, the vast majority of people still remain vulnerable to the virus.”

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