Report: Pennsylvania Lags in Health Care Due to Restrictions on Nurse Authority

Pennsylvania is out of step with its neighbors and deregulating some health care services could give residents of the commonwealth better access to treatment, a new analysis argues.

The Commonwealth Foundation released a report arguing that Maryland’s effort to grant nurse practitioners full practice authority is a model for Pennsylvania. 

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USDA Sends $2 Million to Pennsylvania to Aid Rural Health Care

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $110 million in grants for rural health care, and Pennsylvania will receive almost $2 million to replace lost revenue and supply other needs.

The three grants for $1.8 million will go to two health care groups and a food bank in Elk, McKean, and Chester counties.

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Biden Signs $740 Billion Climate, Tax and Health Care Bill into Law

President Joe Biden signed a $740 billion spending package into law Tuesday, the final step for the green energy, health care and tax hike bill after months of wrangling and controversy, in particular over the legislation’s hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents to audit Americans.

Democrats at the White House Tuesday touted the bill’s deficit reduction of $300 billion over the next decade. The bill includes several measures, including a $35 per month cap on insulin copays, an extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies, and authorization for Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices.

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Increasing Healthcare Costs Put Connecticut Employers in Difficult Position

As the cost for health benefits rises in Connecticut, businesses and nonprofits are evaluating budgets to determine how much they can contribute to benefits for employees.

“Consider how much the cost of health care in America degrades our competitive position – businesses and taxpayers in no other country must bear this huge cost; it puts America at a 7-10% cost disadvantage relative to other countries,” Fred Carstensen, director of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, told The Center Square. “And at the same time, the average health of Americans (and life expectancy) is poorer than in most other developed countries – making us less productive. The costs we impose on ourselves with this health care system are seemingly endless.”

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Pennsylvania Still Restricts Nurses’ Scope of Practice, Health Care Options

Though a majority of states allow nurse practitioners full authority to deliver care, Pennsylvania still requires oversight from a physician. A bill in the legislature could change it though, but it’s unclear if it will advance through the General Assembly soon.

The legislation, SB25, sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Washington, would update state requirements for nurses and would remove a requirement for nurse practitioners to have a collaborative agreement with a physician for them to practice and write prescriptions.

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Commentary: What Happens in New York Doesn’t Stay in New York

It seems like every day America is becoming more anti-American than the day before. The Biden administration just keeps shooting for the “how can we out-do ourselves in pushing our Marxist policies” prize, and blue states are in lockstep. The American people keep getting whacked day in and day out, and the media is complicit. No one is safe these days in Biden’s America.

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Measure Directs $225 Million to Recruit, Retain Pennsylvania Health Care Workers

Pennsylvania Republicans highlighted legislation Wednesday that is moving through the General Assembly to direct $225 million to recruit and retain health care workers for hospitals and behavioral service providers.

Leaders of the House and Senate gathered on the lieutenant governor’s balcony between the two chambers for a news conference on House Bill 253, sponsored by Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga.

The legislation allocates $225 million to hospitals and behavioral and psychiatric service providers for retention and recruitment programs for staff. The bill is targeted specifically at nurses and other hospital employees, and it excludes hospital executives, administration, contracted staff and physicians.

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More Job Resignations Than Ever as Openings Sit Near Record Highs

A record number of American workers quit their jobs in November 2021 as the gap between available jobs and potential workers continues to increase, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Over 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November 2021, a jump from October’s 4.1 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday.

Quits in accommodation and food services saw the greatest increase, 159,000, while other low-wage sectors like health care, social assistance, transportation, warehousing and utilities also saw spikes as workers looked for jobs with higher pay.

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Arizona Rep. Schweikert’s House Speech on Fraud, Spending, and Running Out of Money Goes Viral

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-AZ), known as the wonky numbers member of Congress, gave a speech on the House floor a few days ago about runaway spending in Congress that has gone viral with over 1.2 million views. It’s on Social Security and Medicare running out of money and how the U.S. is headed for a dystopian future if it’s not fixed. He addressed several myths and offered solutions.

He began saying he’s about to say some things most people don’t want to hear, “We call it math.” The biggest threat over the next couple decades facing the country is demographics. “Getting older isn’t Democrat or Republican, it’s going to happen to everyone.” But he says he’s been booed for telling people the truth. “You don’t raise money telling people the truth about what’s going on.” Referring to Congress, he said, “We live in a financial fantasy world in this place … there’s a fraud around here.” 

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Steward Health Enters Florida Market After Billion-Dollar Deal

Steward Health has now become one of the largest health care providers in South Florida after buying five hospitals in a $1.1 billion deal. The health care entity is the largest physician-owned hospital network in the country.

Steward Health is expanding its presence in cooperation with North Shore Medical Center, Hialeah Hospital, Palmetto General, Coral Gables Hospital, and Florida Medical Center.

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Commentary: Medicine’s Getting Major Injections of Woke Ideology

The national racial reckoning over reparations and Critical Race Theory is taking over the world of medicine and health care. Prestigious medical journals, top medical schools and elite medical centers are adopting the language of social justice activism and vowing to confront “systemic racism,” dismantle “structural violence” and disrupt “white supremacy” in their institutional cultures.

Some activist physicians describe the present-day health care system with such ominous terms as a “medical caste system” or “medical apartheid,” the latter locution taken from the title of a 2007 book about America’s history of medical experimentation on enslaved blacks and freedmen.

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Senator Blackburn Introduces Bill Aimed to Expand Health Care Access in Rural Areas

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) worked with Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) to introduce legislation with the goal of expanding access to quality health care for rural Americans across the country.

The Rural Health Innovation Act would incentivize communities to prioritize urgent care needs by providing numerous grant programs to these areas.

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Commentary: A Tribute to Mothers with Inspiration from Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou speaking

You wouldn’t think any possible controversy could append itself to that day, except that we are living in preternaturally contentious times. Two days ago, Rep. Cori Bush, a freshman Democrat from St. Louis, was testifying about racial disparities in health care, focusing specifically on childbirth. While describing her own medical experiences, Bush used the unwieldy phrase “birthing people” instead of “mothers.” Apparently, this was an awkward attempt to use inclusive language.

Predictably, this rhetorical gambit earned her a fair amount of ridicule on social media. I’m sure Rep. Bush has many virtues, but neither self-awareness nor self-deprecating humor are at the top of that list. Just as predictably, Bush lashed out at those who mocked her wording for their “racism and transphobia.” She also accused her critics of trivializing an important subject, which was a more substantive rejoinder. Bush was discussing racial disparities in America’s medical system, which is no laughing matter, and invoking her own harrowing experiences in hospital delivery rooms to do it.

Yet breezily trying to replace the word “mothers” as a sign of wokeness a few days before Mother’s Day wasn’t likely to go down well. It was Cori Bush’s own peculiar choice of words that distracted listeners from her story.

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Surveys: 46 Million People Can’t Afford Health Care, Majority of Hospitals Not Providing Pricing Transparency

Assorted color syringes.

An estimated 46 million people — or 18% of the country — would be unable to pay for health care if they needed it today, a recent poll conducted by Gallup and West Health found.

In another survey by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. have yet to comply with a transparency ruling implemented this year that would help patients shop around for the most affordable prices.

Gallup’s findings are based on a poll conducted between February 15 and 21 among 3,753 adults with a margin of error of 2%.

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Michigan Business Groups Oppose Some House Health Care Reform Bills

A health care reform package the House passed Wednesday is creating a rift between the state’s business groups and the GOP.

Michigan business leaders formed a new Michigan Affordable Healthcare Coalition that aims to reduce health care costs without raising costs on small businesses.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, business leaders voiced opposition to House bills 4346 and 4354, claiming they would raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

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Law Firm That Employs Bart Gordon Opens Nashville Office

K&L Gates LLP, the global law firm that employs former U.S. Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN-06), has opened a Nashville office.

K&L Gates announced it has set up a Nashville law office with more than 25 lawyers handling health care, litigation, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and construction, and other specialties.

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Ohio Health Care Workers Free from COVID-19 Civil Liability

Health care centers and medical professionals are free from liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic under a new Ohio law signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Among other things, the new law temporarily grants qualified civil immunity to health care isolation centers to protect medical professionals from liability claims throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It also expands the authority of emergency medical technicians to provide medical services in hospitals, if needed.

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COVID Death Rates Are Falling as Treatment Improves, Experts Say

Death rates from the coronavirus are falling in the United States showing that treatments for the coronavirus are advancing, infectious-disease experts told the Wall Street Journal.

Data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME) shows that the virus is only killing about 0.6% of those infected, the WSJ reported. This death rate has improved since April when the COVID death rate was at about 0.9%, the publication reported. 

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Commentary: BidenCare Equals Disaster for America’s Healthcare

The future of our nation hangs in the balance and the direction of our healthcare system is one of the main differences at stake in the 2020 Presidential election this week. In the final Presidential debate, the distinctions between President Trump’s vision vs. former Vice President Biden’s vision for our nation could not be clearer. This truly is America vs. Socialism.

To understand that difference watch President Trump and former Vice President Biden’s responses on how they view healthcare and the proper role of the federal government.

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Nashville’s Mr. Smith Goes to the White House

Brad Smith wasn’t planning to go to Washington DC to work. But a few months into 2020, he found himself reporting to the President of the United States of America and briefing the nation on television. How did he go from running a business in Nashville to working in the West Wing of the White House? I was able to sit down with Brad recently to learn a little bit more about his story.

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Spanberger and Freitas Square Off in Debate on COVID, Health Care and National Security

Incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Republican challenger state Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) took part in their first debate Tuesday night, discussing a wide array of ongoing issues on the national and state levels.

The forum was moderated by Washington Week Managing Editor and a national political reporter for The Washington Post, Robert Costa, lasting a little less than an hour.

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White House Wins Ruling on Health Care Price Disclosure

The Trump administration won a court ruling Tuesday upholding its plan to require hospitals and insurers to disclose the actual prices for common tests and procedures in a bid to promote competition and push down costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the decision in federal court in Washington, D.C., “a resounding victory” for President Donald Trump’s efforts to open up the convoluted world of health care pricing so patients and families can make better-informed decisions about their care.

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Health Care Group: It Would Cost $440 Million to Provide 3 Million Tests for All Nursing Home Residents and Workers

Testing every nursing home resident and care facility worker in the U.S. for COVID-19 would cost $440 million in federal and state funding, a health care group found. 

Doing so would require almost 3 million tests, according to the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, an industry group representing nursing homes and assisted living centers that calculated how much it would cost for states to receive adequate funding so all resident and care facility workers could be tested.

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Buckeye Institute Calls for Ending Regulations So Nurses Can Use Their Skills to Treat COVID-19 Patients

The Buckeye Institute says Ohio should end the collaborative supervision requirements that prevent advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) from offering the medical care they have been trained and licensed to provide.

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Think Tank Calls for Ohio Government to Take Common-Sense Measures to Fight Coronavirus and Aid in Economic Recovery

A new policy brief lays out actions that Ohio policymakers can immediately implement so Ohio can fight and yet recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and it doesn’t involve unilaterally moving primaries or shutting down businesses.

The Buckeye Institute released the brief on Monday.

The brief, Policy Solutions for the Pandemic: How Ohio Can Fight the Impact of Coronavirus, is available here.

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Coders Building Database Need Health Care Workers to Report Coronavirus Testing Sites So They Can Provide Data to Officials Battling Disease

A coalition of computer coders and medical experts is looking for volunteers — including from the Volunteer State — to help provide better information on COVID-19 coronavirus testing sites.

TechCrunch reported on the one-week-old Coders Against Covid project, which is building a database of testing sites. The team of about 15 developers includes Andrew Kemendo of KesselRun, an Air Force software developer, and Dr. Jorge A. Caballero, a clinical instructor of Anesthesia at Stanford University. The goal is to inform officials tracking the disease and to better distribute the tests where they are needed.

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U.S. Officials Battle Coronavirus on Multiple Health Care, Economic Fronts Even as Death Toll Reaches Nine

The coronavirus death toll in the United States hit nine on Tuesday, even as more areas around the world report infections.

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Ohio Ranks Third in Nation in Ongoing Hepatitis A Outbreak

As of Jan. 21, the Buckeye State had experienced 3,468 cases of hepatitis A in a statewide community outbreak that officially began Jan. 1, 2018, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-two percent of patients were hospitalized, and 16 died.

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Retired Ohio Public Workers Receive Massive Cuts to Health Care Benefits Starting in 2022

Following a year in which stock markets posted healthy gains, the organization running Ohio’s public employee benefits is cutting back — a lot.

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Ohio Gov DeWine’s Office Dodges Question on Resettlement of Refugees Australia Refused to Accept

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision on December 24 that would say yes to more refugees in Ohio would allow the federal government to resettle them from any country, including from an estimated 300 to 720 refugees from the Middle East that the government of Australia has refused to accept.

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Commentary: Kamikaze Schumer Wants to Repeal Private Health Insurance

While the Democrats continue their impeachment pantomime war dance in the mirror-clad corner in order to keep up their spirits, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is ginning up a much more fateful danse macabre on health care. He has promised to force a vote this week on various Trump Administration directives that have injected flexibility into Obamacare. As The Hill reports, “Senate Democrats plan to force vulnerable Republicans to vote on legislation that would overturn a controversial Trump administration directive on ObamaCare.”

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Commentary: Illegal Immigration Hurts Patients

The Democrats often claim that they alone will protect people with pre-existing conditions. Well, unfortunately for us, this popular catchphrase delivered the greatest catch in the history of politics: under Obamacare, insurance companies couldn’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — but doctors could.

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California Governor Signs Illegal Immigrant Health Care Bill Into Law

by Jason Hopkins   California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom officially made his state the first in the U.S. to offer government health care benefits to adult-aged illegal immigrants. Newsom signed SB-104 into law Tuesday, cementing it into the state’s 2020 budget. The legislation extends taxpayer-funded health care to low-income adults…

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Trump Orders Hospitals to Disclose Prices Up Front

  U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday which he calls a “groundbreaking action” that will increase the “quality, affordability, and fairness” in the U.S. healthcare system. The order would require hospitals to disclose prices up front showing what patients can expect to pay for services in a…

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California Considers Spending Billions on Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

by Jason Hopkins   California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for government-funded health care for illegal immigrants is frugal compared to proposals by other Democratic leaders in his state. Newsom, the progressive first-term governor of California and ardent opponent of the Trump administration, wants to offer free health care services to…

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Klobuchar Joins Fox News for Town Hall Event in Wisconsin

  Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined Fox News Wednesday night for a town hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a state Hillary Clinton famously skipped during the 2016 election. According to Fox News, the network allows candidates to select the location for their town halls and Klobuchar picked Milwaukee, which will also host…

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Trump Reveals Timeline for Up-in-the-Air GOP Health Care Plan

by Evie Fordham   President Donald Trump put a timeline on his call for Republicans to develop a comprehensive alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Twitter Monday night. “Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work. Premiums [and] deductibles are far too high — Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems…

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Trump Continues to Hammer Health Care Messaging, Ropes Four Senators Into His Fight

by Evie Fordham   President Donald Trump continued with criticism of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and touted four Republican senators he said will fix the ACA, colloquially known as Obamacare, in a tweet Monday. “The cost of ObamaCare is far too high for our great citizens. The deductibles, in…

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Angie Craig Refuses to Condemn New York Abortion Law at Town Hall

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-02) hosted her second town hall Saturday in Red Wing, Minnesota, where she was asked about a number of issues, including universal health care and abortion. “The other thing that I wanted to ask you about is we’ve seen states recently that passed laws that legalized abortions…

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