States will get billions in opioid settlement dollars. How will they spend it?

Legal battles have waged for years to force drug companies to pay for their role in America’s opioid epidemic. Finally, in landmark settlements over the last year, thousands of states, counties and local governments have won more than $50 billion from opioid makers, prescription drug distributors and pharmacies. But now these 3,000 state and local […]

In post-Roe America, pilots take the abortion battle to the skies

CHICAGO — From 1,800 feet in the air, the view from a tiny, four-seater plane reduces the Chicago suburbs to a vast landscape of miniature patterns. Above us, flocks of geese fly in v-shape formations beneath sheets of white clouds. Sitting behind a small wheel, the pilot removes his jacket, places his glasses on his […]

Thousands of toddler sippy cups and bottles are recalled over lead poisoning risk

WASHINGTON — Green Sprouts, a maker of reusable baby products sold at chain retailers including Whole Foods and Bed Bath & Beyond, is recalling its stainless-steel cups and bottles over a lead poisoning hazard. The voluntary recall, issued last week, affects about 10,500 units, according to an alert on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s […]

How is Carle Hospital in Urbana handling the surge of sick kids?

URBANA – Converting adult intensive care beds, and naming nurse teams after Hogwarts houses – these are just a couple of the ways Carle Hospital in Urbana is weathering a surge of respiratory infections among children this winter. As COVID-19 precautions have waned, other respiratory viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza have spread […]

How effective are different policies at fighting medical debt? A researcher weighs in

LOS ANGELES — Wes Yin says it’s impossible to study health care these days without coming across the issue of medical debt. “There’s a lot of people who are struggling,” said Yin, an associate professor of economics at UCLA and one of the nation’s leading researchers on medical debt. Listen to this story here. […]

Illinois abortions increased nearly 30% in two months after Supreme Court’s ruling

For months, abortion providers in the Metro East have described a surge in patients since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. A national report from the Society for Family Planning has documented that increase. It notes that Illinois clinics performed nearly 30% more abortions in August than […]

How a major Medicare change could help seniors with high drug costs

OGDEN DUNES, Ind. — Multiple sclerosis was a one-two punch to Therese Humphrey Ball’s life. She had to deal with the disease – and the cost to treat it. Symptoms like loss of vision and weakness in her legs forced the 68-year-old former nurse from Indiana to retire early, and high drug costs forced her […]

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker moves to make abortion more accessible to people in prisons

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker pledged to remove a barrier to abortion for people in prison after a WBEZ investigation found incarcerated people had to pay for the procedure and the wages of the correctional officer required to accompany them to appointments outside the prison. “Moving forward, abortion procedures and their associated expenses will […]

CVS, Walgreens announce opioid settlements totaling $10B

CVS and Walgreens have agreed in principle to pay a total of about $10 billion to settle lawsuits over the toll of powerful prescription opioids. A lawyer for local governments also said Wednesday that settlement talks continue with Walmart. The developments involving the nation’s largest pharmacy chains could amount to the last huge settlements announced […]

Barred from Medicaid, some pregnant immigrants have few options for care

DES MOINES, Ia. — Last spring, two pregnant women who had recently arrived from Myanmar showed up at Abigail Sui’s home in Des Moines, Iowa. They needed help finding prenatal care. Sui, a program director for EMBARC, an Iowa-based nonprofit that supports immigrants, figured she could help these women navigate the health care system. “Because […]

Workers are fleeing long-term care. Could better career opportunities help?

SAN FRANCISCO — Serena Maria warmly remembers the first older person she took care of. “Her name was Liberty Bell, and she was born on [the] Fourth of July and she was the sweetest thing,” Maria said. Listen to this story here.  For about a year, Maria would go to the nonegenarian’s home in Southern […]