Michigan Healthcare

Credit Alex E Promios/Flickr

From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

Fast food is not good for us. That's not exactly a secret.

Nutritionists point to all that fat and salt in fast food as one of the main causes of the growing obesity rate in this county, and elsewhere around the world.

There's a commonly held belief that poor people eat more fast food than any other group.

University of Michigan-Dearborn Economics Professor Patricia Smith decided to test that belief in a study on fast food consumption. She found that the poor don’t actually eat more fast food than anyone else. It is those who are busiest, often the middle class, that do.

Congress has until the end of September to finalize a budget for the new fiscal year. The Trump Administration has proposed drastic cuts to science and research. While some in Congress are calling for spending increases.

The scientific community is sounding clear warnings about what curbing research funding would mean for the United States. A new analysis by University of Michigan researchers finds the U.S. would lose its top spot as a contributor to science research. Meanwhile, a huge competitor is ready to leap ahead: China.

Returning from the 4th of July recess, Senate Republicans are going to try again to come up with a health care bill that can win the 50 votes it needs to pass.

Word is, they hope to have a revised health bill to show senators by week's end, perhaps by Thursday.

A group of 13 Republican Senators continues to work in secrecy, writing a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will see a "discussion draft" of the bill tomorrow.

Their goal? A vote a week from tomorrow, on June 29.

New charges have been filed in the Flint water crisis – this time in connection with the Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people and sickened 78 more in Genesee County.

A group marched on Governor Rick Snyder’s office Tuesday to call for faster work fixing Flint’s water system.        

About 50 demonstrators delivered more than 1,100 empty water bottles with messages from Flint residents curled inside.

Major changes could be coming tomorrow in the services for people living with a mental illness or a developmental disability in Michigan.

David Cassleman

Hospitals in northern Michigan are bracing for the chance that fewer people will have health insurance in the future. One local hospital leader says that could lead to higher costs for everyone.

Renée Fleming and Francis Collins have something unexpected in common: music.

Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, plays guitar. Fleming, of course, is a renowned soprano.

Spencer Walz began struggling with anxiety back in grade school.

Now 25, he speaks from hard-won experience when he talks about helping young people struggling with mental health issues, and how best to help them overcome fears that talking about it will cause additional problems.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Tick season is here in northern Michigan, and with it comes a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted when blacklegged ticks – commonly called deer ticks – bite humans. If untreated, Lyme disease can have serious health consequences like inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, nerve pain or short-term memory loss. Early signs of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms and muscle aches.

In every country in the world, women are more likely than men to experience more stress, chronic disease, anxiety and be victims of violence. Yet, women live longer than men. Why? 

The weight of terminally-ill patients can play a role in the type of treatment they receive toward the end of their lives.

A personal tragedy can open your eyes to things that had previously been out of sight and out of mind.

For Abby Dart, it was her husband’s suicide in 2004. That loss opened her eyes to the stigma we’ve built up around mental health problems. She believes that stigma killed her husband Steve.

Baby Francesca was just 12 weeks old when she came down with a cough. Nine days later, she died of pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

Northern Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) says he supports the GOP health care bill in its current form. The legislation could come up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House as soon as this week. 

You'll be able to buy the health care insurance plan you want. Premiums will be lower. Everyone will be covered. Access to quality, affordable care will improve.

Those promises from President Donald Trump and Republican leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan seem less likely after a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Aaron Selbig

Public health officials in northern Michigan say they’re “troubled” by the Republican health care plan.

Congressional Republicans are debating the American Health Care Act, which would replace the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare.

The Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance, a coalition of health departments in 25 northern counties, released a statement Tuesday saying the Act will drive up the number of uninsured people, and will jeopardize programs like immunizations.

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of the Affordable Care Act. In our state, it's known as Healthy Michigan, and it has meant health care coverage for more than 600,000 people.

But if you wind up in the criminal justice system, even if its just pre-trial detention, Medicaid benefits turn off immediately.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say excluding inmates from Medicaid is driving up costs and hurting the health of inmates.

Northern Michigan’s Congressman says he’s just now getting a chance to look at the details of a new Republican health care plan. But Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) sounded upbeat talking about it during a telephone town hall he hosted on Tuesday night. 

It was hours after fellow House Republicans unveiled their plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act.

“The American Health Care Act … is going to ensure that number one everybody is able to get health care,” Bergman said.

The Next Idea

With all the talk of reforming health care, what if we are missing the bigger picture?

What if all this emotional debate about whether to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was a waste of time?

A new law recently signed by Governor Rick Snyder means home birth midwives in Michigan will need to be licensed.

What does this mean for women who want to give birth at home in Michigan?

The warnings about "superbug infections" and over prescribing antibiotics have been getting stronger and louder in recent years. Yet, it's still happening and we are seeing people die from infections that are caused by these so-called superbugs.

The Centers for Disease Control, for example, is telling us that every year 75,000 Americans with hospital-aquired infections are dying while they're in the hospital.

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