health care

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - An Oregon health agency is recommending the use of doulas as a way to reduce infant mortality among low-income and ethnic minority households. Correspondent Chris Lehman explains what a doula actually is and whether there's any money in the health care bureaucracy to pay for them.

Photo by Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- There are now six new export terminals proposed to be built along the Northwest coast. The goal? To bring American coal to Asia, via train and ship.

If these terminals are approved that could mean more than 100 million tons of coal traveling by rail across Idaho, Washington and Oregon every year.

The potential for more train traffic has public health experts concerned. EarthFix reporters Ashley Ahearn and Courtney Flatt have the story.

Photo courtesy of National Women's Law Center

A new nationwide study says Idaho has one of the widest gaps between how much money insurers charge men and women. The survey by the National Women’s Law Center found women pay around $700 more each year. The practice, known as “gender rating,” is banned under the health care overhaul now before the nation’s highest court.

Two AGs, Two Different Views On Healthcare

Mar 26, 2012
Photo sources: Washington State Attorney General's office, Oregon Department of Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its biggest case in decades this week.  The high court will hear arguments about President Obama's landmark healthcare reform law, and whether key provisions of it are constitutional.  The justices have scheduled six hours of testimony over three days, starting today.

Idaho House of Representatives

Religious beliefs and contraception collided today in the Idaho House of Representatives. a majority of state lawmakers voted to send a message to the President and U.S. Congress to reject a new birth control policy.

RENTON -- A proposal to reduce concussions in high school football is creating a lively debate among some of the state’s high school coaches. Monday, that proposal will be a big focus at a meeting of the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association in Renton. Ruby de Luna has details on the plan, known as Amendment 6.

Photo credit: Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Last fall we brought you a series of stories on failures in how the Northwest treats mentally ill youth. Now, a landmark legal agreement announced Wednesday aims to bring about better treatment options for nearly 20,000 Washington kids. These are children who suffer from depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Photo credit: M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers appear to be on track to wrap up their legislative session Monday evening. A budget committee approved a package of measures Monday afternoon designed to bring the current spending plan back into balance. There are no new taxes and public schools are shielded from further cuts.

Photo courtesy Oregon Governor's Office

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed one of his top legislative priorities into law Friday. The Democrat was surrounded by lawmakers from both parties as he signed the so-called "health care transformation" bill.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Hospital is just weeks away from opening the final wing on its newly updated Salem facility. But many of the beds will remain empty because of budget cuts pending in the Oregon legislature. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- If you buy your own health plan, you probably go through an insurance broker. By next year you’ll be able to shop through a health insurance exchange. Most states are creating their own marketplace for people to compare and shop for health plans. Reporter Ruby de Luna has a preview of what Washington's exchange could look like, and what to expect.

Photo credit: Wikimedia User Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons

WaOLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington legislature has three weeks to rebalance the state budget. One way House Democrats propose to do that is to eliminate a series of payments that currently go to cities and counties. That proposal emerged Tuesday. Reaction from local governments was swift.

Photo Credit: Madigan Army Medical Center PA / Public Affairs Office Madigan Army Medical Center

The head of Madigan Army Medical Center south of Tacoma has been removed from his post. The administrative action comes as the Medical Center investigates whether soldiers had their diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder reversed to reduce the cost of a medical retirement.

Photo by Wikimedia User Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington State House has passed a bill that requires insurance companies that cover maternity services to also include procedures to terminate pregnancies. Women in Washington State already have access to abortion services. The bill attempts to preserve the status quo.

Photo by Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The abuse of old prescription drugs has been a leading cause of accidental overdosing deaths. Now there’s a bill in the State Legislature aimed getting expired meds out of circulation. But the proposal is in danger of dying, unless it moves forward in the Senate. Ruby de Luna reports.

Photo Source: Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. – “Talk therapy” may work in some cases. But a Washington state lawmaker says it’s time to invest in evidence-based programs to treat mentally ill youth. This past fall we brought you a series of stories on failures in how the Northwest treats young people with serious mental health issues. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this update from Olympia.

Photo Source: United States Senate

Initially the press conference was to denounce the Komen Foundation’s plans to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding. But when the foundation backed off after days of public criticism, Senator Murray revised her message. She stood outside the Seattle Planned Parenthood office, and thanked supporters for voicing their outcry.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state insurance commissioner has fined an Indiana company $100,000 for charging Washington college students the wrong rates.

Unicare Life and Health Insurance sold over 8,000 insurance policies, primarily to international students, between 2004 and 2009. Most were short-term policies costing an average of $80 a month. The problem is, the company used unapproved methods to determine those rates. Unicare also excluded people from coverage whom they shouldn’t have. Rich Roesler is a spokesperson for the state’s insurance office.

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