#Coronavirus Resources & Info: Keep Your Distance & Stay Healthy (video)

Coronavirus

I’m putting on my Masters in Public Health hat today to talk with you about being safe during the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus testing is still low in the state of Arizona and across the country. Although the deaths and the numbers of confirmed cases keep rising, the slow roll-out of diagnostic testing masks the real spread of the virus.

I recorded the video (below) on March 24, when there were 326 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona. Twenty-four hours later, when I drafted this blog post, there were 401 confirmed cases in Arizona. Today (March 26), there are 508 confirmed cases and eight deaths. Maricopa County is racking up 50 new confirmed cases per day this week. For several days, Arizona had one new death per day; now that rate is also increasing. Friends, this is serious.

There is a lot of news, data, and information out there about COVID-19, but there is also a lot of misinformation and flawed analyses of the epidemiological data. Check the sources before you believe the message. (I have linked resources below.)

Here are a few key public health points to remember …

Continue reading #Coronavirus Resources & Info: Keep Your Distance & Stay Healthy (video)

Arizona Requires AHCCCS Patients to Work (video)

hospital

The federal government has approved the state of Arizona’s waiver to require some Medicaid (AHCCCS) patients to work in order to get health insurance. Currently, 65% of of AHCCCS patients already work. They are on AHCCCS because their employers don’t offer medical benefits and/or because they aren’t paid enough. This waiver would require some AHCCCS patients to do at least 80 hours of work, school or volunteerism in order to continue to receive health insurance. Why if there are no jobs in your area? This could disproportionately hurt rural Arizonans.

The only state that has this work system for Medicaid is Arkansas. According to NPR, they have knocked 20% of their enrollees off of Medicaid by instituting work requirements. Denying access to affordable care is bad for parents and bad for our state.

In 2017, Republicans passed the second year of stingy TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The drafters said as much as 30% of Arizonans could be knocked off TANF because of the additional regulations and increased bureaucracy.

We don’t need laws that are designed to hurt people who are poor or sick. We should be helping people become productive citizens— instead of casting them aside as if they are not worthy.

 

200 Stories: Tucson Healthcare Forum, Oct 29

200 Stories: Tucson Healthcare Forum

Do you have concerns about the Affordable Care Act and repeal attempts; about the future of Medicare and Medicaid; or about access to care or the cost of drugs?

Whether you are a patient or a provider, we want to hear your medical and health insurance stories. The LD9 and LD10 Legislators are holding an open mic forum in which we listen, you talk, and we all learn.

This is a free educational community event for residents of Pima County. It’s about listening and learning from each other. Senators David Bradley and Steve Farley and Representatives Kirsten Engel, Randy Friese, and Pamela Powers Hannley have confirmed their attendance. (Rep. Todd Clodfelter was invited but has a scheduling conflict.)

In the news, we hear what politicians and big corporations think should be done with our country’s overly complicated and extremely expensive health care system. At this event, the people of Southern Arizona will have an opportunity to tell us their stories and help shape future policy.

Mark your calendars for October 29, 2017. The event will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd St.

Please take a few minutes to register with EventBrite by clicking here. We want to make sure we have enough seats.

Watch Facebook and other social media for updates.