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Dying on the Waitlist

Dying on the Waitlist

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.In early December, Miguel Fernandez lay unconscious in the intensive care unit at a Los Angeles area hospital. A mechanical ventilator pumped oxygen into his lungs, which had been ravaged by COVID-19. The 53-year-old was dying.The best, and likely only, chance of Miguel surviving was a therapy called, better known as ECMO. It would allow his lungs to rest while a machine infused his blood with the oxygen he needed. But PIH Health Whittier Hospital, where he had been...

February 19, 2021
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The Family Court Judge Who Threatened a Mother With Contempt of Court for Getting Her Child a COVID-19 Test

The Family Court Judge Who Threatened a Mother With Contempt of Court for Getting Her Child a COVID-19 Test

The U.S. Response to COVID-19ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.This article was published in partnership with , the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Sign up for their for more public service reporting.Ohio juvenile court Judge Timothy Grendell has been outspoken about his belief that the COVID-19 pandemic is overblown.At a protest rally in May, just steps away from where he presides over family court, Grendell that public health restrictions to contain the pandemic were unconstitutional and...

December 19, 2020
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“Trumpcare” Does Not Exist. Nevertheless Facebook and Google Cash In on Misleading Ads for “Garbage” Health Insurance.

“Trumpcare” Does Not Exist. Nevertheless Facebook and Google Cash In on Misleading Ads for “Garbage” Health Insurance.

Congress works for you. Learn how to be a better boss with the , a series of personalized emails about what your representatives actually do.“Trumpcare” insurance will “finally fix healthcare,” said an advertisement on Facebook.A Google ad urged people to “Enroll in Trumpcare plans. Healthcare changes are coming.”The problem is, there’s no such thing as “Trumpcare.”Facebook and Google have promised to crack down on lies and misinformation about politics in the run-up to next month’s presidential election, but they have run tens of thousands of ads in the past year containing false claims...

October 23, 2020
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A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984.

A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984.

Dr. Zachary Sussman. His employer charged his insurance plan $10,984 for a COVID-19 antibody test.The U.S. Response to COVID-19ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up for to get up to speed on their essential coverage of Texas issues.When Dr. Zachary Sussman went to Physicians Premier ER in Austin for a COVID-19 antibody test, he assumed he would get a freebie because he was a...

September 10, 2020
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Cellphone Data Shows How Las Vegas Is “Gambling With Lives” Across the Country

Cellphone Data Shows How Las Vegas Is “Gambling With Lives” Across the Country

The U.S. Response to COVID-19ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.When it comes to COVID-19, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.Las Vegas casinos reopened June 4, and they have become a likely hotbed for the spread of the novel coronavirus, public health experts said. But if tourists return home and then test positive for COVID-19, the limitations of contact tracing in the midst of a pandemic make it unlikely such an outbreak would be identified.Are you a public health worker, medical provider, elected...

August 18, 2020
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How a $175 COVID-19 test led to $2,479 in charges

How a $175 COVID-19 test led to $2,479 in charges

As she waited for the results of her rapid COVID-19 test, Rachel de Cordova sat in her car and read through a stack of documents given to her by SignatureCare Emergency Center.Without de Cordova leaving her car, the staff at the freestanding emergency room near her home in Houston had checked her blood pressure, pulse and temperature during the July 21 appointment. She had been suffering sinus stuffiness and a headache, so she handed them her insurance card to pay for the $175 rapid-response drive-thru test. Then they stuck a swab deep into her nasal cavity to obtain a specimen.De Cordova...

August 1, 2020
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Behind the Scenes, Health Insurers Use Cash and Gifts to Sway Which Benefits Employers Choose

Behind the Scenes, Health Insurers Use Cash and Gifts to Sway Which Benefits Employers Choose

The Confounding Way We Pay for CareThis story was co-published with NPR’s blog.The pitches to the health insurance brokers are tantalizing.“Set sail for Bermuda,” says insurance giant Cigna, offering top-selling brokers five days at one of the island’s luxury resorts.Health Net of California’s pitch is not subtle: A smiling woman in a business suit rides a giant $100 bill like it’s a surfboard. “Sell more, enroll more, get paid more!” In some cases, its ad says, a broker can “power up” the bonus to $150,000 per employer group.Not to be outdone, New York’s EmblemHealth promises top-selling...

February 22, 2019
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We Showed How Easy It Is to Commit Health Care Fraud. Now Senators Want to Close the Loophole. — ProPublica

We Showed How Easy It Is to Commit Health Care Fraud. Now Senators Want to Close the Loophole. — ProPublica

The Confounding Way We Pay for CareProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.Four United States senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to close a little-known, but gaping, loophole that allows scammers to plunder commercial insurers by posing as licensed medical providers.The Medical License Verification Act, introduced Thursday, comes in response to a July that showed how absurdly easy it is to commit health care fraud, which experts say could be costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year....

February 14, 2020
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U.S. Hospitals Say They’re Ready for Coronavirus. Their Infection Control Violations Say Otherwise. — ProPublica

U.S. Hospitals Say They’re Ready for Coronavirus. Their Infection Control Violations Say Otherwise. — ProPublica

America’s Great Emergency Response TestSome of this reporting includes responses to . We hope you will take a look, fill it out and pass it along.In early February, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, in need of a hospital. The cruise ship was carrying patients who had traveled from China, where an outbreak of COVID-19 had taken root. Four passengers needed to go somewhere for further medical observation.The obvious next step was University Hospital in Newark, a major academic medical center equipped with isolation rooms. “The hospital is following proper...

March 10, 2020
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Congress Passed $8.3 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Funding, but First Responders Still Can’t Buy Masks — ProPublica

Congress Passed $8.3 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Funding, but First Responders Still Can’t Buy Masks — ProPublica

Is the United States Prepared for COVID-19?ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.This month, Congress passed an $8.3 billion emergency bill to respond to the coronavirus crisis. The money goes toward developing vaccines, disease surveillance, disaster loans and much more. But none of it goes directly to first responders for the protective gear and supplies they need to safely combat the novel coronavirus.Last week, that firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians on the front lines are desperate...

March 18, 2020
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