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Catholic Health Plans: No to Birth Control, Yes to Viagra

Catholic Health Plans: No to Birth Control, Yes to Viagra

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov


reporting on health, contraception

Contraception:

NPR's Julie Rovner reports that Catholic employers' health plans don't cover contraception for women or vasectomies for men – but they do cover Viagra. Happy Valentine's Day!

Addiction: The number of Sacramento-area babies born with withdrawal syndrome has doubled in the past decade – a phenomenon that coincides with rising rates of prescription painkiller use, Phillip Reese and Grace Rubenstein report for the Sacramento Bee.

Health Costs: Hospitals increasingly are using direct marketing and free medical screenings to entice consumers to use their services. That's fine, writes Shannon Brownlee for Time, but perhaps more scrutiny of the nonprofit status of many hospitals is in order.

Health Reform: Will the federal government have enough money to create its own national health insurance exchange alongside the states' exchanges? That's a real concern, Sarah Kliff writes for the Washington Post.

Health Policy Valentines: Check out the nerd humor at the hashtag #healthpolicyvalentines. Joanne Kenen rounds them up in the Association of Health Care Journalists' Covering Health blog.

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Photo credit: Eli Duke via Flickr

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The 2017 California Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, will be held March 5-9, 2017 in Los Angeles. This Fellowship will focus on vulnerable populations and access to care and health care reform and innovation. We also take an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health. Each Fellow receives a $1,000 stipend to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project on a California health issue, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow. Deadline to apply is Dec. 1. For more information, go here.

Our health care system commits tremendous resources to extending life but comparatively little to end-of-life planning and care that honors patients’ wishes. This webinar will give an overview of the problem, identify changes to our health care system that might help, and offer insights on how journalists might spur more conversations on how we approach death in America. Find info and register here.

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