Today’s NewsStand – May 5, 2017

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Iowa med industry has mixed feelings on AHCA passage
Iowa’s medical industry has mixed feelings on the passage of the GOP’s Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA), which US House Republicans passed 217 to 213. Kirk Norris, president and CEO of the Iowa Hospital Association, said the group and its 118 community hospitals were “disappointed” with the vote and worry that the bill, if enacted, would “repeal enhanced federal funding for Iowa’s expanded Medicaid coverage” capping federal dollars for the program and putting more of a strain on Iowa’s finances. (KCRG)

72,000 Iowans could be first to lose coverage as insurance market collapses
Nearly 72,000 Iowans are on the brink of losing coverage as Congress tries to overhaul the country’s health care system. The at-risk Iowans buy their own health insurance policies, usually because they don’t work for employers that offer coverage and they don’t qualify for government insurance programs. Iowa is the first state where consumers face the likelihood of losing all access to individual health insurance policies, but experts say other states could soon follow. (Des Moines Register)

Five-day wait for mental health bed not uncommon
When someone has a heart attack, treatment is immediate. When someone has a mental health crisis, there’s a waiting list. Those are the sentiments that are routinely expressed by the sheriff, public health officials, area hospitals and those that have battled with a mental health diagnosis. It’s an issue noted by many in the state of Iowa. According to data from the nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center, Iowa only has 64 state operated beds, down from 149 in 2010. (Knoxville Journal Express)

Newborn girl declared safe haven baby
A baby girl has been declared a Safe Haven baby by the Iowa Department of Human Services under the state’s safe haven procedures. Under the law parents have the option to safely hand over custody of babies age 14 days or younger without fear of prosecution or abandonment. The parent or their authorized representative can leave the newborn at a hospital or health care facility while remaining anonymous. (Des Moines Register)

UI College of Engineering students go above and beyond to help 8-year-old ride his bicycle
Eight-year-old Jonny Cole had a wish. Like most kids his age, he dreamed of riding his bike around his Cedar Rapids neighborhood and on the bike path with his family. But Jonny’s wish wasn’t as simple as it sounds. A congenital amputee, he was born without most of his right arm. His father brought him to the University of Iowa (UI) College of Engineering where students jumped at the chance to work with the boy and developed a device to help him ride his bike. (Iowa Now)

National News

AHA CEO outlines opposition to GOP health bill
The American Hospital Association (AHA) lobbied against this health care bill. It represents more than 5,000 hospitals around the country. NPR interviewed Rick Pollack, the association’s president and CEO, to hear how the legislation will affect hospitals. “The real impact and the real concern is not so much on hospitals per se. It’s on the people that we take care of and the communities we serve,” said Pollack. (NPR)

New AHCA worse for family farmers, rural Americans
As U.S. House of Representatives secured votes in support of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), National Farmers Union (NFU) is reiterating its opposition to the bill. The legislation is now risking even less protection for family farmers and rural Americans, especially those with preexisting conditions. “The expansion of Medicaid has proven beneficial to rural communities, where the rate of enrollment is higher than in urban America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. (Wisconsin State Farmer)

Obamacare, the secret jobs program
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) ultimately came down on the side of saving jobs. The industry has gained nearly 2 million jobs since ACA was signed into law in March 2010. More people — 15.5 million — now work in health care than live in the state of Ohio. Employment in the health insurance industry jumped nearly nine percent from 2012 to 2013 as millions of Americans became newly insured. Based on job numbers, no sector is healthier than health care. (Politico)

New GOP funding for health bill not nearly enough
The new amendment from Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan) to the GOP health care bill would add $8 billion over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions in states that elect to waive certain Obamacare protections. But many experts say that this amount of money is nowhere near enough to help people with health conditions afford coverage if Obamacare protections are waived. (The Hill)

As Missouri shifts Medicaid patients to private insurers, critics say that puts patients at risk
This week, Missouri transferred the state-run health coverage of about 240,000 low-income adults and children to managed care plans run by three companies: WellCare, Centene Corporation and United Health Group. The move is part of an increasing privatization of Missouri’s Medicaid program, MO HealthNet. Legislators call it a cost-saving measure that improves efficiency in health care. Critics say the transfer happened too quickly, putting patient health at risk. (KCUR)