Today’s NewsStand – May 8, 2017

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

Iowa News

Branstad signs mental health funding bill
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed legislation Friday that will partly alleviate a long-standing problem with the funding of mental health services in Scott County. The bill will equalize how counties within each of the state’s 14 mental health regions raise money to pay for services. Currently, the five counties in the Eastern Iowa region, which includes Scott County, have a wide disparity in how much they each raise for mental health and disability services. (Quad-City Times)

Genesis shows off new $150M tower at East Campus
More space in patient and operating rooms is one result of construction of a new $150-million, seven-story surgical and patient-care tower at Genesis Medical Center, East Campus that opened to the public this past weekend. Three years in the making, the facility will consolidate all Genesis surgery at the campus at 1227 E. Rusholme St. Seven operating rooms at Genesis West, 1401 W. Central Park, will be phased out by July. (

Health care is turning future doctors into politicians, whether they like it or not
The problem is all the future doctors, physical therapists and other health care providers who will be forced to be politically involved whether they want to or not. These students will spend their careers negotiating the profit demands of insurance companies and the lawmakers heavily lobbied to help businesses make more money, even if it is on the backs of people born with congenital heart conditions. (Des Moines Register)

Volunteers can make a big difference
Public-spirited people who make time in their lives to support worthy causes help make any town a better place to live. In that regard, the large and dedicated cadre of volunteers at UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center is an especially noteworthy example. Trinity celebrates the efforts of these praise-worthy individuals with an annual Volunteer Recognition Event. (Fort Dodge Messenger)

UnityPoint Health adds community garden to feature fresh fruits and veggies by Mother’s Day
UnityPoint Health Saint Luke’s is springing into action with their new community garden at 2500 Nebraska Street consisting of 24 new garden beds. The new garden will be 100 percent catered to by volunteers in the community who want to have their own garden bed of fresh fruits and veggies. It started with a community needs assessment that showed the community wanted more opportunities for fresh and locally grown foods. (KCAU)

National News

Health act repeal could threaten US job engine
From Akron to Youngstown and Canton to Cleveland, as in cities and towns across the country, workers who once walked out of factories at the end of each shift now stream out of hospitals. While manufacturing employment has fallen nearly 40 percent in northeastern Ohio since 2000, the number of health care jobs in the region has jumped more than 30 percent over the same period. In Akron, the onetime rubber capital of the world, only one of the city’s 10 largest employers still makes tires. Three are hospitals. (New York Times)

Political theater: How a bill that nearly all opposed managed to pass the House
The American Medical Association said it would undo health insurance coverage gains and hurt public health efforts to fight disease. The American Hospital Association said the bill would destroy Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor that expanded mightily under the Affordable Care Act and buoyed hospitals’ bottom lines. Normally, that would spell failure. But in today’s Washington, despite vocal opposition from nearly every major constituency affected by the bill, the vote produced the opposite result. (Kaiser Health News)

What is in the Republican health-care bill? Questions and answers on preexisting conditions, Medicaid and more
Is the bill that passed the House last week intended to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Not entirely. In the seven years since a Democratic Congress and the Obama administration pushed through the ACA, the House has taken more than 60 votes to repeal all or part of it. But last week’s vote was a first-stage effort, with the bill intended — at least originally — to address only those parts of the sprawling law with budgetary implications. (Washington Post)

The next step for the Republican health care bill: a skeptical Senate
On the Senate side, where several Republicans have long been deeply skeptical of the House effort, the health care bill is expected to undergo sweeping changes that might leave it unrecognizable — perhaps stripping away some of the provisions that helped earn the support of hard-right House members and ultimately secure its passage. (New York Times)

As health care bill heads to Senate, 7 winners and losers
The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Republicans hold just a two-seat advantage. GOP senators ranging from moderates to hard-line conservatives have expressed concerns about early versions of the bill — some about potential Medicaid rollbacks, others about the prospect of pulling federal funding for Planned Parenthood, others still who said previous versions left too much of the Affordable Care Act intact. (STAT)

Health care vote could threaten Republican House majority
As soon as the House approved the GOP health care bill on Thursday, Democrats were working on using it against Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. “They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar they carry,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared just after the American Health Care Act passed the House. (National Public Radio)