Today’s NewsStand – March 27, 2019

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

Iowa News

Disasters, rough year could impact mental health for ag workers
“Suicide among farmers is still probably the highest of any occupational group,” says Dr. Michael Rosmann, a clinical psychologist based out of Harlan. Dr. Rosmann is a nationally recognized leader in agricultural psychology. He’s also an Iowa farmer who understands what can happen when the weather takes a toll, like it did for many Midwest farmers during spring floods. He says it’s common for farm workers to experience significant mental health issues. (CBS2Iowa)

Drug-related crashes up in Iowa, while the number of alcohol-related crashes fall
While alcohol-related crashes are on the decline in Iowa, drug-related crashes are seeing the opposite effect. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s most recent report shows there were 68 drug-related crashes in 2017. It’s a jump from the 36 recorded in 2014, which is not long after some states legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The department’s 2017 numbers show there were 78 crashes related to alcohol use, which ties with 2014’s numbers for the lowest count in eight years. (CBS2Iowa)

Area counties vary on public health budgeting
As local county governments have passed their budgets for the 2019-20 fiscal year, many have done so with a large portion going to public health care. The budgets reflect a growing need in the communities they serve for outpatient or post hospital patient needs. The departments tend to cover a large territory like in the case of Hancock County which is over 900 square miles and 11,341 residents in the county. But the budgeting for many services varies from county to county. (KIOW)

National News

Dems unveil plan to build up Obamacare as Trump steps up attacks
House Democrats rolled out a proposal Tuesday to build up Obamacare just one day after the Trump administration told a court that the entire law should be struck down. It was another opportunity for Democrats to corner Republicans on the issue of health care. They say the issue cost the GOP the House majority in the midterms. Democrats say the Obamacare changes are needed to reverse the Trump administration’s “sabotage” of the health care law. (The Hill)

What happens if Obamacare is struck down?
The Affordable Care Act was already in peril after a federal judge in Texas invalidated the entire law late last year. But the stakes ramped up again this week, when President Trump’s Justice Department announced it had changed its position and agreed with the judge that the entire law, not just three pieces of it, should be scrapped. A coalition of states is appealing the ruling. If it is upheld, tens of millions more people would be affected than those who already rely on the nine-year-old law for health insurance. (New York Times)

How media organizations can help mitigate suicide contagion
NPR health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee covers mental health and suicide contagion. Studies have shown that knowing or hearing about or reading about someone else’s suicide – it could be someone in your life, someone you don’t know – it can increase your own risk of suicide especially if you’re already feeling depressed, down and already thinking about death. The media’s coverage of suicide plays a role, but it’s not so much just covering it but how we talk about suicide. (Iowa Public Radio)