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This Week In Public Health: When Insurers Bail And Nurses Fail

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Durrie Bouscaren
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St. Louis Public Radio

One thing we've learned at Side Effects is how much geography can factor into what kind of care a person receives. For instance: this week, Durrie Bouscaren looked into what happens when marketplace insurers pack up their bags and say "sayonara," leaving some counties "bare." And Esther Honig reports that in certain Ohio counties, a shortage of nurse examiners can corrupt police investigations into rape allegations. And ‒ oh yeah! ‒ The Senate health bill is finally here!

This week from Side Effects:

A Different Kind of "Bare" Market In most states, this week marked the deadline for insurance companies to submit rate filings for plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange ‒ AKA healthcare.gov. But with more insurers pulling out every year, what happens when certain counties have no ACA plans available? Side Effects Durrie Bouscaren answers your questions. 

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Special Nurses Bring Justice To Rape Survivors  "In small towns and rural areas, when a victim goes to the hospital to complete a rape kit, there’s no guarantee staff will have the expertise to complete it correctly," Reporter Esther Honig writes. In larger cities, special nurses trained to collect evidence of sexual assault or rape can help collect information that could lead to conviction. In Ohio, the number of these forensic nurse examiners is increasing ‒ but there are still areas with shortages of qualified people.

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Credit Kerry Klein / KVPR

What Happens When "Miracle Babies" Grow Up?  "Sick adults are treated very different than sick children; many think we are a burden on society," writes health blogger Rachael Goldring, who suffers from a severe congenital heart condition. When she was being treated by a pediatrician, it was easier for her to find the care she needed. But once she aged out of pediatrics, she was confronted with a painful reality: resources for adults like her just aren't as plentiful. Kerry Klein from Valley Public Radio reports. 

What our reporters are reading elsewhere around the web:

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Remember the GOP’s repeal-and-replace quest? It reached a big milestone this week when the Senate released its version of an Obamacare replacement bill. The Washington Post’s handy graphic explainer can help laypeople and wonks alike make sense of what’s new.

Me time “You know I have the world to think/And you know I gotta go ahead and take some time” sings Solange on "Borderline (An Ode To Self-Care)". Is the recent surge in attention for one’s own well-being a millennial phenomenon? (The millennial author of this newsletter would like to take this opportunity to mention the boomer-supported success of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "Who Moved My Cheese?") NPR looks into the younger generation’s obsession with self-care.

Down in a bunker (Admittedly non-health related) Several Side Effects reporters were obsessed with this week's Terry Gross interview with the author Garrett Graff, who has a new book called "Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself – While the Rest of Us Die." The book describes the bunkers designed to protect government leaders, lines of succession to replace murdered officials and Cold-War era plans for what exactly the United States would look like in the event of a catastrophe

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