Affordable Care Act

By all accounts, the recently-ended U.S. Supreme Court term has been an historic one. With major rulings concerning same-sex marriage, health care subsidies, lethal injection, religious symbols and free speech, social media and free speech, political redistricting, religious freedom in prison, and several other areas, the high court has put forth decisions in recent days and weeks that will undoubtedly influence American life in countless ways.

On this installment of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Linda Johnston, the Director of Social Services for Tulsa County. Last month, Johnston spoke briefly with Steve Innskeep of NPR's Morning Edition about the County's Drug Recycling Program, which began in 2004.

On this episode of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host Dr. John Schumann speaks with reporter April Dembosky, who covers health care issues and medical news for public-radio station KQED in San Francisco (and also for NPR, on occasion). Dembosky recently participated in a segment on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered that carried the headline "Calif.

At the end of 2014, a surprising announcement appeared in the Tulsa World. A subsequent news item expanding on this announcement had the following headline: "Morton Clinics Won't Accept New Uninsured Patients, Citing State Cuts to Funding." Morton Comprehensive Health Services -- with clinics in Tulsa, Nowata, and Bartlesville -- is one of Northeastern Oklahoma's leading providers of health care for uninsured patients.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we speak with reporter Laura Ungar of USA TODAY, who's the co-author of an excellent and far-reaching series of articles -- entitled "Rural Hospitals in Critical Condition," and decidedly multi-media in both its execution and presentation -- that have appeared recently in the online and print versions of that newspaper.

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On this National Rural Health Care Day, people are being urged to take a look at what specific benefits the Affordable Care Act offers rural areas. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in an interview with KWGS, said there are initiatives created by the Act to specifically address critical needs in rural communities.

Vilsack says his Department is awarding grants to remote areas, including in Oklahoma, where it is difficult to deliver health care services.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma and five other states have filed legal papers with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of their challenge against the Affordable Care Act.

Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia are challenging billions of dollars in Internal Revenue Service subsidies being handed out as part of the implementation of the law. The case is scheduled for argument in March.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Dr. Donald Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick is also a former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and he has served on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as the staffs of Boston's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

On this edition of ST on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Tracy Davenport, a self-described "health care coordinator" --- basically, this means she's a freelance case manager who works to help patients and/or their families navigate today's ever-more-complicated medical system. It's often about being a good listener and asking lots of questions, says Davenport, who's had many years of experience as a registered nurse.

Everyone knows, as even President Obama himself has recently admitted, that the arrival of the Affordable Care Act has been, frankly, a disaster. So far, anyway. But what happens next? And more precisely, what happens next in our neck of the woods?

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