Lawsuit seeks to block Virginia’s stricter hemp laws
Two hemp businesses and a private citizen are challenging a Virginia law that instituted tougher limits on hemp products in Virginia in federal court, saying the new rules cause financial harm to hemp businesses and interfere in interstate commerce. The law, which went into effect July 1, set the maximum amount of THC in hemp […]
Why did Kiki Webb have to die?
By Dale M. Brumfield Around 8:00 a.m. on March 7, 2023, Anitrel “Kiki” Webb, a 45-year-old inmate at the all-female Fluvanna Correctional Facility in Troy, Virginia, went to take a shower. Officers found her almost four hours later, hanging from the rod, dead. Webb had been sentenced in Roanoke the previous April to 15 years […]
A life derailed by long COVID
By John Bolecek At the height of the Omicron wave in January 2022, my entire family – me, my wife and two sons, then ages 3 and 6 – got COVID through my younger son’s daycare. I was 38 years old, fit, vaccinated and boosted; because I have asthma, I was worried about getting […]
Death rates for people under 40 have skyrocketed. Blame fentanyl.
A new Stateline analysis shows that U.S. residents under 40 were relatively unscathed by COVID-19 in the pandemic but fell victim to another killer: accidental drug overdose deaths. Death rates in the age group were up by nearly a third in 2021 over 2018, and last year were still 21% higher. COVID-19 was a small […]
Over 60,000 Virginians used Easy Enrollment in medical assistance program’s first year
Thousands of Virginians recently checked a box on their state tax return indicating they were uninsured and wanted to know if they were eligible for medical assistance programs like Medicaid. Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services spokesperson Rebecca Dooley said in an email that last year the agency received 63,982 requests for contact as part […]
Biden administration chooses first 10 drugs for Medicare price negotiations
WASHINGTON — Medicare can now negotiate lower prices for 10 common high-price drugs, cutting out-of-pocket costs for an estimated 9 million seniors and saving taxpayers billions, the Biden administration said Tuesday. Medicare will begin this year to negotiate with the manufacturers of popular medications used to treat blood clots, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic […]
Bon Secours sues Anthem over alleged ‘slow pay and no-pay tactics’ in Virginia
The fight between a major health system in the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions and Virginia’s largest health insurer escalated Monday after Bon Secours Mercy Health’s Virginia operations filed a lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. In a complaint filed in Henrico Circuit Court, Bon Secours says Anthem has adopted “slow pay and no-pay […]
Pregnant workers have new protections. Here’s what to expect from your boss.
Almost two months after workplace accommodations for pregnant workers became law, the rules surrounding what employers can and cannot do have yet to be finalized — but that doesn’t mean the protections are not in place. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed regulations are expected to offer more clarity once finalized, but workers can still […]
Federal judge considers stay in abortion case affecting Montana, Kansas and Virginia
A federal judge in Virginia will likely stay – or pause – a case regarding medical providers and mifepristone, a drug commonly used as part of chemical abortions, because of similar challenges in Texas and Washington. Groups from Virginia, Montana and Kansas had filed the suit in the Charlottesville division of the U.S. District Court […]
A new Medicare proposal would cover training for family caregivers
By Judith Graham / KFF Health News Even with extensive caregiving experience, Patti LaFleur was unprepared for the crisis that hit in April 2021, when her mother, Linda LaTurner, fell out of a chair and broke her hip. LaTurner, 71, had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia seven years before. For two years, she’d been living […]
Abortion pill to stay on the market until U.S. Supreme Court ruling after appeals court order
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday the abortion pill can stay on the market, but it agreed with a lower court that ultimately use should revert to prescribing and dosage instructions that were in place before 2016. That appeals court ruling will immediately be put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides […]
As Medicaid review continues, many Virginians have lost coverage for procedural reasons
Since the start of April, nearly 140,000 Virginians have lost Medicaid coverage as part of the state’s return to normal enrollment processes following the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency. For the past three years, anyone enrolled in Medicaid was allowed to keep their coverage regardless of whether or not they still met […]