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A man walks through the flags of the 'In America: Remember' public art installation near the Washington Monument on Sept. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C. The installation commemorated all the Americans who have died due to COVID-19. It was based on a concept by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, and includes more than 650,000 small plastic flags, some with personal messages to those who have died, planted in 20 acres of the National Mall. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. continue to be undercounted, research shows

BY: , , and - January 27, 2023

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, a recurring topic of debate has been whether official COVID-19 death statistics in the U.S. accurately capture the fatalities associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Some politicians and a few public health practitioners have argued that COVID-19 deaths are overcounted. For instance, a January […]

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, held a roundtable on Jan. 25, 2023, on the role of social media platforms in the sale of illicit drugs, specifically fentanyl-laced drugs. (Photo by Ashley Murray/States Newsroom)

U.S. House GOP takes aim at fake pills containing deadly fentanyl sold on social media

BY: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a June 2020 morning, Amy Neville entered her son’s bedroom to wake him for an orthodontist appointment.  Fourteen-year-old Alex didn’t wake up.  He died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a counterfeit pill he bought from someone he met on Snapchat, Neville told GOP lawmakers Wednesday during a roundtable discussion of the role […]

Federal judge could decide as soon as February to yank abortion pill nationwide

BY: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — A Texas judge could decide as soon as next month whether to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull its two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States.  A nationwide injunction in the case, as requested by anti-abortion groups, would […]

for a fitness class because she was “getting kind of wobbly.” (Photo by Christina Saint Louis/KHN)

Rural seniors benefit from pandemic-driven remote fitness boom

BY: - January 23, 2023

MALMO, Minn. — Eight women, all 73 or older, paced the fellowship hall at Malmo Evangelical Free Church to a rendition of Daniel O’Donnell’s “Rivers of Babylon” as they warmed up for an hourlong fitness class. The women, who live near or on the eastern shore of Mille Lacs Lake, had a variety of reasons […]

A sign for a store that accepts food stamps and exchange benefits transfer cards is seen in this 2019 photo. Ten Alaskans are suing the state over its failure to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Lawsuit says Alaska Department of Health exposed thousands to hunger risk by not giving food aid

BY: - January 20, 2023

Ten Alaskans are suing the state, saying it failed to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. The complaint was filed Friday in Superior Court in Anchorage against Alaska Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg. The lawsuit said that in her role as commissioner of a department that failed to provide needed services, Hedberg “has […]

A grouping of red-colored, rod shaped, Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause tuberculosis, is seen in a microscopic image captured in 2010. Tuberculosis plagued Alaska in the 20th century, and even in modern times Alaska's rates are much higher than the U.S. national rate. Rates jumped dramatically in 2022, state epidemiolgists reported. (Photo provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Tuberculosis, a disease that devastated Alaska in the past, took a big jump in 2022

BY: - January 20, 2023

Cases of tuberculosis, a disease that has long been a scourge in Alaska, spiked in the state in 2022, possibly because of a lapse in detection and treatment linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials reported. Alaska had 96 identified cases of active tuberculosis in the year, according to preliminary figures, a total that was […]

A sign noting the acceptance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that are used by state welfare departments to issue benefits is displayed at a convenience store on Dec. 4, 2019, in Richmond, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

BY: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

Niviaaluk (Nivi) Brandt with their second child in Nome, Alaska. This photo was taken in 2017. (Photo provided by Niviaaluk Brandt)

Nome mom overcomes barriers to abortion and finds new freedom

BY: - January 17, 2023

Most abortions are banned in 14 states in the country as of early January. Alaska is not one of them. The right to have an abortion here is protected under the state constitution’s privacy provision.  But that doesn’t mean it’s equitable for all Alaskans to access one. Due to Alaska’s vastness and limited number of […]

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, with Gov. Mike Dunleavy, speaks in Wasilla at a May 3, 2022 press conference on opioids. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Report shows Alaska has almost eliminated its backlog of untested sexual assault evidence

BY: - January 12, 2023

Alaska’s backlog of untested sexual assault examination kits has all but disappeared after a five-year, multimillion-dollar effort, according to a report that will be formally presented to the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday.  The kits, colloquially known as “rape kits,” are used to collect physical evidence after a sexual assault. Figures published by the Alaska Department […]

Fireplaces being used inside the U.S. Capitol send smoke into the sky the night of Jan. 6, 2023, as House members prepare for a 14th vote on the selection of a speaker. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

U.S. House Republicans push through two anti-abortion measures in first work week

BY: - January 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday approved its first abortion-related measures under a new Republican majority, eliciting strong support from GOP members and opposition from Democrats, who rejected the legislation as misleading and incomplete.  Republicans, who secured a four-seat majority during the November midterm elections, said the bill setting medical standards on a national […]

COMMENTARY
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Health insurance just might save you — sign up at healthcare.gov by Jan. 15

BY: - January 10, 2023

If you don’t have health insurance — or just want to explore your options — go to healthcare.gov on or before January 15th to get covered with affordable health insurance now. Having and keeping good quality affordable health care is personal for me. The Affordable Care Act saved my life. In 2017, I walked into […]

Bills filed ahead of Alaska legislative session seek changes to health care, social justice

BY: - January 10, 2023

Several bills prefiled for the Alaska Legislative session that starts next week focus on health care and social justice issues, like abortion, access to contraceptives and marriage equality – bills and resolutions the Legislature has seen before. House Joint Resolution 1 seeks to amend the Alaska Constitution by repealing Article 1, section 25, which says, […]