America's Safety Net

By Direct Relief | A look at issues facing America's healthcare safety net.

California struggling to enroll African Americans in Obamacare

Latinos aren't the only sore spot for Covered California heading into Monday's enrollment deadline for Obamacare coverage.<p>Very few African Americans have signed up statewide, and there's not much time to address the lackluster turnout. Wednesday, state officials reiterated that Monday remains the …

Health Care

Doctors Say Obamacare Rule Will Stick Them With Unpaid Bills

Doctors worry they won't get paid by some patients because of an unusual 90-day grace period for government-subsidized health plans.<p>So several professional groups for doctors are urging their members to check patients' insurance status before every visit. Consumer advocates say these checks could …

Obamacare Enrollment Surges Past 5 Million

The Obama administration said 5 million Americans have now signed up for health insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, the president signature legislation.<p>As we reported, the Congressional Budget Office had projected 6 million Americans would sign up for health care by …

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Health Care

Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

The poor pay more.<p>According to a report put out this week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, about 68 million Americans -- more than a quarter of all households -- have no checking or savings account and are underserved by the banking system. Collectively, …


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“I feel like I was set up to fail”: Inside a for-profit college nightmare

Some schools feast on federal aid and don't care if the student can repay it. Here's one woman's tragic story<p>Jaqueta Cherry did not have a glittering GPA or a résumé loaded with internships and varsity letters. She dropped out of high school at age 17. But last fall, right after she received a …

Percentage of Americans lacking insurance drops in January

The percentage of Americans who say they lack health insurance ticked down slightly in January, according to new data that appear to reflect the first effects of President Obama’s health law.<p>Gallup, which has regularly tracked Americans’ insurance status, reported Thursday that the share without …

Health Care

LA Times


The Female Face of Poverty

Fifty years after the War on Poverty began, millions of women are still struggling to get by.<p>Let me state the obvious: I have never lived on the brink. I’ve never been in foreclosure, never applied for food stamps, never had to choose between feeding my children or paying the rent, and never feared …

Health Law Inspires Hope But Also Worry Among Those With HIV

Matt Sharphad high hopes for the nation’s health law. The self-employed health consultant is HIV positive and has been denied insurance in the past …

LA Times

Medi-Cal braces for New Year's jolt as Obamacare kicks in

It's one of the next big hurdles for the Obamacare rollout: What will happen when hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians shift from county health plans to the state's huge Medi-Cal system on Jan. 1?<p>Judging from a similar surge in 2011, patients and physicians could see plenty of …

Health Care

E.R. Costs for Mentally Ill Soar, and Hospitals Seek Better Way

RALEIGH, N.C. — As darkness fell on a Friday evening over downtown Raleigh, N.C., Michael Lyons, a paramedic supervisor for Wake County Emergency Medical Services, slowly approached the tall, lanky man who was swaying back and forth in a gentle rhythm.<p>In answer to Mr. Lyons’s questions, the man, …

Health Care

Mapping Uninsured Americans - The New York Times

One dot = people<p><b>InsuredInsurance</b><p>Private<p>Public<p>Both<p><b>Uninsured</b><p>AllNone

LA Times

A Gap in the Affordable Care Act - The New York Times

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Fourteen percent of children age 6 to 19 have untreated cavities, which can cause pain and, in rare cases, death. But the percentage of uninsured children who see a dentist annually declined to 25.2 percent in 2011 from 31.5 percent in 2003, …

Health Care

LA Times