Health & Human Services

Tackling Rural America’s ‘Hidden’ Housing Crisis

Over the past two years, the rate of homelessness and housing insecurity rose faster in rural places than the country at large, but community-based organizations are in a unique position to offer solutions.

Seattle Explores a Different Approach to Affordable Housing

Social housing typically centers on permanent affordability, tenant leadership and equity. It's an approach used by cities all over the world, and one some Seattle residents are hoping to see in their own community.

Medicaid Expansion Narrowed Racial Gaps in Hospitalization

COMMENTARY | Expanding Medicaid eligibility reduced Black-white disparities in preventable hospitalizations and ER visits by 10% or more, a new study shows.

L.A.’s Scoring System for Subsidized Housing Gives Unhoused Black and Latino People Lower Priority Scores

An investigation by The Markup found racial disparities in L.A.’s intake system for people experiencing homelessness.

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New Tools Help State and Local Governments Battle Ransomware, Other Big Disasters

When governments find themselves being ransomed, their choices are typically to pay, which will undercut their ability to deliver key services to their communities due to budget restrictions, or not pay, resulting in the immediate inability to serve their communities and the loss of key data that will inevitably plague them for years afterwards.

Schools Struggle With Lead in Water While Awaiting Federal Relief

President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address that federal funds will pay to replace lead pipes in hundreds of thousands of schools and child care centers. In the meantime, schools are dealing with high lead levels now.

Idaho Dropped Thousands From Medicaid in the Pandemic’s First Years

The removals, detailed in emails between state and federal health officials, hinged on disagreements over how states could disenroll people during the public health emergency. Consumer advocates fear the alleged violation signals the mess to come on April 1, when the pandemic-era Medicaid coverage mandate ends.

States Strive to Help SNAP Recipients Cope With Lower Benefits

More than 41 million people bought food with SNAP benefits last year.

Which State You Live in Matters for How Well Environmental Laws Protect Your Health

COMMENTARY | An environmental health lawyer explains why some states have weaker rules than others, and how you can make your concerns heard.

California Dangles Bonuses for Nursing Homes That Add Staff

Rather than simply reward top-performing facilities, the state’s Medicaid program will hand bonuses to nursing homes — even low-rated ones — for hiring more workers and reducing staff turnover.

A New Lawsuit Seeks the Right to Reimburse Stolen Food Stamp Benefits

SNAP recipients have sued the USDA to undo a rule that bars New York from using federal funds to replace stolen food stamp dollars. A ruling could set a nationwide precedent.

Texas Town Tries a New Model for Saving Rural Health Care

Federal pandemic aid that has helped many rural hospitals stave off collapse is rapidly drying up.

Amid Dire Suicide Rates in Montana, Governor Expands Student Mental Health Screening

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced a $2.1 million grant using federal aid after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have essentially addressed the same needs of young people at risk of suicide.

This Microshelter Can be Built in Under an Hour

The popularity of tiny housing units for people experiencing homelessness increased during the pandemic but remains a relatively low-cost alternative to traditional shelters.

States Scramble to Replace Ripped-Off SNAP Benefits

Food stamp cards don’t have the technological or consumer protections of credit and debit cards.

SNAP Emergency Allotments Scheduled to Terminate in March

According to hunger relief experts, amending the 2023 Farm Bill is the only sustainable way to shield rural households from increased food insecurity long-term.

Neighborhood 'Walkability' May Boost Exercise, Lower BMI

People who live in walkable neighborhoods are more likely to exercise and have lower BMIs. But the finding differs by race and ethnicity.

End Nears for Covid Public Health Emergency

But expansions of key safety net programs that involve states are no longer tied to the directive and are already set to wind down.

Dollar Stores Are the Fastest Growing Food Stores in the U.S.

Dollar stores are now the fastest-growing food retailers in the contiguous United States—and have doubled their share in rural areas, according to a new study.

More States Are Doing What They Can to Cap Insulin Costs

Twenty-two states limit copays for patients in Obamacare or state worker health plans.

Top State Democrats Outline Legislative Priorities

Where the party has majorities, they hope to focus on issues like housing, voting rights and criminal justice. In GOP-controlled states, they want to hold the line against Republican proposals on abortion, school vouchers and guns.