Congress, ACA, Persistent Vegetative State discussed on The World

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From NPR news. This is all things considered. I'm Audie Cornish. And I'm Ari Shapiro in Phoenix police are collecting DNA samples from all male employees of a long term care facility a patient there gave birth to a child the woman's tribe says she has been in a persistent vegetative state for more than a decade. Stephanie is a health reporter for the Zona Republic and as e central dot com, and she has been covering this story, which may not be appropriate for some listeners. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me the facility where this place is called hacienda healthcare. Tell us about what happened there. On December twenty ninth. The Phoenix police department got a call that there was an infant in distress at hacienda Healthcare's hacienda to deal, Los Angeles facility. And when they arrived, they found that there was a woman who was incapacitated and she had recently given birth. The police held a press conference that you attended today. They are calling this a case of sexual assault. What else did you learn there? They are asking for the public's assistance. They said that this is the highest priority for the department, and they would like the public's assistance. But they're also have a wide scope out of people that they are testing for DNA samples, they wouldn't specify who. But it's they said it's a large number of individuals. Tell us about the condition of the mother what are you now? Well, the mother is still in the hospital with her baby, and they were both recovering. And she is a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe in southeastern Arizona. That's right. And the tribe issued a statement saying that they are working with Phoenix police on this case and the family has a lawyer they released a statement saying that the baby was born a baby boy born into a loving family. And that the baby will be well cared for. What has the response been from the facility that was supposed to be caring for this woman who was impregnated while apparently in a persistent vegetative state? Well, one thing we don't know is whether staff knew that she was pregnant before she gave birth. I mean, the police didn't get the call until the baby was born. So we don't know whether the staff knew or if they just found out, then we also know that the CEO who was in charge at the time when she became pregnant and gave birth stepped down on Monday. What kind of facility is hacienda healthcare? Well, the facility this woman was in is an intermediate described as an intermediate level facility. For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Hacienda. Also cares for it's got several programs to provide medical and therapeutic services for medically fragile infants children and young adults. Obviously there are legal considerations. Here. Police are investigating. But there are also medical oversight questions here. This was a facility that was supposed to be caring for its patients and appears to have agreed to sleep failed at that responsibility. What what are the implications there? Well, that's a good question that we are trying to find out ourselves. It's part of our coverage and the police are working with several state agencies including adult protective services, the division of developmental disabilities in the department of health services, but we are trying to find out who is actually watch dogging for these vulnerable patients in these facilities. I mean is it just their family? Or who from the state is is watching out for them. And that's something we're trying to figure out and just briefly. How unusual is it for all the male employees of facility like this to be asked to give a DNA sample to the police? How how how precedent? Exactly, yeah. You know? I don't know the answer to that question. But I do know that they can compel the employee's to give their DNA they're asking them to do it voluntarily. But if they don't they can get a quarter and force them to do that. That was something that came out of the press conference today. Stephanie NS is a health reporter for the Arizona Republican as e central dot com. Thank you. Thank you. Democrats know, why voters sent them to Washington this year healthcare in their campaigns. They promised to protect the Affordable Care Act and the access to coverage that a guaranteed for many people many went even further promising Medicare for everybody. Now, the Democrats have control of the house. Those ambitions are meeting up with reality NPR's, Alison kodjak reports in her first speech, a speaker of the house last week Nancy Pelosi made it clear that she knows healthcare is why voters sent Democrats to congress in the past two years. The American people have spoken. Tens of thousands of public events were held hundreds of thousands of people turned out millions of calls were made countless families even sit little children are little lobbyist. Little log is bravely came forward to tell their stories, and they made a big difference there mandate she says to lower healthcare costs prescription drug prices and protect people with preexisting. Medical conditions on their first day. Democrats made their first move they voted to allow the house to intervene in a lawsuit to protect the Affordable Care Act. The house will join several state attorneys general and appealing Texas. Judge's ruling that the law is unconstitutional. Both with control of just one chamber of congress and with a hostile president Democrats power to influence health policy. May be limited congressman Frank Pallone is head of the energy and commerce committee, which has jurisdiction over parts of the Affordable Care Act in an interview he acknowledged that Democrats will likely have to settle for hearings and lawsuits because it will be hard to pass substantial legislation. You know at a time when the Trump administration is doing all this sabotage of the ACA. I mean, I think the focus really has to be on trying to prevent the sabotage and making sure the is strengthened according to Pallone that sabotage includes Trump's decision to stop reimbursing insurance companies for discounts. They're required by law to give to their lowest income clients and the department of health and human services change to the guidelines that allow people to buy insurance policies that don't carry the full benefits required by the ACA. I think a lot of it is not even legal, right? In other words it via. Hates the law. So he's planning hearings to examine whether the changes are illegal or I think if you do some good oversight and find out what the sabotage consists of then you can say, well, this isn't allowed under the law. And then you either take it to court or you, you know, try to get legislation passed I don't think we can underestimate how important that is when decisions that are being made our question. I'm an official have to defend them. That's Chiquita Brooks lake shore, managing director at Manatt health strategies. She says for the last two years, the focus in Washington has been on repealing the Affordable Care Act that energy canal shift to examining what the administration is doing and putting forth, other ideas and other proposals some of which might generate bipartisan agreement there may be some Republicans support for shoring up the ACA in the last Congress Republican Senator Lamar Alexander. Proposed some Bill to stabilize the ACA. Marketplace's Pallone acknowledges Democrats plans are much less ambitious than the Medicare for all proposals that many of his colleagues touted during their campaigns. I just think it's unlikely that we could ever pay us it. So I don't want to prioritize that that he says is the reality of a divided congress..

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