Laura Ungar, Kaiser Health News

Laura Ungar

Kaiser Health News

St. Louis, MO, United States

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Recent articles by Laura:

With No Legal Guardrails for Patients, Ambulances Drive Surprise Medical Billing

Studies show that at least half of ground ambulance rides across the nation leave patients with “surprise” medical bills. And a $300-a-mile ride is not unusual. Yet federal legislation to stem what… → Read More

Florida’s Cautionary Tale: How Gutting and Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire

As the nation hollowed out its public health infrastructure for decades, staffing and funding fell faster and further in Florida. Then the coronavirus ran roughshod, infecting more than half a mill… → Read More

Politics Slows Flow of US Pandemic Relief Funds to Public Health Agencies

Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint KHN and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money o… → Read More

Maryland County Pledges Investigation of Health Worker’s Coronavirus Death

The disease intervention specialist at the Prince George’s County Health Department was among at least 20 department employees infected by the coronavirus, union officials say. The outbreak undersc… → Read More

Essential and in Danger: Coronavirus Sickens, Even Kills Public Health Workers

As the coronavirus threatens the nation’s public health army, an outbreak in Maryland reflects the tension between serving the community and protecting workers from a deadly disease. → Read More

Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has f… → Read More

As Deaths Mount, Coronavirus Testing Remains Wildly Inconsistent In Long-Term Care

Testing for COVID-19 varies widely across nursing homes and assisted living facilities, even within the same states and communities — increasing the risks for some of America’s most vulnerable seni… → Read More

Millions Stuck At Home With No Plumbing, Kitchen Or Space To Stay Safe

In 470,000 American homes spread across every state, washing hands to prevent COVID-19 may not be as easy as turning on a faucet. They don’t have showers or toilets or, in some cases, even water pi… → Read More

Born Into A Pandemic: Virus Complicates Births For Moms And Babies

COVID-19 is changing medical care, not only for vulnerable elders but also for pregnant women and their babies entering the world. → Read More

Physicians Fear For Their Families As They Battle Coronavirus With Too Little Armor

Doctors sent an impassioned, desperate letter to Congress describing the lack of protective equipment across the country — from masks to respirators to gowns to goggles. They’re using equipme… → Read More

Looking For Answers After Coronavirus Contact? Welcome To The Gray Zone

The COVID-19 outbreak has spawned confusion among health officials, doctors and the public, especially for people who fall into the gray area for testing and deciding whether they need to quarantin… → Read More

Congress Approves Boost In Food Aid For Seniors But Funding Falls Short Of Growing Need

Congress passed legislation Wednesday reauthorizing the Older Americans Act, which provides for home-delivered and group meals. Although proposed funding increases are substantial, they still don’t… → Read More

Five Years Later, HIV-Hit Town Rebounds. But The Nation Is Slow To Heed Lessons.

In February 2015, an unprecedented HIV outbreak fueled by intravenous drug use hit the small city of Austin, Indiana. Under pressure, then-Gov. Mike Pence reluctantly allowed a syringe exchange. Fi… → Read More

Not Just Opioids: Death Toll From Cocaine is Rising

While the U.S. continues to focus mainly on the opioid crisis, cocaine is quietly making a comeback and has become one of the biggest overdose killers of African Americans when tainted with fentanyl. → Read More

Grief Grew Into A Mental Health Crisis And A $21,634 Hospital Bill

She spent five days in the hospital undergoing psychiatric care. The bill she got is about the same price as a new Honda Civic. → Read More

School Districts Double Down On Drug Testing, Targeting Even Middle Schoolers

FORT SCOTT, Kansas — Thirteen-year-old Aura Brillhart and her 11-year-old sister, Morgan, will face a new sort of test in school this year: a drug test. → Read More

Back To School 2019: Backpack, Lunchbox And A Drug Test

As schools begin a new year, more districts will test students as young as 11 for illicit drug use even as other drug prevention efforts are scaled back. More than 1 in 3 school districts nationwid… → Read More

Starving Seniors: How America Fails To Feed Its Aging

One out of every 13 older Americans struggles to find enough food to eat while the federal program intended to help hasn’t kept pace with the graying population. → Read More

Hepatitis A is breaking out across the country in wake of opioid crisis

In the wake of the opioid crisis, the hepatitis A virus is spreading in more than half the states and making its way into the general public. → Read More

Hepatitis A is breaking out across the country in wake of opioid crisis

In the wake of the opioid crisis, the hepatitis A virus is spreading in more than half the states and making its way into the general public. → Read More