Health

Todd F. Niemand / Flickr

Several motorcycle deaths throughout the Treasure Valley over the last week or so are causing alarm and raising questions about safety.

In a little over a week, five people around the Valley were killed in motorcycle accidents: three in Boise, one in Canyon County and another in Boise County.

The five deaths in such a short amount of time are particularly surprising given there were just five motorcycle deaths across the Treasure Valley in all of 2010.

AP

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a new health care panel for Idaho, and appointed the retiring head of the Health and Welfare Department to lead it.

It’s called the Governor’s Health Care Advisory Panel, or HCAP, and Otter created it last week by executive order. The group’s main job will be to review new federal or state health care initiatives and report to the governor and the Idaho Legislature.

The panel will provide research and guidance on health care policies. Members will also fine-tune the state's strategy for health care policy.

St. Luke's Magic Valley / Facebook

St. Luke’s Health System is distributing over a quarter of a million dollars in grants to Magic Valley nonprofits.

A group of representatives from 30 area charity groups gathered to be awarded shares of $275,000 in Community Health Improvement Grants from St. Luke’s.

Idaho Governor's Office

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday he has picked a new head of the state’s Health and Welfare Department.

Otter is appointing Russ Barron to head the agency. Barron is deputy director and a longtime administrator at Health and Welfare.

Dank Depot / Flickr

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds children with severe epilepsy who suffer from seizures are being helped by a drug derived from marijuana. Findings stemming from the research trial could have impacts on Idaho policy.

Screengrab / Feeding America

A new report shows the number of people dealing with hunger in Idaho has dropped overall. But children in some parts of the state are still struggling to get enough to eat.

The annual study by Feeding America – a national network of food banks – shows that overall food insecurity in the state has decreased incrementally.

Otto Kitsinger / AP

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador says his answer to a question on health care at a recent town hall in northern Idaho wasn't very elegant.

Labrador has received criticism for his comment Friday that no one has died because they didn't have access to health care — a claim disputed by medical experts because they counter that patients without health coverage often risk waiting until their conditions have advanced too far for effective treatment.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans on Sunday to "not let the American people down," as the contentious debate over overhauling the U.S. health care systems shifts to Congress' upper chamber, where a vote is potentially weeks, if not months, away.

Some senators have already voiced displeasure with the health care bill that cleared the House last week, with Republicans providing all the "yes" votes in the 217-213 count. They cited concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions, along with cuts to Medicaid.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A plan from Congressional Republicans to replace Obamacare could result in a mass exodus from Idaho’s online health insurance exchange.

State officials say almost 60,000 people could leave the exchange under the new proposal. Your Health Idaho director Pat Kelly said Friday that’s because it removes tax credit subsidies and the requirement for individuals to have health insurance.

Lucas Polsson / Flickr Creative Commons

Two bills related to faith healing were introduced at the Statehouse Wednesday. The Chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee, Jeff Siddoway, said he’ll probably schedule a full public hearing for one or both of the competing measures.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

At least one member of Idaho's legislative delegation in Washington D.C. says he won't be supporting President Donald Trump's American Health Care Act.

Released by Republican lawmakers earlier this week, the new health care act is the much vaunted and long awaited replacement of former President Obama's healthcare law: the Affordable Care Act.

WBEZ / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation designed to combat opioid addiction has been introduced in the Idaho Legislature.

Rep. John Gannon, a Democrat from Boise, said Monday his bill would slap a second-degree murder charge on anyone who sells heroin to a user who then directly or indirectly dies because of that sale.

The drastically increasing rates of painkiller and heroin abuse have alarmed public officials across the country, but lawmakers have repeatedly struggled to find the right solution as advocacy groups have pushed states to do more.

daya_devi / Flickr

More than 123,000 people in the country need an organ transplant. And it turns out Idahoans are signing up in big numbers on the donation list.

According to figures released Monday, the Idaho Transportation Department says more Idahoans, 64 percent, sign up to donate their organs, compared to the national average of 51 percent.

In 2016, Idahoans donated 169 organs to those in need. That’s up from 113 in 2015.

flu, flu shot, sickness
US Army Corps Of Engineers / Flickr Creative Commons

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is particularly widespread and acute in the Gem State this year. Ten people over the age of 50 have died from the flu so far this season in Idaho.

Boise’s Saint Alphonsus Medical Center reports seeing a spike in instances of flu this January compared to the same month last year. A spokesperson tells the Statesman the hospital has seen a 300 percent increase in cases of the illness.

www.plannedparenthood.org

Women will no longer be banned from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine in Idaho under a newly reached agreement.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands announced Monday that the lawsuit settlement lifts unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.

The organization's lawsuit was directed at two laws passed in 2015 that required doctors to be present when administering pregnancy-ending pills.

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