Health

Coal Train Traffic Increase Could Be Bad News For Health

Mar 29, 2012
Courtney Flatt

There are now six new export terminals proposed to be built along the Northwest coast. The goal? To bring American coal to Asia, via train and ship.

If these terminals are approved that could mean more than 100 million tons of coal traveling by rail across Idaho, Washington and Oregon every year.

The potential for more train traffic has public health experts concerned. 

National Women’s Law Center

A nationwide study says Idaho has one of the widest gaps between how much money insurers charge women and men. The survey by the National Women’s Law Center found Idaho women pay around $700 more each year.

The National Women’s Law Center reviewed the rates of the best-selling insurers in states that allow a practice known as “gender rating.” The Center found that in Idaho a 40-year-old non-smoking woman is typically offered a rate 40 percent higher than any man her age. That’s even when comparing plans that don’t cover maternity care.

National Women's Law Center

A new nationwide study says Idaho has one of the widest gaps between how much money insurers charge men and women. The survey by the National Women’s Law Center found women pay around $700 more each year. The practice, known as “gender rating,” is banned under the health care overhaul now before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Courtesy Bob Shaper / Northwest News Network

Angel Flight is a group of volunteer pilots. They fly people with medical needs from small towns to big cities where major hospitals are.

During the down economy the last few years, requests for these missions have nearly doubled. So far the group has managed to keep up, but the growing number of patients needing a ride doesn’t seem to to be slowing down.

Scott Ki / BSPR

A federal judge released a doctor’s report today on health care at Idaho’s oldest and largest prison.  Dr. Marc Stern wrote the study.  Stern “found serious problems with the delivery of medical and mental health care” at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.  Stern believes that  “authorities are deliberately indifferent to the serious health care needs” of the inmates. 

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. with just a few dozen doctors to help everyone. But in the country of South Sudan that is the reality. There are 50 licensed doctors to help more than eight million people. Thomas Burke knows this situation well. He’s the chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights. That’s part of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He’s helped create a medical program for 400 students.

Pages