Health Care The state of health care, health insurance, new medical research, disease prevention, and drug treatments. Interviews, news, and commentary from NPR's correspondents. Subscribe to podcasts.

Health Care

Generics may not have the same cost-lowering power for specialty medicines, such as multiple sclerosis drugs, researchers find. That's true especially when other brand-name drugs are approved to treat a given disease before the first generic is approved. Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Norm Ciha says he lost his bedding, clothes and the medicine he'd been prescribed to treat hepatitis C during a sweep of his camp outside an Ikea in Emeryville, Calif., in November 2018. Anna Maria Barry-Jester/Kaiser Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Anna Maria Barry-Jester/Kaiser Health News
Katie Edwards/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Reduce Health Costs By Nurturing The Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/794063152/794704516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Student demonstrators cheered in 2015 outside the Supreme Court after learning that the high court had upheld the Affordable Care Act as law of the land. But Republican foes of the federal health law are still working to have it struck down. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

from local story: "Sickle cell pain has a mind of its own," said Anesha Barnes, who's had the disease since she was a baby. She says the longer she stays in a pain crisis, the harder it is to break out of it. Johnathon Kelso hide caption

toggle caption
Johnathon Kelso

Effort To Control Opioids In An ER Leaves Some Sickle Cell Patients In Pain

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/782654754/793134393" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Massachusetts woman who had an abortion when she was 15 stands outside the Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston. Right now, girls facing that decision who don't want to tell their parents must get a judge's approval. Jesse Costa/Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Jesse Costa/Jesse Costa/WBUR

Massachusetts May Drop Requirement That Minors Get Permission For Abortion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/789966125/792976384" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

From left: Sekou Sheriff, of Barkedu village in Liberia, whose parents died at an Ebola treatment center; a polio vaccination booth in Pakistan; a schoolgirl in Ethiopia examines underwear with a pocket for a menstrual pad; an image from a video on the ethics of selfies; Consolata Agunga goes door-to-door as a community health worker in her village in Kenya. From left: John Poole/NPR; Jason Beaubien/NPR; Courtesy of Be Girl Inc.; SAIH Norway/Screenshot by NPR; Marc Silver/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
From left: John Poole/NPR; Jason Beaubien/NPR; Courtesy of Be Girl Inc.; SAIH Norway/Screenshot by NPR; Marc Silver/NPR

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, appeared before the House Oversight Committee during a contentious hearing on drug pricing on Feb. 4, 2016. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Eliza Oliver helps her daughter, Taelyn, step down from the exam table after a wellness check at the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Fort Scott, Kan. The child's doctor now has a medical scribe to takes notes. The visit this time seemed more "personal," Oliver says. Sarah Jane Tribble/Kaiser Health News hide caption

toggle caption
Sarah Jane Tribble/Kaiser Health News

1 Year After Losing Its Hospital, A Rural Town Is Determined To Survive

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/790866426/793978436" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Texas will soon enact a law to prevent patients from getting hit with surprise medical bills. seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images

Since its passage, the Affordable Care Act has been the subject of multiple court cases and attempts to derail it in Congress — attempts that garnered protests in 2017 and beyond. The law has survived, so far, but a key provision was struck down Wednesday in federal court. Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The spending bill to fund the government for the next fiscal year is expected to pass by Friday. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Some Big Health Care Policy Changes Are Hiding In The Federal Spending Package

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/789291340/790964472" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists Reach Out To Minority Communities To Diversify Alzheimer's Studies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/787772971/789036932" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chef Tunde Wey uses food as a tool for social justice. His company, BabyZoos, aims to use profits from the sale of applesauce to hospitals to fund ventures that create more economic opportunities for African Americans in an effort to close racial wealth — and health — gaps. L. Kasimu Harris for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
L. Kasimu Harris for NPR

Families affected by preexisting medical conditions attend a Capitol Hill news conference in 2018 in support of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to the ACA, insurers could refuse to cover people who had even mild preexisting conditions — or charge them much more. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Andrew Harnik/AP

Nearly 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, planes still lag behind many buses and trains. Regulations prohibit passengers from sitting in their own wheelchairs on commercial flights. Jon Hicks/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Jon Hicks/Getty Images