Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom hold a Bans OFF rally in Columbus on October 8, 2023. (Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal)

Abortion-rights victories cement 2024 playbook while opponents scramble for new strategy

BY: - November 13, 2023

Anti-abortion leaders woke up Wednesday to the sobering reality that abortion rights remain the nation’s predominant political issue. Decisive wins in swing and red states in two national election cycles since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year have given momentum to reproductive rights groups, who aggressively campaigned and fundraised in key states across the […]

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Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities seeks funding boost to programs

BY: - November 13, 2023

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is seeking a $72 million budget increase to expand early intervention services for small children and crisis care for adults. The proposed increase would expand a program that provides emergency intervention for people with disabilities experiencing mental health crises.. Demand for START Assessment and Stabilization Teams continues […]

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives greeting each other on opening day of session. Jan. 9, 2023.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Visual analysis: Centene’s push in Tenn. comes as settlements with other states for fraud pile up

BY: - November 10, 2023

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correctly identify Centene’s prison health care subsidiary. Health care services company Centene is undergoing an aggressive push to become one of the companies to manage TennCare plans, Tennessee’s Medicaid program. But since 2021, the company has settled allegations that it overbilled or fraudulent charged Medicaid programs in […]

Anti-abortion groups lead efforts to kill legislation or narrow exception language. (Photo: Getty Images)

Most Americans want health exceptions in abortion bans. Political infighting keeps blocking them.

BY: - November 7, 2023

In early October, an Idaho woman 20 weeks into her pregnancy went to the emergency room after her water broke about five months early. When the water breaks prematurely, an infection can develop and infect the fetus, placenta and other fluids. At that stage of pregnancy, the threat of infection becomes a ticking clock for […]

VA reports major uptick in veterans’ care after passage of toxic exposure law

BY: - November 7, 2023

Veterans experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts should dial 988 or chat at WASHINGTON — Veterans’ care in the United States set all-time records in fiscal year 2023, “shattering” the agency’s performance in previous years, in large part because of an expansion of benefits under the Biden administration, U.S. Secretary of Veterans […]

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tenn. Attorney General urges look at Ballad Health amid community concerns over monopoly deal

BY: - November 6, 2023

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments from Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.) Tennessee’s attorney general says the state needs to pay attention to concerns of East Tennesseans about Ballad Health, a state-approved hospital monopoly.  “I think there has to be a lot of thought given to where things are moving,” said […]

Cancer is one of several conditions for which mifepristone is a potentially effective treatment. (Getty Images)

Doctor suing FDA recruited to scientific advisory board to ‘repurpose’ abortion pill

BY: - October 30, 2023

One of the anti-abortion doctors suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rescind its 2000 approval of a medication abortion regimen on the basis that one of the drugs is dangerous is now consulting on the development of a breast cancer treatment that involves the same drug: mifepristone. It is the family doctor’s latest […]

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, opposes extension of TennCare’s primary contracts as part of a continued effort to award a separate health-care company a contract after it lost a bid. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Republicans push for delay of TennCare’s main contracts

BY: - October 30, 2023

Tennessee’s House speaker is opposing extension of TennCare’s primary contracts as part of a continued effort to award a separate health-care company suing the state after it lost a contract bid two years ago.  The Tennessee Legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee delayed a vote on extending TennCare’s primary contracts as House Republican leaders sought more time […]

Protesters gather in opposition to the closure of the neonatal intensive care unit at Holston Valley Medical Center, a Ballad Health hospital, in 2019. (Photo: Dani Cook)

Carter County measure calling for more state scrutiny of Ballad Health fails to pass

BY: - October 24, 2023

The Carter County Commission failed to pass a resolution asking Tennessee officials to better regulate Ballad Health, a state-sanctioned East Tennessee hospital monopoly.  Commissioners voted 11-9 in favor of the resolution, but two abstentions and two absent members prevented the tally from reaching the 13 yes votes required for passage.  The resolution stems from a […]

While the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet accepted the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine’s case against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the high court already has involved itself by temporarily blocking a federal appellate court decision that would restrict the use of the abortion pill mifepristone. (Getty Images)

Legislators in 49 states ask SCOTUS to preserve access to abortion pill

BY: - October 16, 2023

A group of more than 600 Democratic legislators from 49 states have signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging the justices to overturn an appellate court decision that would roll back access to mifepristone, one of two drugs used to safely terminate early pregnancies and treat miscarriages. The amicus brief, also called […]

Johnson City Medical Center, a flagship hospital for Ballad Health, has received a rating of one star out of five from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.(Brett Kelman/KFF Health News)

East Tennessee official says Ballad Health issued threat to care after community protest

BY: - October 11, 2023

An East Tennessee county commission will vote later this month on a resolution asking Tennessee lawmakers to break up or better regulate Ballad Health, a hospital chain that operates in the region as a state-sanctioned hospital monopoly.  But amid discussions of the resolution, Carter County Commissioner Nick Holder warned that if the resolution is approved […]

Flowers and stuffed animals piled in a memorial to victims of the March 27 mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Pastors and pediatricians join for campaign to end gun violence

BY: - October 9, 2023

The Rev. Dr. J. Lawrence Turner, a Memphis pastor, and Nashville physician Dr. Kelsey Gastineau have witnessed first-hand the impact of gun violence in Tennessee. Turner recently held a newborn baby boy in his arms to offer a blessing after the shooting death of his father, a young parishioner of the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church […]