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Health Care

Nurses check on a patient in a Jonesboro, Ark., ICU in August when the delta variant sparked yet another surge of serious COVID-19 cases in the region. The pandemic has only added to a longstanding nursing shortage in the U.S., statistics show. Houston Cofield/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Houston Cofield/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. needs more nurses, but nursing schools don't have enough slots

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In between answering 911 calls, Jerrad Dinsmore (left) and Kevin LeCaptain perform a wellness check at the home of a woman in her nineties. The ambulance team in the small town of Waldoboro, Maine was already short-staffed. Then a team member quit recently, after the state mandated all health care workers get the COVID-19 vaccine. Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio hide caption

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Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio

In Maine, a looming vaccine deadline for EMTs is stressing small-town ambulance crews

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Erica Cuellar, her husband and her daughter moved in with her father in his home early in the pandemic, after she lost her job. She and her husband were worried they wouldn't be able to afford the rent on their house in Houston with only one income. In July 2020, the whole family tested positive for the coronavirus. Michael Starghill for NPR hide caption

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Michael Starghill for NPR

Dr. Rachel Levine testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee on Capitol Hill in Washington in February. Levine was appointed to lead the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, becoming the nation's first openly transgender four-star officer. Caroline Brehman/AP hide caption

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Patients say telehealth is OK, but most prefer to see their doctor in person

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Subin Yang for NPR

Applying for health insurance doesn't have to be confusing. Here's a handy glossary

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Pastor Billy Joe Lewis was all in favor when a local health worker suggested a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the parking lot of his church in Smilax, Ky. "We've still got to use common sense," Lewis says. "Anything that can ward off suffering and death, I think, is a wonderful thing." Jessica Tezak for KHN hide caption

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Jessica Tezak for KHN

A doctor stands at a walk-up coronavirus testing site at West County Health Center in San Pablo, Calif., in April 2020. Pandemic burnout has affected thousands of health care workers. Jessica Christian/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images hide caption

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Jessica Christian/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

The vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The White House says Thursday that the U.S. will commit 17 million additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union. Picture Alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I hide caption

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Picture Alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

Women rights activists hold up signs as they gather in Washington, DC. to protest the new abortion law in Texas. While she was instrumental to the early abortion-rights movement, many in the crown may not have known the name Pat Maginnis. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images hide caption

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Remembering an Abortion Rights Activist Who Spurned the Spotlight

Patricia Maginnis, who was 93 when she died on August 30, may have been the first person to publicly call for abortion to be completely decriminalized in America. Despite her insistence on direct action on abortion-rights at a time when many were uncomfortable even saying the word "abortion," Maginnis is not a bold letter name of the movement. That may be because she didn't seek the limelight and she cared more for action then self-presentation.

Remembering an Abortion Rights Activist Who Spurned the Spotlight

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Hospitals in Idaho, like St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, remain full after the summer delta surge pushed many to their limits. Kyle Green/AP hide caption

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Kyle Green/AP

With hospitals crowded from COVID, 1 in 5 American families delays health care

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Registered nurse Christie Lindog works at the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, Calif., on Sept. 2. Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Hospitals brace for an onslaught this winter, from flu as well as COVID

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Colorado's UCHealth hospital system is requiring any prospective organ transplant recipients to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here, a man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Thornton, Colo., earlier this year. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images hide caption

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Evidence seized from a drug trafficking operation in central California in early 2020 included methamphetamine and fentanyl with a street value of $1.5 million, authorities said. Tulare County Sheriff's Office via AP hide caption

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Tulare County Sheriff's Office via AP

Studies show burnout ran rampant in health care prior to the pandemic. Now it's a full-blown crisis. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

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The Toll Of Burnout On Medical Workers — And Their Patients

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Matthew Crecelius, a traveling contract nurse who has worked in a dozen hospitals since the pandemic began, says that he can recall numerous instances where health care worker burnout has had a direct impact on patient care. Elaine Cromie for NPR hide caption

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Elaine Cromie for NPR

Democratic lawmakers are proposing a way to offer low-income adults Medicaid in states that have so far refused to expand the program. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spoke about the issue during a press conference with fellow lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol on September 23, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images hide caption

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Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Cox Medical Center in Branson, Mo., is implementing a personal panic button system for hundreds of its employees. Assaults of hospital staff tripled from 2019 to 2020, the hospital says. Brandei Clifton/Cox Medical Center hide caption

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Brandei Clifton/Cox Medical Center