Category: COVID-19

The Hidden Health Consequences of COVID

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

COVID-19 has left its mark in more ways than the number  of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, deaths, and long-term consequences indicate. While the COVID-19 pandemic is having a direct detrimental effect on public health, the economy, and our social lives, there are many indirect medical consequences as well. 

In 2021, the death rate in the United States was the highest it has ever been — especially in the 15-44 age range. While the death rates for cancer, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and stroke rose slightly, deaths from COVID-19 infection and indirect deaths from other conditions due to COVID-19 were the major contributors to this increase. From 2020 to 2021 COVID deaths increased from 351,000 to 415,000, an 11.8% increase. For every 21 deaths from COVID-19 there were another four deaths from other causes that the COVID-19 pandemic was indirectly responsible for, such as chronic disease — especially diabetes, suicide, drug overdose, and homicide. 

The

Read more

Increasing COVID Costs for Uninsured Could Fuel Next Surge

We have been discussing the costs associated with COVID-19 for nearly two years. Earlier this year, we covered how the ongoing pandemic has affected employment and insurance status of millions of Americans. Now federal funds for vaccines, testing, and treatment of the novel coronavirus have run out and additional funding has failed to pass through Congress, leaving the 28 million uninsured Americans responsible for paying the costs themselves.

For most of the public health crisis even uninsured patients could receive free preventative vaccines, tests to detect the coronavirus, and treatment if infected. Unfortunately, this information hadn’t been widely circulated leading to many to not seeking necessary care — with sometimes tragically fatal results. Slow vaccination rates have even been partly caused by patients thinking they’d be charged for it. Despite an average of 30,000 new cases in the United States each day, uninsured patients have begun to be turned away from testing sites if they’re unable to cover the $100-$200 cost.

People without health insurance have been at a

Read more

Politics Affect Interpretation of COVID Science, Prolong Pandemic

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

The response to COVID-19 is still a political issue and the resulting division between political parties within the United States has persisted and is still having an adverse effect on the pandemic. The division began almost as soon as the presence of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in this country.

Much of this division was the result of some politicians downplaying the pandemic for political reasons by giving false information: it doesn’t look good to voters to have a major pandemic during your term in office. Another contributor is the fact that politicians and scientists don’t speak the same language when it comes to science. While this is true of most people and scientists, politicians have had an undue influence on public opinion when it comes to the ongoing pandemic and the interpretation of science.

Although there is some overlap, the major issues dividing Republicans and Democrats are:

Recognizing that

Read more

COVID-19: Omicron Variant and Beyond

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

Omicron BA.1 has had a major impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the multiple differences from the Delta variant, the Omicron variant has prolonged and intensified the pandemic, made COVID more difficult to treat, and reduced the effectiveness of currently available coronavirus vaccines and infections from previous variants to prevent further spreading and disease. A new Omicron variant, BA.2, has now entered the picture, although its impact on the epidemic is as yet unknown. The good news is that both Omicron variants are generally milder illnesses.

Omicron BA.1

Omicron BA.1 has three major differences from previous strains of COVID that have impacted the pandemic the most.

1. Omicron reproduces more quickly in the cells of the upper respiratory tract and is more contagious, meaning

Read more

How the Pandemic Affects Insurance Rates and Costs

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. While the economy has been a frequent topic of fallout throughout the ongoing pandemic in the United States, the reality for lives of workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic is often overlooked or erroneously blamed on an unwillingness to work

Roughly 9.6 million American workers lost their jobs in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the unemployment rate from 3.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020. Not only did 23% of those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic not have employer-provided health insurance prior to being laid off, as many as 56% of those who remain unemployed lost their health insurance along with their jobs. Of those still unemployed:

  • 81% remain uninsured;
  • 58% are no longer receiving routine care;
  • 56% are no longer taking prescribed medications;
  • 46% have delayed planned medical procedures;
  • 44% are not seeking treatment for chronic conditions; and 
  • 41% have stopped receiving mental health treatment.

Most Americans could be easily overwhelmed by medical expenses. Only 39% of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 bill. Nearly 84% of uninsured Americans could be financially devastated in the event of a medical emergency. More than a third of adults in the U.S. have growing medical debt — even with health insurance.

Even while COVID-19

Read more

About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.