Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Medicaid" ...

  • Adverse Reaction: AIDS Gaffes in Africa Come Back to Haunt Drug Industry at Home

    The Wall Street Journal examines the increasing risks to the pharmaceutical companies, if they continue "to conduct their business as usual - by finding and patenting a few new drugs, pricing them high and marketing them aggressively..." The story finds that AIDS-drug price cuts in poor nations have deepened U.S. pharmaceuticals industry domestic trouble, as the firms have revealed the 'true' cost of pills. The article points to evidence that some "medicines are priced - excluding research expenses - at eight to 10 times their cost of manufacturing and distribution. The reporter finds that even though drug makers "poured $80 million into last year's Congressional campaign... their credibility is weakening in the public eye." The story also looks at the possibility for government-mandated price-controls for prescription drugs.
  • Access Denied

    "The one big political issue of the '90s was abortion. Feminists have obsessed over Roe v. Wade and championed Clinton and Gore fore defending the right to choose. But at the same time, most women in t his country have etched their ability to obtain an abortion disappear. As Miranda Kennedy points out in 'Access Denied,' 85 percent of counties nationwide have no abortion provider, It's still true that women with money can always access abortion, but women with less cannot."
  • Suddenly Poor: Insurers Help Elderly Get Medicaid to Pay for Nursing Homes

    Davis explains how "thousands of middle-class and even affluent retirees" have become eligible for Medicaid by sheltering their wealth in "Medicaid annuities." Medicaid won't pay for nursing home care if people have assets greater than $2,000. Usually that means that people's assets go to pay for nursing home care until they're gone, after which time Medicaid kicks in. But when seniors put their money into an annuity, they can "appear poor enough to get the government to pick up the tab for a nursing home. In reality, they would be far from impoverished. The annuity would pay back their entire nest egg in monthly installments over a few years." The insurance companies who sell Medicaid annuities say they aren't breaking any rules. "But critics such as state legislators see the annuities as a clear abuse and assail the insurance industry for profiting from a product that they estimate has drained $1 billion from Medicaid so far."
  • Broken Trust

    This Charlotte Observer multifaceted investigation examines the shortcomings of the North Carolina mental health care system. The reporter has found that "from 1994 to mid-1999 at least 34 people under the care of NC mental-care facilities have died suddenly or in circumstances that could raise questions about their care." Among the major findings are the facts that North Carolina "allows individuals with little or no training to open mental health facilities" and that "the state offers little oversight." The reporter details examples of felony patient abuse and neglect, resulting from the loose hiring and training standards set by the state. The series also explores "the lack of children's mental health care and how patients who can't afford care often seek devastating loophole in the law: giving up custody for their children." "The four state-run psychiatric hospitals provide only vague reports listing patient deaths ... N.C. law doesn't require private facilities to report deaths at all." Another part of the investigation focuses on the problems of the rest homes and reveals that they "too often fail to provide appropriate care to patients with mental disabilities." The investigation has found also that "the state's effort to build independent housing [for mentally ill people] is a frustrating series of stops and stalls." The investigation reports on the efforts of the state lawmakers to overcome the problems, but concludes that "political wrangling and funding constraints have stifled a years-long campaign to improve the system."
  • Second-class Medicine

    The magazine investigates the kind of health care "the uninsured get or don't get." The story "illustrates a two-tiered system of care that exists for chronically-ill: the top tier for those who have the means to buy the-state-of-the-art medication and technology and the bottom tier for those who do not." Among the issues analyzed is "the patchwork of programs put in place by federal and state governments, and by private organizations". The author' conclusion is that "more often than not, these programs came up short". The article recommends prospective legislative steps towards providing health care for all.
  • The Dental Divide

    Series examined the struggle poor kids and certain other groups have in getting dental care in Alabama. We found that the state has an overall shortage of dentists, and that fewer than 100 Alabama dentists (out of 1,800) see may poor kids covered by Medicaid."
  • Deja's View: In a Poor Baby's Fight to Survive, a Parable Of a Medicaid HMO; An ICU Works Its Wonders, Monitors Patrol the Ward, And the Tension Crackles; When Discharge Is a Setback

    The Wall Street Journal tells the story of Deja Donegan, a five-week-old preemie born to a single mother on welfare. The story of Deja serves to illustrate a large issue facing the medical community today: health professionals are spending millions of dollars to "try to make a dent in the distressingly high infant-mortality rate among African-Americans," but are under tremendous amounts of pressure from HMOs to discharge those babies as soon as their condition improves. This is a particularly grave problem because many of the babies treated come from lower income homes. When the babies are released -- sometimes earlier than the doctors would prefer -- they are often not going to well-equiped, warm homes. This can cause these million-dollar babies to have more medical problems later in life.
  • Violence: A Hidden Health Epidemic

    The Detroit News looks at the heath care related onus of intentional violence. The four-day series tracks the costs of violence to tax payers, gridlock in gun prevention, the lack of money spent on violence prevention and possible solutions to the problem.
  • Why Drugs Cost so Much?

    Newsweek takes a look at why prescription drugs cost more and more each year. The expensive and constant innovation in existing drugs, new treatments and the fact that Americans are using more drugs for more conditions are pushing up the prices. The article also covers the plan proposed by both Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush.
  • Medicaid Millions

    A series of articles by Lexington Herald-Leader on fraud in billing of Medicaid patients and inadequate health care provided to them. The stories highlight the number of health care practitioners who are involved in the fraud.