Biden inches back toward Michelle Obama’s school nutrition standards

The Biden administration today is issuing a new rule asking schools to soon start meeting nutrition standards that were strengthened at the urging of former first lady Michelle Obama — but were suspended during the pandemic as schools struggled to procure more nutritious options. The stricter nutrition standards — which cut sodium, require more whole grains and mandate more fruits and vegetables — were also partially relaxed during the Trump administration. One of former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s first moves was to “Make School Meals Great Again” by loosening rules for whole grains, sodium and flavored milks. Politico, Read More.

As internet access limits telehealth’s reach, insurers are starting to cover the bill

Billions of dollars have been poured into telehealth during the pandemic: Insurers loosened the purse strings on virtual appointments, digital health companies pulled in astronomical investments, and the public markets minted multiple unicorns. But while virtual care’s proponents are fighting to cement its future, many Americans still can’t sign on at all. STAT News, Read More.

The expanded child tax credit briefly slashed child poverty. Here's what else it did

Blink and you could have missed it. For six months, the United States experimented with an idea that’s new here but is already a backstitch in the social fabric of many wealthy nations: a monthly cash payment to help families cover the costs of raising children. Less than a year in, though, this U.S. experiment, known as the expanded child tax credit, has already been unwound by a deadlocked Congress. Still, it’s worth asking: What did it accomplish? Here’s what the data tells us. NPR, Read More.

Health coverage for thousands of Mississippians in question as UMMC and Blue Cross negotiate contract

Thousands of patients of Mississippi’s largest hospital and its clinics could be on the hook for higher out-of-pocket costs if the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi do not agree on a new contract by March 31.The contract dispute dates back to 2018 but was temporarily resolved when an agreement was reached then between the two entities. UMMC, the state’s largest health care provider, wants Blue Cross, the state’s largest insurer, to pay higher reimbursement rates for medical services provided. BCBS has balked at that request. MS Today, Read More.

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program