KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Highlights: S.C. Clinic A Model For Free Care; Mont. Doctor’s Push To Treat Mine Workers Sickened By Asbestos; Fast Food Consumption in Calif. Kids

The Associated Press: SC Free Clinic Model Now Replicated Nationwide
What began two decades ago on Hilton Head Island as a free clinic using retired physicians and volunteers to care for the working poor has become a model for dozens of similar clinics nationwide. At a time when the nation debates how to pay for care, there are now 96 Volunteers in Medicine Clinics in 29 states (Smith, 11/27).

The Wall Street Journal: Doctor's Quest: Help A Town Breathe Easier 
New patients still arrive at the little medical clinic just off Mineral Avenue in [Libby, Mont.], some with cancer, others with a cough that won't go away and some with no symptoms at all. All are recent victims of what is now a well-known disease in this community, which for years was poisoned by asbestos fibers from a nearby mine, according to government health officials. ... [Brad Black, who runs the clinic] is tracking 5,540 people across the U.S. who lived near or worked at the mine to monitor their health. So far he said just over half of them show signs of asbestos disease. Along with U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), he is fighting to expand a Medicare pilot program that offers to sick patients in the Libby area free medicine, gear and home modifications so that 886 other patients outside the area can also have access (Searcey, 11/26).

California Healthline: High Rate Of Fast Food Consumption Among Children 'Surprising To See
UCLA researchers yesterday released a study that shows poor eating habits among California children, including a dearth of fruits and vegetables in their diets and a glut of fast food in diets of children ages 2 to 5. … The study's findings include: 60 percent of California children ages 2 to 5 had eaten fast food at least once the previous week; 70 percent of Latino children in that same age range ate at a fast food restaurant in the previous week (Gorn, 11/25).

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