Turn your passion into online profit

business man
Photo: Jopwell/PEXELS
NewsUSA - Have you ever shopped at someone’s personal online store and thought, “I could do that”? In the wake of the pandemic, more people are reinventing their work lives and choosing to follow their passions. And the ever-expanding world of e-commerce makes it easier than ever to turn your pastime into a profit.     

Launching an online business can seem daunting, especially if you lack a background in technology, computer programming, or website building, but it doesn’t have to be. The right website host and store builder platform can make setting up the online business of your dreams a seamless process.     

Nexcess, a company dedicated to ecommerce entrepreneurship, offers several tips for how to get your ecommerce business off the ground, whether you are selling physical products, digital products, or online services ranging from consulting to yoga classes. Key considerations when launching any ecommerce business include:     

- Sales. The most efficient ecommerce platforms keep it simple with automated sales and performance tools. Nexcess also has a membership website builder that allows you to add subscriber-only content for even more sales.     

- Management. Setting up an online store should be simple. Platforms such as Nexcess StoreBuilder include intuitive features that let you design a beautiful online storefront with no need for coding or a website designer.     

- Mentorship. The best platforms for online businesses have fast speed, strong security, inherent scalability, and, last but not least, competent and responsive tech support for any problems and questions that arise. Nexcess managed hosting provides live chats with a website hosting advisor to help you get started and make a plan for success.     

If you have an existing online store or website that you want to upgrade, Nexcess offers free website migration to or among any of its website hosting platforms, with 24/7 support that kicks in immediately.     

Also, many ecommerce entrepreneurs miss the importance of a business location when establishing online. The business may be in cyberspace, but location still matters for taxes and other administrative purposes.     

Some states are more appealing than others for ecommerce business owners. According to a new ecommerce study, Florida is the number-one state for ecommerce businesses, based on criteria including tax climate, economic outlook, financial resources, and infrastructure.     

Rounding out the top ten states for ecommerce businesses are Utah, North Carolina, Texas, South Dakota, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee. The great thing about an ecommerce business is it can launch from any state with a website and a good idea.

Wine pairing ideas for this summer's fun and friendship

wine in the country
Photo: Chelsea Pridham/Unsplash
News USA -- "Wine and food pairings don't have to be complicated," says Riana Mondavi, a member of the fourth generation of the Mondavi wine family from Napa and an ambassador for her family's CK Mondavi and Family wines. "It's really about what you taste and smell in the wine and how you feel the wine brings out and compliments the food you are eating."

If done correctly, a proper pairing can enhance the flavors of both the food and your chosen bottle of wine. The intensity of a specific food or wine depends on a lot of things such as sugar, acid, salt and spice. The food should not overpower the wine (and vice versa). By matching a light wine with light fare or a heavy dish with a heavier wine, the food and wine balance each other out and their intensities line up for a perfect pairing.

For example, if you have a dish that has a lot of citrus in it, it's great to pair with a Chardonnay, as it also has hints of citrus in it. The two enhance each other and balance out the flavors. A lighter white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pairs well with summer vegetables, as it brings out the crisp, light flavor profiles. Red wines typically pair best with richer food such as steak and sweets, but there's no set rule. Many people pair a Merlot with seafood.

CK Mondavi and Family has made wine pairing easy for everyone, and this summer they invite you to play around with pairings. They've created a downloadable "Wine pairing made simple" guide on their website: https://www.ckmondavi.com/ckm-pairings. They also added flavor descriptors to each bottle of CK Mondavi and Family. With descriptors such as "Rich & Velvety" for Cabernet Sauvignon and "Bright & Fresh" for Chardonnay, anyone can quickly decide on a wine.

Riana Mondavi also recommends impromptu wine pairings with friends. "It's fun to get together with a group to see what everyone tastes or smells in the wine," she adds. "Everyone has a different opinion and it's fun to see what we all come up with."

So, this summer, have some fun pairing wines with your favorite foods. And while doing it, enter CK Mondavi and Family's monthly #pairNpost drawing, where you can enter to win a prize. Just snap a photo of your favorite pairing and tag it with #pairNpost on Twitter or Instagram.

It's all part of a new, fun approach to wine. After all, summer is about enjoying yourself and what better way to enjoy life than at the table with friends and family?

Illinois taxes are driving families and businesses out of the state

by Mark Richardson
Illinois News Connection

Studies show the tax burden on people and businesses in Illinois - and particularly those in Chicago - is among the highest in the country.

Economists warn that unless lawmakers change how they write budgets, Illinois is likely to continue its decade-long exodus of residents and businesses.

Reports show that the median Illinois household has a tax liability of $9,500, while Chicago's debt per taxpayer is almost $42,000.

Justin Carlson is a policy analyst for Illinois Policy Institute. He said the main driver of debt at both Chicago City Hall and the statehouse is underfunded pensions.

"It means higher taxes and higher fees, as the pension systems have required more funding," said Carlson. "That's less funding that you have for education or health care or social programs, or violence prevention, different things that communities rely on."

Carlson said the watchdog group Truth in Accounting reports Chicago's debt totals almost $49 billion, with two-thirds of that owed to the city's pension fund. In recent years, the city has almost doubled its property taxes to make its annual payments.

Carlson said across the state, the annual effective tax rate is just over 15%, making it the largest among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

He said the high taxes are taking the biggest bite out of the incomes of people in marginalized neighborhoods and communities of color.

"That burden shifts even more to the people who can't afford to leave or don't want to leave," said Carlson. "Your taxes are just going to continue to go up, and that kind of feeds this vicious cycle where you have less money to draw from, and then the people who are left need to pay for higher and higher burdens."

He said part of the problem is that the formula for funding public pensions is spelled out in the Illinois Constitution, giving lawmakers very little leeway in how they write the budget.

"If you wanted to reform public pensions in Illinois, you would need to advance a constitutional amendment in order to change the benefits that are currently being offered," said Carlson. "So it's the case really locally and statewide of pensions being over-promised."

Brazelton takes another step up the podium, SJO sophomore finishes third at state wrestling

St. Joseph-Ogden's Holden Brazelton celebrates his win over Coal City's Jake Piatak with assistant coach Shawn Freeman after his Class 1A 132-pound consolation semifinal at the 2023 IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals on Saturday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Top Left: St. Joseph-Ogden's Holden Brazelton is all smiles while on the podium with his third place medal during the awards ceremony for the 132-pound Class 1A weight class.

Top Right: Brazelton tosses Coal City's Jake Piatak to the mat during their consolation semifinal.

Below: One match away from finding himself in a state title match, Brazelton wrestles West Marian's Vance Williams in the second semifinal match in the bracket. Williams shutout the SJO two-time state finalist 7-0. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Working to keep Coal City's Jake Piatak on his back during their consolation semifinal on Saturday, the SJO sophomore, who was up 4-0 after the first period, advanced to the third-place match thanks to a 6-2 decision. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

**Correction** In the second photo from the bottom the caption was incorrect. Brazelton was not wrestling Wyatt Doty, but West Marian's Vance Williams. The caption was updated on 2/22/23 to reflect the correct match.

Unity's Nosler wins IHSA state wrestling title

Unity's Nick Nosler is declared winner after his 195-pound title match with St. Thomas More's Brody Cuppernell at the 2023 IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals on Saturday. Nosler, who finished as the Sentinel area's top finisher, won the bout by major decision, 11-3. The senior improved to 55-2 on the season after going 4-0 at the State Farm Center. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

TOP LEFT: Nosler scores a takedown on Cuppernell. TOP RIGHT: Smiling for his official IHSA photo, Nick Nosler stands tall at the top of the 195-pound podium on Saturday. BOTTOM: Cuppernell tries to avoid being rolled to his back by Nosler during their title bout. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Brody Cuppernell is rolled to his back by Unity's Nosler. Cuppernell, a junior at St. Thomas More, finished his season with 45 wins and against 6 losses. See more photos of area wrestlers at the state tournament here. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Three things you should do this spring to freshen up you home

BPT -- Spring is the perfect season for home improvement as it presents many opportunities for first-time homebuyers and experienced homeowners to be more thorough when it comes to maintenance. As the weather warms up, you'll find plenty of indoor and outdoor projects that can improve the functionality of your home and boost its curb appeal while also avoiding unpleasant surprises.
Photo provided/Brandpoint

“Many homeowners perform spring cleaning tasks to freshen up and declutter their homes, but it’s also crucial to tackle important maintenance tasks,” said Viviane Essex, merchant at The Home Depot. “For most people, their home is their biggest investment. The Home Depot’s Home Services can help homeowners with routine repairs and installation projects that provide comfort, safety and most importantly, peace of mind.”

Don't know where to start? The Home Depot’s Home Services has provided a helpful spring maintenance checklist. Here are three items you can check off your to-do list to make sure your home's internal systems and external features run smoothly.

1. Schedule seasonal maintenance on your HVAC system

Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is crucial to keeping your home cozy in the winter and cool during the summer. Most systems have a lifetime of 10 to 20 years, and efficiency can drastically decrease as your equipment gets older.

If your HVAC system is working harder and not performing as well as it should, it may be time to replace it. Book a consultation with a certified professional who can inspect your existing system, make recommendations and give you an estimate for a new system. Not only will it help improve your home's air quality, but it will also keep your family comfortable all season long.

2. Maintain, repair or replace your water heater

Water is used throughout your entire home, from showering and bathing to cooking and watering your lawn. To ensure you are using quality water, you'll need to inspect, replace and repair your water heater.

Make sure to check "inspecting your water heater" off your spring cleaning list. Keep an eye out for any water buildup around your water heater, water-quality issues or small plastic pieces from your fixtures that can affect your water supply.

Also, look out for changes in water temperature or temperature duration, a broken pilot light, noise in your unit or pipes, or the smell of gas around your water heater. If you notice any of these signs, your water heater may be failing and need to be repaired or replaced.

3. Spruce up the outside of your home

The exterior of your home is just as important to inspect and repair as the interior. Your windows are an especially visible part of your home that need careful attention.

During winter, you may feel drafts or frequently see condensation on your windows. As the seasons change, you may notice cracking or peeling around window exteriors. These are signs that it may be time to replace your windows.

This spring, book a window replacement. Windows should be inspected by a licensed professional every 20-25 years to see if they need to be replaced. No matter what windows you choose, a new high-quality window with thick, insulated glass is more energy efficient than older single-pane windows. Best of all, new windows can also improve your home's appearance.

Another external item to inspect this spring is your garage door. You may not think your garage door needs regular maintenance, but just like a car, it needs regular tune-ups. Small issues can quickly turn expensive down the line. Also, some garage door problems can pose a safety hazard and cause serious injury.

Depending on the age and condition of your garage door, it may be time to replace it. Replacing your garage door can improve the look of your home and increase its market value.

Finally, consider installing a new fence around your property. Fences provide privacy and security. They can help keep children and pets safe inside your yard, while also keeping out unwanted animals and trespassers. This decorative element also provides protection around an outdoor space, like a pool or garden.

For all your indoor and outdoor spring-cleaning projects, you can find help at The Home Depot’s Home Services. Their installers can help you choose the material and style that best fits your property and needs.

All certified service providers are local, licensed, insured and background checked. To learn more and book appointments to spruce up your home this spring, visit HomeDepot.com/Services.

Guest Commentary | America needs their police, we need good people wearing the badge

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

American citizens need police officers. Our state police, county sheriff’s department and city police all deserve our help, respect and decent pay. None of us like being recipients of speeding or other motor vehicle violations. However, often a warning or a ticket may be what it takes to get our attention and might even save our lives.

When someone is threatening us we want the police. We expect them to come and help us. These are the men and women who often risk their lives to protect us. So, praise the good ones because they are deserving of honor.

The defund the police movement has been fueled by horrific incidents such as when Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020. This cruel and disturbing murder has been replayed over and over on national television. Most recently the horrific killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee has fanned the flames of police hatred. These and other police brutality events continue to severely damage the image of America’s police forces.

The behavior of five Memphis police officers toward Mr. Nichols was beyond criminal. This does not justify defunding the police. Such behavior reinforces the need that all those in law enforcement must have routine mental health tests. Only qualified people who have been thoroughly examined and trained should ever be allowed to wear a badge. Training and mental health evaluations must be ongoing.

The Five former Memphis police officers were charged with murder over the death of Tyre Nichols but pled not guilty in their first court appearance.

The arrest of Mr. Nichols on January 7 has been reported throughout the national media.

They were fired after an internal investigation by the Memphis Police Department.

"Memphis and the whole world need to see that what's right is done in this case, and it needs to happen sooner rather than later," lead prosecutor Paul Hagerman told reporters.

The officers were arrested and taken into custody on January 26, after the Memphis police reviewed bodycam footage of the violent arrest.

In the footage, 29-year-old Mr. Nichols can be heard calling for his mother as he is beaten by police after being pulled over for alleged reckless driving. He was pepper-sprayed, kicked and punched by the officers and died in hospital three days later.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said the incident was "not just a professional failing", but "a failing of basic humanity toward another individual". (Source BBC news)

I believe that 99 percent of the men and women wearing badges are good people who are looking out for our welfare and safety. The actions of a few should not discredit all law enforcement. Whether it’s politics, medical doctors, attorneys, business persons and more there are always a few bad apples that make others look bad.

Police officers have the upper hand. They have a badge and a gun. We should give them respect and they should respect all citizens. Having a badge never gives any law enforcement officer the right to pour out their frustrations, racial hatreds or their own personal demons on another citizen. No one is ever in a position to put up a defense as sadly shown by Tyre Nichols, George Floyd and too many others.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


The LowDown Brass Band drops new single at Canopy Club on Friday

Lowdown Brass Band promo photo
Photo: Provided/by Alan Maniacek
The Lowdown Brass Band will perform live at the Canopy on Friday. Their big brass sound over a soulful, funky beat is sure to entertain all ages.

URBANA - On Friday, LowDown Brass Band will co-headlining the stage at the Canopy Club with another windy city act, Mungion. LowDown, a seven-piece Chicago-based brass ensemble, has a Tower of Power sound layered over distinct, familiar underlying rhythms of soul, blues, funk, and reggae.

The Canopy show will be the debut of their newest single Call Me, a song about the world we live in, "... where secret agendas, governments, and corporate greed seek to separate and divide." Call Me has that late 70s horn swagger gliding over the familiar Chicago house beat of the 80s.

Inside their 2008 self-titled debut, the band described themselves as"... the New Orleans hump with a Chi-town bump." There is no better way to describe their finger popp'n, booty-waggin' party sound in this release of Be The One Tonight.

A seasoned touring band, LowDown has opened for Galactic and Bon Jovi, did a stint on NPR's Tiny Desk, and is a steady act on the Jazz festival circuit. The group has built impressive gig credentials performing at The Montreal Jazz Festival and Lagunitas Beer Circus.

A staple in and around Chicago, they have filled the airwaves at the Chicago Jazz Fest, Chicago's Do-Division Fest, and Wicker Park Fest.

This summer, the seven muscians have a packed calendar with performances at the Victoria Jazz Fest, the Edmonton Jazz Fest in July, and Saskatoon Jazz Fest.

While the band plays mostly original songs, LowDown does a darn good job of putting their spin on classics like Foxy Lady by Jimmy Hendrix in this Wayne's World parody.

The show kicks off with Champaign's very own Afro D & Global Soundwaves is a socially-conscious hip hop/jazz/funk band that will open for the two acts. The doors open at 7am. Ticket prices are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available online here.

It's no secret, our readers chime in on where to go for a romantic Valentine's Day rendezvous

Urbana's Silvercreek Restaurant is one of many ideal spots for a romantic Valentine's Day meal. Photo: The Sentinel

URBANA - Last week, The Sentinel asked around, looking for advice on where are the best restaurants in the area for a romantic Valentine's Day date. Here are 16 responses to the question, "Where's the most romantic place to eat in Champaign-Urbana or Champaign County?"

The Wheelhouse in St. Joseph and Biaggi's in south Champaign garnered a couple of votes each. However, the most romantic spot for an intimate meal seems to be at home.

In the Champaign-Urbana area, Biaggi's or the Urbana Country Club. Umi Grill in Terre Haute has the best sushi in the area.
~ Brady S.

~ Erin J.

~ Kelly C.

Texas Roadhouse
~ Kevin T.

Possum Trot, Sun Singer, and Hamilton Walker
~ Roger K.

I'll go with what he said
~ Brian B.
(pointing at Roger K. above)

Destihl in Bloomington
~ Kendra P.

~ Nikki H.

Kathy's Kitchen! But if you want something more intimate, Silvercreek
~ Kathy M.

Wheelhouse. We go there at least once a week
~ Ashley B.

~ Phil M.

I know I would be cooking a nice meal for my lady or go wherever she wants to go
~ Eric M.

Don't ask me. I'm divorced.
~ Julie A.

Our living room
~ Jason W.

Longhorn Steak House
~ Stephanie H.

Seven Saints or B'Dubs. I'm the least romantic person you'll ever meet
~ Megan W.

In case you are wondering, yes, we Googled our question. The top five locations in Champaign-Urbana on Trip Advisor at the time of this article were 1. Silvercreek, 2. Timpone's, 3. Nando Milano, 4. Hamilton Walker's, and 5. Biaggi's.

Where did you get lovey-dovey this Valentine's Day? Tell us in the comment section below.

Guest Commentary | School bullying must stop, everyone must work together

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Four New Jersey teenagers have been charged in connection with the attack of a 14-year-old girl who later took her own life after video of the incident was posted on social media.

One juvenile is charged with aggravated assault, two juveniles are charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and one juvenile is charged with harassment, Ocean County prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer told CBS News in an email.

Adriana Kuch, 14, was found dead in her Bayville home on February 3, two days after the disturbing video of the attack at Central Regional High School was posted online. The video showed girls throwing a drink at the teen, then kicking and dragging her down school hallways. They pushed Adriana into red lockers lining the school hallways and one of the girls in a pink shirt punched Kuch repeatedly.

When I was an elementary child riding the school bus, we had a few fights on the bus. One young man who didn’t live that far from me was constantly getting into fights on the school bus. One day he had a kid down repeatedly punching him in the face. The bus driver stopped the bus and escorted both boys off the bus while still a couple of miles from their homes. We then drove off and left them on the road.

I don’t recall seeing the fight continue as they now had to walk or hitchhike a ride to get home. Since the one boy was being beaten so bad, I don’t think the driver made the best decision since the other kid could have finished him off on the rural road we were traveling. However, it did appear the fight had stopped as we drove off. Most likely not having a bus audience, bleeding and having to walk home changed the scenario.

In the sixties and seventies there were bad things that happened in schools that often got swept under the rug. With no social media kids usually ended up working it out or staying away from people we didn’t like. Often many of us never took our school problems home because our parents had enough problems without having to worry about our school fusses. Or, we were afraid we might get in trouble at home.

School children face challenges. There are ongoing pressures from bullies who must be corralled and disciplined, dismissed from school or in some cases put in a place where they can get rehabilitation and help for their psychotic issues.

Locking a 14-year-old up in jail for years solves nothing. However, kids that bring about injury or death to another student need mental help and rehabilitation before being freed to invoke pain on someone again. Most likely if your family has lost a family member to a bully you want the offender locked up for life.

Even though my school era was not a perfect world schoolteachers and principals had authority to paddle our butts. They had authority to discipline us, suspend us from school and could put bite with their bark. We knew the teachers ruled and we respected them. I can remember see paddling’s that I never wanted to get and received a couple myself.

No school has the ability to patrol every corner of a school facility. Bullying, fights and bad things typically occur in unsupervised spaces. Schools can’t hire enough security guards or have enough monitors to patrol ever corner.

Every day in every state in America a private school is starting or the ground work is being formulated.

Ten years from now almost every city and even small community in America will have a private or faith-based school. Some of these will only be elementary schools but many have or will develop junior and senior highs. Such schools are not free of their own issues but parents across America are desperate for safe places for their kids.

Parents want a place where there is zero tolerance of bullies and an administration who means business about protecting the children. They want an environment where their children can be mentored, taught and prepared better for life, college or to move into adult jobs.

Parents don’t want a school who they feel is working against them or hiding things from them.

Life is like this. The world is like a jungle most days. There are bullies in the workplaces, neighborhoods and mean people can be found all over. This is why we have the right to call 911. We can file charges against people with the police. We should have the right to carry a firearm and defend ourselves. We have to work to help each other and protect each other.

Teachers, administrators, parents and students must work together for safety and security. Children and teachers must feel safe with an environment free from bullying, hazing or intimidation. Kids should not have to wake up every day fearful of going to school. Neither should the school staff and parents.

The issue of bullying and school safety requires school boards, all staff, parents and students to work together. It’s not a task for a few to accomplish but a job for us all.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


You've heard it before, as you age exercise and eat healthy

by Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

RANTOUL - The National Institute on Aging says people age 65 and older are at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure. February – American Heart Month - is the perfect time for people 65+ and their caregivers to arm themselves with the information and supplies needed to keep their heart healthy.

Karen Whitehorn, MD, is an internal medicine physician at OSF HealthCare. Of the many risk factors for heart issues in older people, she points to blood pressure as a big one to watch. Dr. Whitehorn says a healthy blood pressure reading is 130/80 and below.

"If you're on medication, take your medicine every day," to keep your blood pressure normal, Dr. Whitehorn says. "Exercise and eat healthy. You want a diet that's low in sodium and processed food. You want fruits, vegetables, fresh whole grains and lean proteins like turkey, chicken and lean pork."

An annual physical exam is critical, too.

On exercise, Dr. Whitehorn admits mobility may be an issue for older people. She recommends checking with a health care provider like a physical therapist to see what exercises are right for you. Some workouts can be done sitting down. Low-impact cardio like walking is an option.

"But if any exercises hurt, don't do them," Dr. Whitehorn warns. "If you walk too far and you're having pain, stop walking. You might not want to walk every single day."

Dr. Whitehorn says if you have high blood pressure, check it at least once a day at home. Ask your health care provider what type of home blood pressure kit is best. If you don't have high blood pressure, check it every six months. Your provider should also check your blood pressure when you have an appointment. But Dr. Whitehorn says don't worry if that reading is a little high.

"People get nervous just seeing the doctor. They're already a little upset because they have to come to the doctor," Dr. Whitehorn says of the phenomenon known as white coat syndrome. "So when you take their blood pressure, it goes up. Normally, the nurse takes the blood pressure first. Then, after the person has been resting for a while, the doctor takes it again. It usually comes down."

Other symptoms of heart issues include shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness. Someone experiencing a heart attack might suffer nausea and neck, arm or shoulder pain. If you experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away.

Your doctor may order a stress test to get a better idea if your symptoms are indeed due to a heart problem. Dr. Whitehorn says one type of stress test puts you on a treadmill while your heart rhythm is monitored.

"If the rhythm is abnormal, it might indicate there's a problem with your heart," Dr. Whitehorn says.

For people who can't tolerate walking or jogging on a treadmill, there is medicine to safely increase their heart rate while a health care provider monitors.

If the results of the stress test warrant further examination, a doctor will perform a cardiac catheterization. They will insert a catheter, usually through the groin, and send it up to your heart to take images using contrast dye. This will show if any of your arteries are narrow and what steps the provider will take next, short term and long term.

Learn more about heart care on the OSF HealthCare website.

Excessive social media use shown to lead to risky behavior in children

by Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

Alton - The pros and cons of social media are well documented. It allows you to connect with friends and pursue passions, but bullying and misinformation can be rampant.

But can frequent social media use lead to changes in brain development during the formative adolescent years? A recent study suggests so, but much more investigation is needed, says Karna Sherwood, MD, a neurologist at OSF HealthCare in Alton, Illinois.

The study tracked 169 sixth and seventh graders and found those who habitually checked social media were more sensitive to rewards and punishments. To view it a different way, kids who constantly refresh Facebook hoping the likes on their post will go up may be more impulsive to seek out real-life recognition.

"At a certain point, 10 likes or 20 likes are no longer gratifying enough," Dr. Sherwood says. "And then you have to find another way to get even more likes or more appreciation."

That "another way" could lead to risky behaviors such as substance abuse. But Dr. Sherwood says more study is needed to conclusively make the link. Just how much does our life in the digital realm affect our life away from the device?

"A follow up study would certainly investigate if [frequent social media use] has an effect on rates of anxiety and depression," says Dr. Sherwood. "Could this affect addiction? And what interventions could be taken to nullify those behaviors?

"As a society, if we want to raise happy and healthy people in an age where we are getting better technologically, what steps do we need to take?"

Until then, Dr. Sherwood has some good advice no matter your age or number of Twitter followers.

"Until you get the rest of the information, it’s better to have some degree of regulation," and restraint with social media, Dr. Sherwood says.

Learn more about how the brain works on the OSF HealthCare website.

Seven benefits from cooking in cast iron pots and pans

cast iron cooking
Photo: Food Photographer|Jennifer Pallian/Unsplash
Cooking with cast iron pans can help you create delicious and healthy meals with ease. Iron pans are great conductors of heat. They heat quickly and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the entire cooking process.

SNS - Cooking with cast iron pans is a timeless tradition that has stood the test of time for good reason. These durable, versatile pans offer a unique set of benefits that make them a top choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike. But what makes cast iron pans so special that you should start using them?

We did thorough research, and this article will explore the many advantages of cooking with cast iron and show you why you should make this timeless kitchen tool a part of your cooking arsenal.

The biggest advantages of cooking with cast iron pans
From their exceptional durability to their ability to retain and distribute heat evenly, cast iron pans are a kitchen essential that you won't want to be without. Whether you're searing a steak or baking a pie, cast iron pans can help you create delicious and healthy meals with ease.

Cooking cast iron breakfast
Photo: Andrew Spencer/Unsplash

But what makes cooking with cast iron pans so special? We did a thorough investigation, and here are the top seven benefits that will make you instantly want to replace all of your cookware with their cast iron substitutes.

#1 Durability
One of the biggest benefits of cast iron pans is their exceptional durability. Cast iron is a very strong, heavy metal that can withstand high temperatures and constant use without showing signs of wear and tear. Unlike other types of cookware, cast iron pans can last for decades (or even longer!). Of course, with proper care and maintenance. This makes them a great investment for any kitchen, as they'll be a reliable, long-lasting tool for all your cooking needs.

#2 Affordability
Cast iron pans are also an affordable option for cookware, especially when compared to other high-end options such as stainless steel or copper. Plus, as we already mentioned, you won't have to replace them often as they're extremely durable. Additionally, many cast iron pans are available at a reasonable price, making them accessible to most budgets.

While some specialty cast iron pans can be expensive, basic pans are often quite affordable and are great for everyday use. Furthermore, cast iron pans are also often passed down through generations, which means that they can be an affordable option for those who inherit them.

#3 Better heat retention and distribution
Cast iron is a great conductor of heat, which means it can heat up quickly and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. This is especially useful for tasks such as searing, frying, and baking, where precise temperature control is essential.

The pan will also retain heat long after you take it off the heat source, allowing you to keep the food hot for longer. This is particularly useful when you need to finish a dish in the oven. You can transfer the pan directly from the stovetop to the oven without the need to transfer the food to another dish.

#4 Easy to clean
Contrary to popular belief, cast iron pans are actually very easy to clean. Unlike other types of cookware, cast iron doesn't require special detergents or cleaning agents. You can easily and quickly clean it with hot water and a stiff brush, even after you've just cooked your favorite red wine braised beef short rib ragu. After cleaning, it's important to dry the pan thoroughly and then oil it to prevent rust.

With proper care and maintenance, a cast iron pan can last for decades, and it will only get better with use. Therefore, make sure to find a great place for them in your kitchen, as this will also help you keep the space tidy. After all, every productive kitchen is neat and organized, so make sure to research hacks for a tidy kitchen, as they'll help you make the most of your space.

#5 Non-stick cooking surface
When seasoned properly, cast iron pans have a naturally non-stick cooking surface that's perfect for cooking delicate foods like fish and eggs. Over time, the oils used to season the pan will polymerize and fill in any small imperfections on the surface, creating a smooth, non-stick surface that's perfect for cooking without oils or butter. Additionally, the natural non-stick surface of cast iron pans is much more durable than other types of non-stick cookware, and it won't wear off over time.

#6 Flavor-enhancing properties
One of the unique benefits of cast iron is its ability to enhance the flavor of food. Cast iron pans can add a subtle, smoky flavor to foods that are impossible to achieve with other types of cookware. This is because cast iron can reach very high temperatures quickly. This allows it to create a Maillard reaction, a chemical process that creates new flavors and aromas in food.

This is particularly useful for meats and other proteins, as it helps to create a delicious crust on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender. It also allows you to cook at high temperatures, which is excellent for searing and caramelizing. Your grilled jalapeno cheddar meatballs will taste more delicious than ever.

#7 Versatility
One of the best things about cast iron pans is their versatility. They can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, and even over an open flame. This makes them perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks, from searing steaks to baking bread. They can also go from stove to oven, allowing you to sear and then finish cooking in the oven, a great way to cook a steak, for example. This versatility also makes them perfect for cooking a variety of dishes, from savory to sweet. Cast iron pans can be used for making pancakes, cornbread, frittatas, and even desserts like cakes and pies.

Another great aspect of cast iron is that it can be used for both indoor and outdoor cooking. You can take it camping, tailgating, or even use it for a backyard BBQ. The cast iron pan is also great for cooking over an open fire, which can give you that extra smoky flavor.

In conclusion
As you can see, cooking with cast iron pans comes with plenty of benefits, and they are truly timeless kitchen essentials. From preparing your favorite creamy mushroom pasta to baking bread, there isn't a thing you can't prepare in cast iron cookware. And the best part is – that they can last for decades to come, and you can even pass them on as a family heirloom. Whether you're a home cook or a professional chef, investing in a cast iron pan is a decision you won't regret.

Cooking bacon in cast iron

Photo: Thomas Park/Unsplash

Time is running out for free Covid vaccines, tests, and many treatment for Americans

Covid rapid tests will no longer be free
Alexandra Koch/Pixabay
Government pandemic policies that gave free Covid vaccines and tests to the general public will disappear in two months. The medical and insurance industries are gearing up to capitalize on what looks like a voluptuous revenue stream the virus that will likely never end starting on May 11.

by Julie Appleby
Kaiser Health News
We see a double-digit billion[-dollar] market opportunity
The White House announced this month that the national public health emergency, first declared in early 2020 in response to the pandemic, is set to expire May 11. When it ends, so will many of the policies designed to combat the virus's spread.

Take vaccines. Until now, the federal government has been purchasing covid-19 shots. It recently bought 105 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster for about $30.48 a dose, and 66 million doses of Moderna's version for $26.36 a dose. (These are among the companies that developed the first covid vaccines sold in the United States.)

People will be able to get these vaccines at low or no cost as long as the government-purchased supplies last. But even before the end date for the public emergency was set, Congress opted not to provide more money to increase the government's dwindling stockpile. As a result, Pfizer and Moderna were already planning their moves into the commercial market. Both have indicated they will raise prices, somewhere in the range of $110 to $130 per dose, though insurers and government health programs could negotiate lower rates.

"We see a double-digit billion[-dollar] market opportunity," investors were told at a JPMorgan conference in San Francisco recently by Ryan Richardson, chief strategy officer for BioNTech. The company expects a gross price — the full price before any discounts — of $110 a dose, which, Richardson said, "is more than justified from a health economics perspective."

That could translate to tens of billions of dollars in revenue for the manufacturers, even if uptake of the vaccines is slow. And consumers would foot the bill, either directly or indirectly.

If half of adults — about the same percentage as those who opt for an annual flu shot — get covid boosters at the new, higher prices, a recent KFF report estimated, insurers, employers, and other payors would shell out $12.4 billion to $14.8 billion. That's up to nearly twice as much as what it would have cost for every adult in the U.S. to get a bivalent booster at the average price paid by the federal government.

As for covid treatments, an August blog post by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response noted that government-purchased supplies of the drug Paxlovid are expected to last through midyear before the private sector takes over. The government's bulk purchase price from manufacturer Pfizer was $530 for a course of treatment, and it isn't yet known what the companies will charge once government supplies run out.

How Much of That Pinch Will Consumers Feel?

One thing is certain: How much, if any, of the boosted costs are passed on to consumers will depend on their health coverage.

Medicare beneficiaries, those enrolled in Medicaid — the state-federal health insurance program for people with low incomes — and people with Affordable Care Act coverage will continue to get covid vaccines without cost sharing, even when the public health emergency ends and the government-purchased vaccines run out. Many people with job-based insurance will also likely not face copayments for vaccines, unless they go out of network for their vaccinations. People with limited-benefit or short-term insurance policies might have to pay for all or part of their vaccinations. And people who don't have insurance will need to either pay the full cost out-of-pocket or seek no- or low-cost vaccinations from community clinics or other providers. If they cannot find a free or low-cost option, some uninsured patients may be forced to skip vaccinations or testing.

Coming up with what could be $100 or more for vaccination will be especially hard "if you are uninsured or underinsured; that's where these price hikes could drive additional disparities," said Sean Robbins, executive vice president of external affairs for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Those increases, he said, will also affect people with insurance, as the costs "flow through to premiums."

Meanwhile, public policy experts say many private insurers will continue to cover Paxlovid, although patients may face a copayment, at least until they meet their deductible, just as they do for other medications. Medicaid will continue to cover it without cost to patients until at least 2024. But Medicare coverage will be limited until the treatment goes through the regular FDA process, which takes longer than the emergency use authorization it has been marketed under.

Another complication: The rolls of the uninsured are likely to climb over the next year, as states are poised to reinstate the process of regularly determining Medicaid eligibility, which was halted during the pandemic. Starting in April, states will begin reassessing whether Medicaid enrollees meet income and other qualifying factors.

An estimated 5 million to 14 million people nationwide might lose coverage.

"This is our No. 1 concern" right now, said John Baackes, CEO of L.A. Care, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan with 2.7 million members.

"They may not realize they've lost coverage until they go to fill a prescription" or seek other medical care, including vaccinations, he said.

What About Covid Test Kits?

Rules remain in place for insurers, including Medicare and Affordable Care Act plans, to cover the cost of up to eight in-home test kits a month for each person on the plan, until the public health emergency ends.

For consumers — including those without insurance — a government website is still offering up to four test kits per household, until they run out. The Biden administration shifted funding to purchase additional kits and made them available in late December.

Starting in May, though, beneficiaries in original Medicare and many people with private, job-based insurance will have to start paying out-of-pocket for the rapid antigen test kits. Some Medicare Advantage plans, which are an alternative to original Medicare, might opt to continue covering them without a copayment. Policies will vary, so check with your insurer. And Medicaid enrollees can continue to get the test kits without cost for a little over a year.

State rules also can vary, and continued coverage without cost sharing for covid tests, treatments, and vaccines after the health emergency ends might be available with some health plans.

Overall, the future of covid tests, vaccines, and treatments will reflect the complicated mix of coverage consumers already navigate for most other types of care.

"From a consumer perspective, vaccines will still be free, but for treatments and test kits, a lot of people will face cost sharing," said Jen Kates, a senior vice president at KFF. "We're taking what was universal access and now saying we're going back to how it is in the regular U.S. health system."

KHN correspondent Darius Tahir contributed to this report.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

Recipe | Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Family Features - From salads and snacks to breakfast, lunch and dinner, rounding out a full menu of healthy meals shouldn't be a chore. In fact, you can still enjoy your favorite flavors and tickle your taste buds with nutritious recipes that capitalize on powerful ingredients you actually want to eat. Starting the new year with fresh intentions, whether you're trying to reset for 2023 or simply add more greens to your meals, begins with delicious, nutritious and easy recipes.

This recipe is another fresh twist on pasta salad can make lunches or your evening side dish an enjoyable way to stay on track.

With more than 100 varieties of fresh, healthy and convenient ready-to-eat salads, Fresh Express provides plenty of inspiration, information and incentives to help you achieve your goals. For example, this Pesto Pasta Salad features red lentil rotini and Twisted Pesto Caesar Chopped Salad Kits loaded with a fresh blend of crisp iceberg and green leaf lettuces, crunchy garlic brioche croutons, Parmesan cheese and creamy pesto dressing. Add fresh grape tomatoes and toasted walnuts for a simple side or easy lunch that can be made ahead of time.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 quart cooked red lentil rotini
  • 2 packages (9 1/2 ounces each) Fresh Express Twisted Pesto Caesar Chopped Salad Kits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • Prepare red lentil rotini according to package directions; cool 15 minutes.

    In bowl, mix rotini and one dressing packet from salad kits. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes, or until rotini is cold.

    In large bowl, mix lettuce from both salad kits with remaining salad dressing package. Add rotini and tomatoes; toss to combine. Sprinkle with garlic brioche croutons and shredded Parmesan cheese from salad kits and walnuts.

    Substitution: Traditional rotini can be used for red lentil rotini.

    Take your better-for-you eating plan from bland and boring to delightfully delicious by visiting Culinary.net and FreshExpress.com for more inspirational meal ideas.

    Photo of the Day | February 12, 2023

    Ty Pence, Garrett Seims, and Coy Taylor try to block a shot

    Three on 3

    ST. JOSEPH - SJO's Ty Pence, Tanner Siems, and Coy Taylor (left to right) form a defensive wall on Unity junior Andrew Thomas during first-half action on Friday. Down by two with 2:28 left in the second quarter, St. Joseph-Ogden rallied with a 13-point unanswered run to go up 35-24 on the Rockets. The Spartans improved to 24-4 with a week to play in the regular season after taking down the Rockets 67-50. The two conference foes are looking at a possible rematch, this time on a neutral court with a regional title on the line, at the Bismarck-Henning Regional on February 24.

    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Search the PhotoNews Media archives for more photos:

    Search by athlete's name, team, school and more

    *02-13-23* The caption misidentified Tanner Siems as Garrett Siems upon initial publication. The story now shows the correct name of the player in the photo.

    Photo Gallery | Pence scores 41, Spartans grab conference win from BCC

    St. Joseph-Ogden senior Ty Pence goes up for a shot in the first half. The senior dropped 22 points in the first half to help SJO swing a three-point first quarter deficit to a seven-point advantage on the way to a 68-55 conference win. The Illinois State University recruit turned in 41 points moving to the top of the list of the Spartans' all-time leading scorers on Tuesday. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Spartans' Logan Smith drives to the paint in the first half. Smith, a junior, was held to just a pair of free throws in the home game against the Saints. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Two future Spartans athletes mug for the camera late in the first half. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Members of the SJO Dance Team are all smiles before their halftime performance.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Tanner Siems goes up for a shot in the third quarter. The sophomore chipped in nine points in SJO's conference victory. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Trailed by teammate Ty Pence, Coy Taylor on a fast break. Taylor, who was scoreless in the first half, scored eight in the final half. The junior went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Student fans from the Maroon Platoon cheer for the Spartans in the fourth quarter.

    St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Kyle Duval claps after star player Ty Pence hits a three pointer in the fourth quarter. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Spartan Tanner Seims makes a pass around two Central Catholic defenders late in the game. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Seims goes up for two of his four fourth-quarter points. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Ty Pence slaps hands with members of the Maroon Platoon as the last seconds tick off the game clock. Pence scored 41 points, 22 in the first half, the 13-point win over the visiting Saints. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Head coach Kiel Duval congratulates senior Ty Pence for his record-breaking achievement after the game. Pence's 41-point performance brought his career-scoring total to a school-best of 2,128 points. The program's top spot, previously held by Brandon Trimble, who played for the Spartans from 2013-17, was 2,115 points. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Millions of low-income Americans to lose Medicaid coverage as Covid-era restrictions come to an end

    by Phil Galewitz
    Kaiser Health News
    Legislation enacted in December will be phasing out that money over the next year and calls for states to resume cutting off from Medicaid people who no longer qualify.
    States are preparing to remove millions of people from Medicaid as protections put in place early in the covid-19 pandemic expire.

    The upheaval, which begins in April, will put millions of low-income Americans at risk of losing health coverage, threatening their access to care and potentially exposing them to large medical bills.

    It will also put pressure on the finances of hospitals, doctors, and others relying on payments from Medicaid, a state-federal program that covers lower-income people and people with disabilities.

    Almost three years ago, as covid sent the economy into free fall, the federal government agreed to send billions of dollars in extra Medicaid funding to states on the condition that they stop dropping people from their rolls.

    But legislation enacted in December will be phasing out that money over the next year and calls for states to resume cutting off from Medicaid people who no longer qualify.

    Now, states face steep challenges: making sure they don’t disenroll people who are still entitled to Medicaid and connecting the rest to other sources of coverage.

    Even before the pandemic, states struggled to stay in contact with Medicaid recipients, who in some cases lack a stable address or internet service, do not speak English, or don’t prioritize health insurance over more pressing needs.

    “We have no illusion that this will be beautiful or graceful, but we will be doing everything we can not to lose anyone in the process,” Dana Hittle, Oregon’s interim Medicaid director, said of the so-called Medicaid unwinding.

    With the rate of uninsured Americans at an all-time low, 8%, the course reversal will be painful.

    The Biden administration has predicted that 15 million people — 17% of enrollees — will lose coverage through Medicaid or CHIP, the closely related Children’s Health Insurance Program, as the programs return to normal operations. While many of the 15 million will fall off because they no longer qualify, nearly half will be dropped for procedural reasons, such as failing to respond to requests for updated personal information, a federal report said.

    Certain states may be hit particularly hard: Nevada’s enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP has risen 47% since February 2020. Many signed up toward the start of the pandemic, when the state’s unemployment rate spiked to nearly 30%.

    Ordinarily, people move in and out of Medicaid all the time. States, which have significant flexibility in how they run their Medicaid programs, typically experience significant “churn” as people’s incomes change and they gain or lose eligibility.

    The unwinding will play out over more than a year.

    We acknowledge that this is going to be a bumpy road

    People who lose Medicaid coverage — in the more than 30 states covered by the federal marketplace — will have until July 31, 2024, to sign up for ACA coverage, CMS announced on Jan. 27. It’s unclear whether the state-based marketplaces will offer the same extended open-enrollment period.

    Even states that are taking far-reaching action to make sure people don’t end up uninsured worry the transition will be rough.

    In California alone, the state government forecasts that at least 2 million people out of 15 million in the program today will lose Medicaid coverage because of loss of eligibility or failure to reenroll.

    “We acknowledge that this is going to be a bumpy road,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said. “We’re doing all we can to be prepared.”

    In an all-hands-on-deck effort, states are enlisting Medicaid health plans, doctors, hospitals, state insurance marketplaces, and an assortment of nonprofit groups, including schools and churches, to reach out to people at risk of losing coverage.

    States will also use social media, television, radio, and billboards, as well as websites and mobile phone apps, to connect with enrollees. That’s in addition to letters and emails.

    Nevada has developed a mobile app to communicate with members, but only 15,000 of its 900,000 Medicaid enrollees have signed up so far.

    “[T]he transient nature of Nevada’s population means that maintaining proper contact information has been difficult,” a state report said in November. At least 1 in 4 letters sent to enrollees were returned on account of a wrong address.

    The law that allows states to begin disenrolling ineligible Medicaid recipients on April 1 bars states from disenrolling anyone because mail was returned as undeliverable until the state has made a “good faith effort” to contact the person at least one other way, such as by phone or email.

    To further reduce disruption, the law requires states to cover children in Medicaid and CHIP for 12 months regardless of changes in circumstances, but that provision doesn’t take effect for almost a year.

    States will give Medicaid recipients at least 60 days to respond to requests for information before dropping them, said Jack Rollins, director of federal policy at the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

    States will use government databases such as those from the IRS and Social Security Administration to check enrollees’ income eligibility so they can renew some people’s coverage automatically without having to contact them. But some states aren’t taking full advantage of the databases.

    States have until February to submit their unwinding plans to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which will monitor the process.

    We want to make it easier to say yes to coverage

    But it is already clear that some states are doing much more than others to keep people insured.

    Oregon plans to allow children to stay on Medicaid until age 6 and allow everyone else up to two years of eligibility regardless of changes in income and without having to reapply. No other state provides more than one year of guaranteed eligibility.

    Oregon is also creating a subsidized health plan that would cover anyone who no longer qualifies for Medicaid but has an annual income below 200% of the federal poverty level, which amounts to about $29,000 for an individual, state officials said. The program will have benefits similar to Medicaid’s at little or no cost to enrollees.

    Rhode Island will automatically move people who are no longer eligible for Medicaid — and with annual incomes below 200% of the poverty rate — into an Affordable Care Act plan and pay their first two months of premiums. State officials hope the shift will be seamless for many enrollees because they’ll be moving between health plans run by the same company.

    California will move some people to a subsidized private plan on the state’s marketplace, Covered California. Enrollees will have to agree and pay a premium if they don’t qualify for a free plan. However, the premium could be as low as $10 a month, said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. (Altman’s father, Drew Altman, is president and CEO of KFF. KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.)

    “We want to make it easier to say yes to coverage,” Altman said.

    But experts worry about what will become of Florida Medicaid enrollees.

    Florida doesn’t have its own ACA marketplace. As in most states, its residents use the federal exchange to shop for ACA plans. As a result, the handoff of people from Medicaid to marketplace may not be as efficient as it would be if it involved two state agencies that regularly work together, said Jodi Ray, director of Florida Covering Kids and Families, a nonprofit that helps people find coverage.

    Another concern for advocates is that Florida makes less use of government databases than other states to check enrollees’ incomes. “We make everyone jump through hoops to get reenrolled instead of utilizing all the acceptable data,” Ray said.

    Florida typically takes weeks to process Medicaid applications, while some states do it in a day, she said.

    Florida’s unwinding plan illustrates the difficulty of reaching enrollees. The plan said that, since 2020, the state has identified 850,000 cases in which Medicaid recipients did not respond to requests for information.

    Florida Medicaid officials did not return calls for comment.

    While state officials struggle to manage the unwinding, health care providers are bracing for the fallout.

    Dennis Sulser, chief executive of Billings, Montana-based Youth Dynamics, which provides mental health services to many children on Medicaid, expects some will lose coverage because they get lost in the process.

    That could leave patients unable to pay and the nonprofit financially stretching to try to avoid children facing an interruption in treatment.

    “If we had to discharge a child who is in our group home care, and they're only halfway through it and don't have all of the fundamentals of the care support needed, that could be tragic,” Sulser said.

    KHN correspondents Daniel Chang in Hollywood, Florida; Angela Hart in Sacramento, California; Katheryn Houghton in Missoula, Montana; Bram Sable-Smith in St. Louis; and Sam Whitehead in Atlanta contributed to this report.

    KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.