Articles by Carla K. Johnson

Study Debunks Theory That Legalized Marijuana Helps Prevent Opioid Deaths

A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point of legal pot advocates. Researchers repeated an analysis that sparked excitement years ago. The previous work linked medical marijuana …

Some Claims of Medical Cannabis Lack Scientific Evidence

Marijuana has been shown to help ease pain and a few other health problems, yet two-thirds of U.S. states have decided pot should be legal to treat many other conditions with little scientific backing. At least 1.4 million Americans are …

U.S. Making Some Progress Against Opioid Epidemic, Says Health Chief

The number of U.S. drug overdose deaths has begun to level off after years of relentless increases driven by the opioid epidemic, health secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday, cautioning it’s too soon to declare victory. “We are so far from …

Illinois to Congress: Don’t Be ‘Hasty’ with Health Law Repeal

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has sent a letter to GOP congressional leaders asking them to avoid “hasty” or “incomplete” action as they proceed with a planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The Jan. 17 letter says Congress and …

Illinois Senator Says Blue Cross Could Reduce Costs, Be More Competitive

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is taking the rare step of weighing in on the state’s handling of a hefty health insurance rate increase request, asking Illinois regulators to press the state’s leading insurer of families and small businesses to reduce …

Illinois Medical Marijuana Program Grows, Sales Climb

Illinois officials posted new forms this week for doctors and patients in the state’s medical marijuana program to reflect changes in the law, and announced that July retail sales reached a new high at $2.9 million. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed …

Failing Illinois Health Insurance Co-Op to Be Shut Down

An Illinois health insurance co-op with 49,000 policyholders in the state has become the latest casualty among a dwindling group of nonprofit alternative insurers set up under the Affordable Care Act. Illinois regulators took steps on July 12 to shut …

Illinois Stepping in to Help Struggling Insurance Co-Op

The state of Illinois has tried an unusual maneuver to save a health insurer with 49,000 Illinois policyholders from possible financial failure by blocking it from paying a $31.8 million bill to the federal government. Illinois Department of Insurance Acting …

Hospital Medical Errors Down 17%, Reports HHS

A federal review of hospital medical records and other data has found a 17 percent decline in infections, drug mistakes, bed sores and other preventable errors from 2010 to 2013, according to a report. Using methods developed by health care …

Illinois Towns See Medical Marijuana as New Job Source

The prospect of adding jobs — even as few as 30 — has led officials in many shrinking Illinois’ communities to set aside any qualms about the state’s legalization of medical marijuana and to get friendly with would-be growers. The …