Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature for the Missouri Independent. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

While an unusual step, Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (center) and Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo said it was necessary to reach out to their neighboring states to urge them to request a waiver under the new executive order. (Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications)

Missouri Dems hope Kansas, Illinois will help pay for out-of-state residents’ abortions

By: - August 5, 2022

Missouri’s top Democratic lawmakers have yet to receive a formal response to letters urging governors in Kansas and Illinois to help pay for abortions for out-of-state Medicaid patients, though a Kansas lawmaker said it is highly unlikely given Republican dominance of the state’s legislature. In letters sent Wednesday and first reported by the Associated Press, House […]

In a crowd of people holding up their signs, one stands out. It reads, "I stand with her!" (Margaret Mellott/Kansas Reflector)

Missouri doctors fear vague emergency exception to abortion ban puts patients at risk

By: and - July 5, 2022

Some Missouri medical providers are fearful that patients with high-risk pregnancies will face delayed care in life-threatening situations because doctors fear prosecution under Missouri’s newly enacted abortion ban. “I’m following the rules that are made by people that have no understanding of medicine and science, and that’s extremely, extremely dangerous,” said Iman Alsaden, a doctor […]

Kansas trails U.S. average in nursing home staff vaccinations as federal deadline looms

By: and - November 5, 2021

Even as nursing homes worked late this summer to get Missouri over the halfway mark in employee vaccinations, the state fell further behind peers, dropping to last in the nation. And while neighboring Kansas has fared better, both states have large swaths of nursing home staff to get vaccinated before a federal deadline next month. […]

A national survey indicated 36.1% of long-term care facilities in Kansas were experiencing staffing shortages that had worsened since 2020. The state ranked fourth worst in terms of the staffing shortage. (Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images)

Biden mandates nursing homes require COVID vaccine or lose Medicare, Medicaid funds

By: , and - August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nursing homes will be required to ensure their staffers are vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Biden administration announced Wednesday in a major move on vaccinations as the Delta variant sweeps many states. Under the new nursing home policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

AARP calls for vaccine mandates as COVID reenters Kansas, Missouri nursing homes

By: and - August 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With cases on the rise among both residents and staff, the nation’s leading advocacy group for the retirees is calling on nursing homes to mandate COVID-19 vaccines. The number of COVID-19 cases reported each week in Kansas and Missouri nursing homes is rising again for the first time in months. Missouri, […]

As threat of delta variant looms, 44% of Kansas nursing home staff are unvaccinated

By: and - August 9, 2021

Many of the staff and residents in Shunda Whitfield’s St. Louis County, Missouri, nursing home were sick before they even realized what was going on.  It was April 2020, and masks weren’t yet standard practice. Little was known about COVID before it swept through nursing homes, and as a certified nursing assistant, Whitfield said she […]