Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
The New York Times: Weaponizing Truth Against Opioids
This ad depicts a true story. It begins: A young man walks around his car, which is up on a jack. He says in voice-over: “I got some Oxy after I hurt my neck. First I took them to feel better. Then I kept taking them. I didn’t know they’d be this addictive. I didn’t know how far I’d go to get more.” Here’s how far he’d go: He lies down under the car. Then he kicks out the jack. You see the car fall, hear a crunch. “Joe S. from Maine broke his back to get more prescription opioids,” the screen says. And then a voice-over: “Opioid dependence can happen after just five days. Know the truth, spread the truth.” (Tina Rosenberg, 1/28)
The Hill: As The Mental Health Crisis Grows, Puerto Ricans Need Long-Term Care
Today, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray announced the City is sending nine mental health experts to Puerto Rico to provide crisis counseling, emotional support, connections to mental health services, and help with coping with stressful events. This is in addition to the staff already on the ground, which includes health professionals, building inspectors, engineers, and emergency managers to support the cities with the worst damage. Governor Cuomo also pledged to send extra mental health experts to Puerto Rico as part of the State’s emergency response. But we need consistent support from the federal government. (Oxiris Barbot, 1/28)
Huffington Post: How GOP Lawyers Undercut Their Own Case Against Obamacare
The Trump administration lawyers trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act may have undermined a central argument of their case, thanks to an admission in their very own court papers. The filings were part of a lawsuit, now called Texas v. U.S., that started with 20 Republican state officials and claims that a fatal constitutional flaw in Obamacare requires invalidating the entire program. … But in the brief laying out the case for taking things slow, Trump’s Justice Department lawyers made a curious statement: They said the Affordable Care Act’s supposedly unconstitutional provision has no practical impact. That raises the question of why courts should even hear the lawsuit. (Jonathan Cohn, 1/27)
Bloomberg: No, Humans Don’t Have A Natural Lifespan Of 38
Biologist Benjamin Mayne certainly generated a lot of media attention with his research showing that the natural human lifespan is 38 years. If he’s right, then the implications are huge — for starters, we would have to rethink our entire health care system. That system is based on the (perhaps unrealistic) assumption that deaths not attributable to accident or violence are due to disease, and that all diseases can be conquered with enough medical research.What if, instead, we’re programmed to die before we’re even old enough for a midlife crisis? (Faye Flam, 1/27)
The New York Times: Are You Good Enough At Paperwork To Be A Poor American?
Take this quiz to see whether you make the kinds of mistakes that can cost poor families food or health insurance. (Emily Badger and Margot Sanger-Katz, 1/28)
Dallas Morning News: Donald Trump Is Making Us Pro-Life Activists Look Like Fools
Ironically, the theme for this year’s march was “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.” And yet, here we had a keynote address from a man who has cheated on his wives. A man who has exhibited predatory behavior. A man who has tried to silence women with money, and who uses sexist terms against female journalists who dare speak the truth about him. A man who has no qualms about separating born children from their parents at the border. And somehow the crowd chanted “four more years” as he exited the stage. As a pro-life feminist, I carried a different sign. It read: “Women have abortions because of the sexual ethics of men like Trump.” (Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, 1/29)
The Washington Post: Virginia’s Gun ‘Sanctuaries’ Are A Recipe For Mayhem
No doubt some local politicians in Virginia who supported resolutions proclaiming their jurisdictions as “gun sanctuaries” thought of their votes as a harmless sop to gun owners riled up at the prospect of tougher state gun laws. What’s the harm in a little pandering, after all?The harm, it turns out, is the risk of turning their counties and cities into firearms free-for-alls where fanatical or confused gun sellers, owners and buyers — and maybe local police and prosecutors, too — decide that state laws are optional. And if state gun laws are optional, then so are other state laws. (1/28)
Boston Globe: How Massachusetts Became A National Leader On Healthcare — And How It Can Lead Again
Massachusetts has been a clear leader when it comes to health care coverage, and as a result, outpaces other states in health care outcomes. But it has taken a village of health care policymakers, economists, practitioners, community leaders, and legislators to create an insurance coverage system that not only works, but that also rises above partisan acrimony. (Pakinam Amer, 1/28)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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