Editorial pages focus on these health issues and others.
Stat: The FDA In The 2020s: Move Forward, Don’t Stand Still
Federal regulatory agencies can’t stand still. They must evolve with industries they regulate. No agency faces more pressure to do this than the Food and Drug Administration. Charged with simultaneously protecting the public’s health from unsafe products and promoting public health by accelerating access to new treatments, it regulates about 20 cents of each dollar in the U.S. economy, all while responding rapidly to emerging health challenges like the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, and new vaping technologies that may reduce risks for smokers but increase nicotine use by youth. (Mark McClellan and Ellen V. Sigal, 2/26)
The New York Times: The Public Option Is Not An Easy Fix For Health Care
Government insurance advocates who are skeptical of Medicare for All’s prospects are placing their hopes on the “public option” as an easier-to-enact step in the same direction. All of the leading competitors to Bernie Sanders, who remains unyielding in his commitment to single-payer health care, have embraced some version of what Pete Buttigieg calls “Medicare for all who want it.” In general terms, with a public option, the federal government would run its own health plan in competition with private insurance. (Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta, 2/25)
The Hill: Congress Should Halt Trump’s Plan To Upend States’ Medical Marijuana Laws
President Trump is once again threatening to derail medical cannabis access in the majority of U.S. states that regulate its access and use. In his recently released 2021, the federal budget proposes, the president has called for ending existing federal protections that limit the federal government from interfering in the state-sanctioned regulation of medical cannabis. Doing so would place thousands of medical cannabis providers and the millions of patients who rely on them at risk for criminal prosecution. (Justin Strekal, 2/25)
Stat: Will The New PrEP Pill For HIV Prevention Fuel Progress — Or Profits?
Four decades after the HIV epidemic began, there’s finally hope it might end. Indeed, “Getting to Zero” — meaning zero new HIV infections — is a slogan used by the World Health Organization and others in fighting the epidemic. A major factor driving this optimism is pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, in which people who are HIV-negative take a medication to prevent HIV infection. (Douglas Krakower, Kenneth Katz and Julia L. Marcus, 2/26)
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Should Ban Child-Endangering Chlorpyrifos Permanently
When the top food-producing state moved to ban a pesticide that’s been on the market for decades, you better believe it had good reason. California made that decision last year because of the clear and incontrovertible evidence developed by multiple studies over more than a decade that chlorpyrifos is linked to childhood brain damage. The state had to do it, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to despite moving in that direction while Barack Obama was president — a decision that even science skeptics should find despicable. The evidence was so compelling that chlorpyrifos was banned from indoor use nearly a quarter-century ago. (2/25)
The Baltimore Sun: Law Firm Looking To Change The Way Asbestos Cases Are Handled In Baltimore Courts
The Law Firm of Peter Angelos — the most powerful firm in Baltimore — is using its political muscle to get state legislators to end a hugely successful court procedure that ensures justice for victims, not paydays for plaintiffs’ lawyers. The Baltimore asbestos docket is relativity obscure, but over the past 20 years, it’s clogged Baltimore City courts with questionable lawsuits while giving plaintiffs’ lawyers massive paydays. Currently, there are more than 27,000 active asbestos cases in Baltimore — with about two-thirds of the cases filed by The Law Offices of Peter Angelos. (Harold Kim, 2/25)
Kansas City Star: Kansas Lawmakers Fail If Medicaid, Abortion Bills Go Down
Make no mistake about it: The success or failure of the Kansas Legislature’s 2020 session — and maybe even life or death for some Kansans without health care — is riding entirely on the next few days and weeks. The fates of Medicaid expansion and a constitutional amendment limiting abortion have become intertwined with the fate of the legislative session itself. Especially when it comes to Medicaid expansion. If Medicaid expansion isn’t passed this year, as a majority of legislators say they want, then they will have failed utterly. (2/26)
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Messenger: St. Louis Faces Tough Months Ahead As Guns, Fentanyl Cut Too Many Lives Short
On signs that dot many front lawns in the aforementioned northside neighborhoods, the message is spelled out this way: “We must stop killing each other.” Nearly every time another child loses his or her life in senseless gun violence in the city, angry and heartbroken residents band together to march, to honor the dead and pray for an end to the violence. (Tony Messenger, 2/25)
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Carry Permits Would Provide A Tool To Confront Shooters Before They Shoot.
St. Louis leaders have asked the state to allow a permit requirement to carry within the city. State leaders, in stubborn fealty to Republican dogma, refuse. The city must keep fighting for that reform — and every time a child dies, those state leaders need to ask themselves if it’s a death that reasonable gun policy might have prevented. …State Republicans can indulge their ideological extremism in their own communities, but they should take the cuffs off St. Louis. (2/25)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/viewpoints-lessons-on-supporting-fda-as-its-importance-grows-stronger-starting-up-a-public-option-doesnt-come-easily-either/