Viewpoints: Let’s Deal With Real Public Health Crises Like The Opioid Epidemic, Gun Violence; Kids Need To Hear From Parents About Dangers Of Vaping
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
The Washington Post: The U.S. Faces Real Crises. Why Is Trump Fixated On A Fake One?
The partial government shutdown, now into its fifth week, is a national crisis. The lack of a border wall — used to justify the shutdown — isn’t. …What’s depressing is that one of the few crises on my list that Trump has tried to address is opioids. He signed legislation in October to combat this scourge. But, showing where his priorities lie, he has tweeted about opioids only 16 times, compared with 627 tweets about the border. At least that’s better than his response to climate change, which he treats as a joke. Or his response to gun violence: He won’t do anything meaningful because he is so beholden to the National Rifle Association. (Max Boot, 1/23)
WBUR: How To Talk To Your Kids About Vaping
Talking with your kids about vaping is one of the most important things you can do. I understand it may be difficult to broach the subject, that’s why we’ve launched a statewide public information campaign about vape pens and e-cigarettes and our website offers parents advice for how to have the conversation. (Monica Bharel, 1/24)
Stat: HIV Care Is Threatened By Proposed Changes To Medicare Part D
As a physician who has cared for individuals with HIV for more than three decades, and who has investigated treatment and prevention interventions for just as long, I’m worried about a recent proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Although the stated intention of the proposal is laudable, it will impose new obstacles to uninterrupted therapy by restricting access to HIV medications. (David Hardy, 1/24)
The Washington Post: Where The Fight For Abortion Rights Will Take Place Next
New York stands to be an inflection point, adding powerful momentum to efforts to protect abortion rights and expand access in every state where it is possible. States such as Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wisconsin are among the states that could be up next. It is true that if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned tomorrow, there are states where the hurdles to restore abortion access would be daunting, and in the short term, perhaps insurmountable. (Andrea Miller, 1/23)
USA Today: Roe V. Wade Anniversary: Moving Home To Expand Texas’ Abortion Access
That’s the fourth test, my best friend told me in a calm, but stern voice. I was pregnant. I sat in shock on the toilet seat, staring at all four positive pregnancy tests. How could this be? Taking birth control pills made me feel invincible; there was no way I could be pregnant. I was 17 years old and in a state of pure instability. With siblings away at college, no longer speaking to my father, and knowing my mother was processing the messy divorce that tore our family apart — I felt alone, lost and with nowhere to turn. (Sarah Valliere, 1/22)
USA Today: Parents Must Talk To Teens About Mental Health History, Marijuana Risks
Nearly all young people whom I treat use marijuana. As a psychiatrist, I’ve cared for dozens of young people experiencing their first psychotic episode, and many are “wake-and-bakers” who use weed throughout the day. Marijuana is now legal for medicinal use in 33 states and recreational use in 10 states. (Marni Chanoff, 1/22)
San Jose Mercury News: While Trump Tweets, Newsom Leads On Health Care
While President Trump and congressional Republicans roll back national progress toward universal health care, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes changes to improve health outcomes, reduce the number of uninsured Californians and lower prescription drug prices. Newsom’s strategy puts him on a path to fulfill his campaign promises for universal health care and lower drug costs in California. (1/22)
The Washington Post: In NYC, Teachers Will Soon Work Under A New Contract. Here’s Why 3,000 School Occupational And Physical Therapists Won’t.
Last month, New York City’s United Federation of Teachers ratified a new contract with the city’s Department of Education that provides a big wage increase for union-represented employees, which starts on Feb. 14. That made news, but this got less attention: the contract that wasn’t ratified. That one covers school nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and supervisors of nurses and therapists. The UFT reported that most of the 282 school nurses who cast ballots voted to ratify, but 64 percent of the 1,251 occupational therapists and physical therapists who cast ballots voted no. (Valerie Strauss, 1/23)
Des Moines Register: Proposed Medicaid Work Requirement Is About Politics, Not Smart Policy
Here we go again. Republicans controlling the Iowa Legislature are revisiting the idea of imposing a “work requirement” on Medicaid recipients. The latest GOP rationale for making government health insurance contingent on employment: It could ease the state’s worker shortage. (1/22)
Los Angeles Times: California Has Gone Crazy For Sketchy Stem Cell Treatments
In case you haven’t noticed, stem cell clinics are popping up everywhere. There are hundreds across the country, especially in California. The clinics peddle “vegan stem cell facials” or “stem cell vaginal rejuvenations” and claim the miracle cells can treat autism, baldness, dementia, diabetes, arthritis and paralysis all with a quick injection. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. There is no good scientific evidence the pricey treatments work, and there is growing evidence that some are dangerous, causing blindness, tumors and paralysis. Medical associations, the federal government and even Consumer Reports have all issued stern warnings to patients about the clinics. (Usha Lee McFarling, 1/23)
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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