Editorial pages focus on these public health topics and others.
The Washington Post: It’s Time To Follow Doctors’ Orders On Gun Violence
We never thought we would see the National Rifle Association help advance the discussion of gun violence as a public-health crisis. But that is exactly what the organization unwittingly did when it essentially told doctors they had no business talking about guns and should just shut up. What followed instead was an indignant outpouring of heart-rending stories from professionals who see close up the horror and damage caused by guns. (11/13)
The Washington Post: To The Mother Of The Gunshot Victim I Couldn’t Save
To the mother whose son I couldn’t save: I wish that I possessed some combination of words that could heal the wound in your heart, some turn of phrase that could end your sorrow. But I have no such words. You will live the rest of your life with an unfillable void and the simple question “why?” forever unanswered. (Jaques Mather, 11/13)
Los Angeles Times: Americans Are So Stubbornly Inactive, Public Health Advocates Are Getting Desperate
Public heath advocates appear to be getting desperate over the state of Americans’ inactivity.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released a new set of physical activity guidelines and they are…ah…interesting. Instead of prescribing the standard block of sustained physical activity — previously at least 10 minutes at a time — the government is now urging Americans to, you know, move around more during the day and sit less. (Mariel Garza, 11/14)
The Hill: Antimicrobial Resistance Is An Urgent, Global Crisis
Responses to a nationwide survey indicated that while most Americans are aware of the dangers posed by infections that have grown increasingly resistant to current antibiotic treatments, only about half know enough about the correct use of antibiotics to prevent resistance from occurring. As a physician, I have had to hope that patients’ immune systems could fill the gap left by failing treatments against antibiotic-resistant infections. As the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which, with Research!America, commissioned the survey, the responses both encourage and alarm me. (Cynthia Sears, 11/13)
USA Today: Health Care Will Be A Top 2020 Issue If Republicans Keep Attacking It
A critical test for the Trump administration is whether to drop support for a frivolous lawsuit to invalidate the ACA, currently being pushed by 20 Republican state attorneys general. If that lawsuit continues, expect the voters who became so active this year to keep health care on the front burner.When it comes to 2020, Republicans would prefer to make the next election a referendum on single payer health care, such as Medicare for All, than on the ACA and pre-existing conditions. That will be a tough sell, particularly if they are continuing to attack the ACA. (Andy Slavitt, 11/14)
The Hill: Birth Control Has Transformed Women’s Lives, But People Are Worried About The Future
Our new polling also revealed a more troubling trend: nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of 18-29 year olds report being concerned that women may not be able to access the full range of birth control methods in the future because of today’s political landscape. Their concerns are justified. Over the past year, the current administration has been relentless in its pursuit to limit access to no or low cost birth control. (Ginny Ehrlich, 11/13)
Bloomberg: Don’t Stand In The Way Of Fetal Tissue Research
HHS promises to push for alternatives to the use of fetal tissue in research. But other approaches — including adult stem cells — don’t work as well. Fetal cells are less differentiated, and therefore more flexible, than adult cells. And tissue from elective abortions, unlike that from miscarriages, is easier to obtain under controlled conditions, and less likely to contain developmental abnormalities.Elective abortions, of course, are what the activists want to stop: They believe fetal-tissue research encourages them. (11/13)
The Washington Post: How Did America End Up Raising Generation Paranoia?
As Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt chronicle in their new book, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” today’s young people tend to be obsessed with safety, troubled by a pervasive sense of threat. Consequently, understandably, they’re anxious and depressed. …In an Atlantic article headlined “College Is Different for the School-Shooting Generation,” Ashley Fetters describes a rising generation that constantly scans rooms for exit points and games out active-shooter scenarios. (Megan McArdle, 11/13)
Detroit News: Measles Outbreak Is Totally Preventable
State measures implemented about three years ago to improve vaccine education have caused the number of non-medical vaccine waivers to drop and vaccination rates to rise in Michigan. Yet the 15 recent confirmed cases of measles prove that those who refuse vaccines — or to vaccinate their children — continue to risk both their health and the health of the state. Measles is spread by direct person-to-person contact, and through the air by a contagious person sneezing or coughing. Germs can live for up to two hours. (11/13)
Los Angeles Times: The Sooner We Build Housing For Homeless People, The Sooner They Can Get Off The Sidewalk
Building housing is a long, slow affair. It’s even slower when developers are building housing for homeless people. Just cobbling together financing from myriad sources can take up to two years, and then there’s the permitting, the political haggling, the inevitable negotiations with neighbors. So it’s encouraging to see two different attempts to speed up this lumbering process. (11/14)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.