KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

All Kids Should Receive HPV Vaccination Course By Age 13, Cancer Centers Recommend

Meanwhile, news outlets report on depression screening for new moms, the benefits of pediatricians teaching parenting skills and President Barack Obama's call for $12 billion to feed low-income children when school is out of session.

The Wall Street Journal: Cancer Centers Urge Increase In HPV Vaccinations
The top cancer centers in the U.S. jointly called for an increase in vaccination against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, saying low uptake of the three-shot regimens amounts to a “public health threat” and a major missed opportunity to prevent a variety of potentially lethal malignancies. In a statement issued Wednesday, all 69 of the nation’s National Cancer Institute-designated centers urged parents and health-care providers to “protect the health of our children” by taking steps to have all boys and girls complete the three-dose vaccination by their 13th birthdays, as recommended by federal guidelines, or as soon as possible in children between 13 and 17 years old. (Winslow, 1/27)

PBS NewsHour: Postpartum Mom Says Depression Screening Would Have Made All The Difference
The United States Preventative Task Force’s new guidelines urge medical workers to screen pregnant women and new mothers regardless of whether they have services in place to provide treatment, given that mental health services are now more widely available and screenings are accepted as part of mental health care. The recommendation received a “B” rating from the Task Force, making it so that screening for maternal depression must now be covered under the Affordable Care Act. (Pasquantonio, 1/27)

NPR: Teaching Parenting Skills At Doctor Visits Helps Children's Behavior
As researchers have come to understand how poverty and its stresses influence children's brain development, they've begun untangling how that can lead to increased behavior problems and learning difficulties for disadvantaged kids. Rather than trying to treat those problems, NYU child development specialists Adriana Weisleder and Alan Mendelsohn want to head them off. They say they've found a way: Working with low-income parents when they bring babies and young children to the pediatrician. They've been able to reduce key obstacles to learning like hyperactivity and difficulty paying attention, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics. (Rancano, 1/27)

The Associated Press: Obama To Seek $12B From Congress For Child Nutrition
President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for $12 billion over a decade to help feed millions of schoolchildren from low-income families during the summer, the White House said Wednesday. Nearly 22 million low-income children receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year, but just a fraction of those kids receive meals when school is out. The disparity puts those children at higher risk of hunger and poor nutrition during the summer months, the White House said. (1/27)

And the latest on Flint's public health emergency due to tainted water —

Reuters: Michigan Governor Names Panel To Fix Flint's Contaminated Water System
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday appointed a group of government officials, health and other experts to implement long-term fixes for Flint's lead-contaminated water system, which has become a national scandal. The 17-member committee would recommend ways to help people exposed to lead, study Flint's water infrastructure and determine possible upgrades. The members includes Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and county and state officials. (Wisniewski, 1/27)

The Wall Street Journal: Flint Water Crisis Shines Light On Lead Pipes Crisscrossing The U.S.
The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has exposed the danger that lead could potentially leach into the drinking water of millions of Americans, showing what can go wrong if aging infrastructure isn’t properly monitored and maintained. Lead is common in pipes across the country, mostly in service lines linking street pipes to people’s homes. Millions of pipes now in use were installed well before 1986, when federal law banned lead pipes and solder, and some date back to the 1800s. (McWhirter and Maher, 1/28)

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