Longer Looks: Health-Sharing Ministries; Marijuana Addiction; And Electric Scooter Injuries
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Priced Out of Health Insurance, Americans Rig Their Own Safety Nets
When their son Sky was born four years ago, Lindsie and Chris Bergevin were hit with a big surprise: $7,000 in bills for the birth that their health plan didn’t cover. Sky was two when the couple jettisoned their medical insurance, which helped them eventually pay off the debt.Now that they’re ready to have a second child, they’re not going back to their old coverage, with its premiums of more than $350 a month. Instead, they’ve patched together an alternative through a religious group and a primary-care doctor whom they can visit anytime for a monthly fee. (John Tozzi, 8/22)
America’s Invisible Pot Addicts
Cannabis is not benign, even if it is relatively benign, compared with alcohol, opiates, and cigarettes, among other substances. Thousands of Americans are finding their own use problematic in a climate where pot products are getting more potent, more socially acceptable to use, and yet easier to come by, not that it was particularly hard before. (Annie Lowrey, 8/20)
Broken Bones And Missing Teeth: Scooter Injuries Are Becoming Common At Hospitals
The dockless motorized scooter craze has been controversial as startups Bird and Lime have suddenly swept into more cities, without any regulation or approval from the local government. While much of the ire has been directed at how riders leave hundreds of the scooters strewn about sidewalks and streets like abandoned flotsam, there’s another scourge: Emergency rooms are taking in lots of people with scooter injuries. (Katie Notopoulos, 8/20)
A New Book Chronicles How Pharma And Doctors Jumpstarted The Opioid Epidemic
“When a new drug sweeps the country,” writes Beth Macy in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, “it historically starts in the big cities and gradually spreads to the hinterlands, as in the cases of cocaine and crack.” In the case of the opioid crisis in the US, though, she claims it “began in exactly the opposite manner, grabbing a toehold in isolated Appalachia, Midwestern rust belt counties, and rural Maine.” (Eric Allen Been, 8/17)
Dark Chocolate Is Now A Health Food. Here’s How That Happened.
How in the world could a chocolate bar be convincingly sold as a health food? You can thank a decades-long effort by the chocolate industry. (Julia Belluz, 8/20)
The Courageous Fight To Fix The NBA's Mental Health Problem
The willingness of [Kevin] Love and DeMar DeRozan to step out of the shadows and reveal their struggles has set the NBA on an important path of self-discovery. It has prompted the National Basketball Players Association to hire Dr. William Parham as its first director of mental health and wellness, and it has convinced commissioner Adam Silver and union head Michele Roberts that hammering out a comprehensive mental health policy needs to be a priority. (Jackie MacMullan, 8/20)