Longer Looks: Obamacare’s 6-Year-Old Lobbyist; Mental Illness In Prison; And Antibiotic Resistance
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The Littlest Lobbyist: A 6-Year-Old, Whose Life Depends On ACA, Heads To Capitol Hill
Timmy Morrison arrived at the United States Capitol on Tuesday morning with a big grin, a bright orange shirt, Velcro-strap shoes, and a vague understanding of what senators do.The 6-year-old boy was on the Hill to do what hundreds of other people were there to do (though usually not in Velcro): lobby Congress. (Sarah Kliff, 6/21)
She Was The Town’s Leading Heroin Dealer. She Was 19 Years Old
Breanne McUlty knew about Dr Rajan Masih long before she met him.McUlty was still a teenager, hooked on whiskey and methamphetamine and soon to be dealing heroin, when she first heard about the doctor. Masih was a respected, prosperous family man running a hospital emergency room.But McUlty knew from those of her friends who preferred to get high on painkillers – effectively heroin in a legal pill – that Masih was the go-to doctor for illicit opioid prescriptions in Grant County, West Virginia. (Chris McGreal, 6/19)
Even With Insurance, Americans Can't Afford Their Medical Bills
A chance trip to Long Island’s Adventureland amusement park just might have saved Cassidy McCarthy’s life. After Cassidy—whose family calls her Cassie—then 4, complained about pain and nausea following a ride on the Ladybug rollercoaster, her dad, Daniel, a registered nurse, felt her stomach and discovered a small bump. A CT scan ordered up at a local hospital’s emergency room revealed a kidney tumor. (Helaine Olen, 6/18)
The New York Times:
Psychologists Open A Window On Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations
Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program. He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture, but also justified the practices as effective in getting resistant detainees to cooperate. (Fink and Risen, 6/21)
Cerebral Palsy Didn't Stop This College Junior. Obamacare Repeal Might.
Justin Martin, 21, is in many respects a typical junior at Kenyon College. He lives in an off-campus apartment, which he shares with six other guys. He’s majoring in English, helps run a student improv group, and last semester he took five courses instead of the usual four ― a “terrible idea,” he now concedes. Sometimes he pulls all-nighters to write papers or study for exams, drawing sustenance from soda and chocolate-covered almonds. And sometimes he stays up late just to have long arguments with his roommates ― like over whether it’s OK to ban campus speeches by white supremacists (Martin says no) or whether the seventh Harry Potter novel was the worst (Martin says yes). (Jonathan Cohn, 6/17)
Is Criminalizing Mental Illness In Texas The Best Means For Care?
Shelia Muldrow sat in her usual courtroom pew. Her son had another criminal hearing. In the coming hours, she did not know what to expect.The mother had feared for her 23-year-old since his teenage years. His bipolar disorder and drug use sent him into manic, aggressive fits. He became unrecognizable at times. (Emily Foxhall, 6/16)
Cecile Richards On Planned Parenthood, The Resistance, And Galvanizing The Next Generation Of Activists
Cecile Richards strides into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student union in a hot-pink dress and a black cardigan. As she walks past me I notice that her toenails are also pink—a color that precisely matches the “I stand with Planned Parenthood” pins and signs and T-shirts that are all around the room. She is uncharacteristically late this morning, and before she arrived I was a little worried: There was only a smattering of local media, and the energy was muted. But as soon as she walked in, the air crackled—as if, in her presence, every atom gained an electron. (Jonathan Van Meter, 6/19)
Americans Should Be More Afraid Of HPV
Lee Tomlinson wasn’t a smoker. He wasn’t a drinker. He was a longtime professional tennis player and marathoner based in Los Angeles, “the healthiest guy anyone knew,” he says.That’s why, in 2012, at the age of 62, he was shocked to learn that he had stage-three throat cancer. (Julia Belluz, 6/15)
Could The Answer To The Antibiotic-Resistance Crisis Be Found On A Toilet Seat?
There was a time when all of our antibiotics came from natural sources. That is how the antibiotic era began, in 1928: Sir Alexander Fleming reputedly left a window open in his London laboratory, and discovered weeks later that specks of the mold Penicillium, blown in on the breeze, excreted a chemical that killed the bacterium Staphylococcus. That chemical became the first antibiotic, penicillin. It was followed by chloramphenicol, made by a bacterium found in compost in Venezuela, and chlortetracycline, excreted by a bacterium found in a field at the University of Missouri, a test plot for growing hay. (Maryn McKenna, 6/20)