Parsing Policy: A Closer Look At Gulf War Illness, ‘Pay And Chase’ And More
Editorial pages confront these topics and others.
Yes, Gulf War Illness Is Real. Biden May Finally Give Troops A Shot At Help.
“Delay, deny, wait until we die. ”That “little saying,” a Gulf War veteran recently told an interviewer for the National Public Radio program “Here and Now,” is what you’re likely to encounter when you walk into a Veterans Administration hospital complaining of debilitating symptoms from your combat experience 30 years ago. The symptoms almost surely result from your exposure to pesticides used in Kuwait or air-borne toxins from massive open-air pits, some larger than a football field, where trash and human waste were burning. Anti-nerve agents you and your comrades were ordered to take also might be culprits. (3/11)
Dallas Morning News:
Open A Vein: Pandemic And Winter Storm Have Left Blood Banks Empty
The shelves are bare at Carter Blood Center. It’s time for us all to donate. Veronica Moore, Carter’s vice president of organizational relations, told us the double whammy of an ongoing pandemic and a winter storm has depleted stores. In normal, pre-pandemic operations, Carter likes to operate with three-days supply of blood, Moore said. That’s about 1,000 units. The center hasn’t been close to that in the past year, operating with somewhere between 20 and 40 units most days. And since the winter storm shut things down last month, Carter hasn’t been able to catch up. “There were days when we had nothing on the shelves,” Moore said. (3/11)
Insurers Should Nix Prior Authorization For The 'Pay-And-Chase' Model
The news Jennifer G. and her husband got from her medical team was devastating. If you had come to us a month sooner, they said, we would have used chemotherapy to treat your cancer. But because of the delay, we have to amputate your leg, your hip, and your pelvis. The delay they referred to wasn’t due to any negligence on the part of the 46-year-old mother or the doctor treating her. Instead, the 38-day delay was caused by her insurance company, which had denied her orthopedist’s request for an MRI of Jennifer’s hip, deeming it “not medically necessary.” (Steve Cohen, 3/11)
Follow The Pioneers Of Women's Health
When I think about March and Women's History Month, I remember the pioneers who challenged the status quo to defeat societal norms. These heroic individuals not only paved new roads for opportunity but changed our thinking altogether. There are so many female forerunners who have reshaped politics and almost every industry, including medicine. There's—of course—Vice President Kamala Harris, who is now inspiring young women that they could one day become president of the United States. Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for justice at the highest levels. Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing. And there was Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who was the first female physician in the U.S. (Michael Dowling, 3/10)
The Baltimore Sun:
Want To Help Maryland’s Youth? Hire More Health Instructors And Stop Arguing Over Common Sense Legislation
You may have heard that things are quite different in the operations of this year’s Maryland General Assembly. Yes, there is virtual participation and livestreaming of sessions not experienced before. However, our organization watches all bills that come through session, carefully considering the impact of legislation and reforms affecting gender justice. And from what we’ve seen thus far, our legislators are still subject to distractions by those who do not want to acknowledge the basic rights and realities of our youth. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on many disparities we face in our state. For example, period poverty is the notion that not all people who menstruate can afford pads and tampons, preventing active participation in work or school. Food banks and community action centers report that donations of these products are constantly in demand. House Bill 205 and Senate Bill 427 requires Maryland public schools to provide free, size appropriate maxi-pads and tampons in at least one restroom in each primary school and two restrooms in each secondary school by Oct. 1 and most restrooms by August 2025. The legislation seeks to increase school attendance and extracurricular participation among menstruating students, who lack access to such products, and to decrease peer harassment that contributes to poor school climate. (Diana Philip, 3/10)