Perspectives: Medical Marijuana For NFL Players’ Pain Management; Disability Workforce Vastly Underpaid
Editorial writers explore medical marijuana, disability workforce issues and improving health care.
Why Medical Marijuana May Be A Godsend For NFL Players
ncertainty is a word often associated with NFL athletes who put football behind them and look to start a career and a new way of life. While we all face challenges in moving forward, my belief in the medical and economic benefits of cannabis, and my passion to be involved in its breakthroughs, guided my recent transition from the gridiron to the boardroom. My business partners and I want to broker change in how cannabis is perceived, how it's prescribed, how it's researched, how it's accessed, and how it can bring about lasting change for Americans from all walks of life. (Jordan Reed, 6/17)
The Boston Globe:
Bonuses For Dishwashers And Ice Cream Scoopers — So Why Not For The Disability Workforce?
To deal with a post-pandemic labor shortage, employers are offering bonuses and raising wages to hire workers to wash dishes, scoop ice cream, and serve hamburgers. When it comes to taking care of people with disabilities, the pay is low to start and, so far, unchanged by the same post-pandemic labor shortage. So far, the authority ultimately responsible for setting wages — the state of Massachusetts — hasn’t budged on increasing the current pay scale range of $15.53 to $16.50 an hour, which is about $32,000 a year. That, in turn, is causing a workforce crisis that affects thousands of people in Massachusetts. “I’m getting calls on a daily basis, asking, ‘Why can’t you take back my loved one?’ ” said Anne-Marie Bajwa, CEO of Charles River Center, which runs a day program for people with disabilities in Needham. “People are getting more desperate, saying ‘I need a break here.’ ” (Joan Vennochi, 6/16)
A Better Way To Pay For Health Care
Living standards during the past generation have improved massively across the broad spectrum of our lives thanks to technological innovation and productivity. A new pair of shoes, a gallon of milk, a flight to visit our parents, a coast-to-coast call or a new television require only a fraction of hours worked compared to our parents. Health care has been a stunning exception. Spending in the U.S. is the highest among any developed nation in the world. Outlays have nearly tripled from 6 percent of GDP in 1970 to 18 percent in 2019, though bang for buck compared to other nations is mediocre. For most Americans, real wages have barely budged for decades, so health care costs have vastly outpaced our ability to pay them. (James Breiding, 6/15)
The Pandemic Has Helped Engage People With Their Health
About a month ago, one of our patients, a man in his mid-40s, came to the clinic for an in-person visit for the first time in more than 12 months. For the past few years, he’s struggled with sky-high blood pressure and always seemed to be teetering on the edge of a major stroke. But this time his blood pressure was perfect. (Shantanu Nundy and Felicia Hsu, 6/17)
How To Expand Screening For Social Determinants Of Health
Multiple studies have demonstrated that health outcomes are caused or exacerbated by social, behavioral and economic risk factors. While health disparities are unfortunately not new, the pandemic has highlighted the prevalence of food and housing insecurity, exposure to discrimination or violence, and limited access to transportation and other services. Hospitals and health systems are beginning to address these issues, but much remains to be done. The problem is complex. Providing equitable care starts with screening for social determinants of health. Yet there are limited screening resources specific to tertiary settings with no agreed-upon industry standard for measuring validity or success. (Alison Bradywood, 6/16)