Perspectives: Who’s Prescribing? Sure Looks Like The Insurers; Quiet Truths About Starving Children
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health topics and others.
Under Prior Authorization, Who Is Choosing Americans' Medicines?
New Year’s Day, the day of new beginnings, is a day health care providers like me dread. It starts the annual deluge of requests to renew “prior authorizations” — a bureaucratic tactic that insurers use to see how dedicated we are to the treatments we choose for our patients. (Brian Barnett, 1/1)
The New York Times:
Starving Children Don’t Cry
Starvation is agonizing and degrading. You lose control of your bowels. Your skin peels off, your hair falls out, you hallucinate and you may go blind from lack of vitamin A. While you waste away, your body cannibalizes itself: It consumes its own muscles, even the heart. Yet Abdo Sayid, a 4-year-old boy so emaciated he weighed just 14 pounds, wasn’t crying when he was brought to a hospital recently in Aden, Yemen. That’s because children who are starving don’t cry or even frown. Instead, they are eerily calm; they appear apathetic, often expressionless. A body that is starving doesn’t waste energy on tears. It directs every calorie to keep the major organs functioning. (Nicholas Kristof, 1/2)
The Stimulus And MacKenzie Scott Show Two Sides Of The Same Problem
On Monday night, Congress finally passed a second relief bill in response to the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic. The $900 billion package is the first new aid many Americans have seen since March, and the direct payouts — $600 for those making under $75,000, plus a boost of $300 a week to unemployment payments — are half that provided in the spring. Yet even that paltry package was hard-won, as a number of Senate Republicans had initially opposed a second round of relief payments. (Hemmer, 12/22)
Why Winter Weather Makes It Easier To Catch A Cold Or Flu
Many of us have heard: "Don't go outside without a coat; you'll catch a cold." That's not exactly true. As with many things, the reality is more complicated. Here's the distinction: Being cold isn't why you get a cold. But it is true that cold weather makes it easier to get the cold or flu. (Libby Richards, 1/4)
Kansas City Star:
Jackson County Sheriff’s Tweet Led To Colon Cancer Screening
A preventive health screening for colon cancer may have saved my life. And I can thank a tweet from Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forté for pushing me to get tested. At 58, Forté has had four colonoscopies in the 12 years since he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer. Early detection may have saved his life as well. (Toriano Porter, 1/4)