Viewpoints: Failure To Take Care Of Children In Detention Centers Is A National Disgrace; Opioid Epidemic Requires Effective Addiction Treatment Not Just Temporary Fixes
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
Donald Trump Earns Place In History With How USA Treats Migrant Kids
On a subject as fraught as immigration, there's plenty of room for disagreement about border security, workplace enforcement, paths to citizenship and other policies. But when the topic is the well-being of kids crammed into federal immigration centers on the southern border, there ought to be no room for debate. For young children, toddlers and infants guilty only of being carried or led into the United States, it's unconscionable for federal officials to banish them for days or weeks to squalor. (7/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Trump’s Anti-Immigration Agenda Could Make L.A.’s Homelessness Crisis Even Worse
President Trump recently weighed in on the rise in homelessness in cities across the country, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and warned that the federal government may “do something to get that whole thing cleaned up” — whatever that means. But the federal government already plays a major role in keeping people off the streets by supplying publicly owned, subsidized housing units to some lower income people (albeit in dwindling numbers) and vouchers to others to rent privately owned units.Now, a misguided proposal from the Trump administration could make homelessness even worse here and in other cities by kicking families out of these programs if even one person in the household is living in the country illegally. That is not only counterproductive, it’s cruel. (7/12)
Opioid Overdoses Should Be Treated Like Attempted Suicides
The state of New Jersey has enabled paramedics to offer buprenorphine (Suboxone) to patients after they reverse a near-fatal overdose. In a prepared statement, Dr. Shereef Elnahal, New Jersey’s health commissioner, said that buprenorphine “is a critical medication that doesn’t just bring folks into recovery — it can also dampen the devastating effects of opioid withdrawal.” Dr. Dan Ciccarone, who studies heroin use and the opioid epidemic, told STAT that the New Jersey effort is “a potentially brilliant idea.” (David A. Patterson Silver Wolf, 7/12)
Taking The 'Surprise' Out Of Medical Billing
The political stars seem to have aligned to make real progress on medical billing abuse a tantalizing possibility. In Congress last week the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) passed the Lower Health Care Costs Act. The act has many important parts, but let’s focus on the long overdue solution it provides for the pernicious problem of surprise medical billing. Possibilities, of course, are not realities and already there is an impressive array of providers and insurers invested in preserving the status quo and determined to prevent real change. The act should become law as soon as possible, and without any further watering-down of its important provisions. Coverage for ground ambulance charges should be added to the bill. (George A. Nation III, 7/10)
The Wall Street Journal:
Is God The Answer To The Suicide Epidemic?
The rate at which Americans take their own lives has been climbing for 20 years, prompting policy makers and medical experts to search for novel suicide-prevention practices. But one approach is as old as civilization itself: religious faith. Encouraging the most vulnerable Americans to attend religious services could reduce the suicide rate, and a new type of church growing in the U.S. shows particular promise. (Ericka Andersen, 7/11)
Newborn Screening Saves Lives. Congress Needs To Reauthorize The Program
Newborn screening is a complex effort that can continue to improve and thrive only if the federal-state partnership currently in place is allowed to continue. The achievements in newborn screening over the decades have been significant, and with the development of more treatments and cures for heritable disorders that will further save and improve children’s lives, Congress must act to reauthorize the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act before it expires in September to ensure that this success continues. (R. Rodney Howell, 7/12)
The Washington Post:
The Moms Went To Richmond To Demand Action On Gun Violence. Instead, They Were Ignored.
They packed like moms pack — healthy snacks, water, comfortable shoes, tissues in their purses — and wore matching red shirts. They got babysitters, took the day off from work or swapped car pool duties so they could be up at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for the long drive to Richmond, where the state legislature was finally — finally — going to debate Virginia’s lax gun laws. (Petula Dvorak, 7/11)
Dallas Morning News:
Why Is Texas All But Forcing The Developmentally Disabled Into Bad State Institutions?
Texans with intellectual or developmental disabilities often have a choice: Add their name to a 10-year waitlist for services in their community in places like group homes or get a spot in a more restrictive state-supported institution immediately. Most choose to wait. The state of Texas prioritizes funding for state-supported institutions over community-based services for developmentally disabled citizens. But these institutions are fraught with problems, and few choose them. In order to serve its citizens and use public funds more responsibly, the state needs to reconsider its priorities. (7/12)
The Washington Post:
Black Lung Disease Cases Grow, While Federal Program’s Financing Suffers
Like the miners who work underground in dark and dangerous conditions, black lung disease is, for many, largely out of sight, out of mind. But for folks such as Gary Hairston, who spent more than 27 years in the mines around his Beckley, W.Va., home, the ailment is ever-present. He lives with it. Many have died of it. (Joe Davidson, 7/11)
Dallas Morning News:
Texas Is No. 1 In Business And No. 41 In Child Welfare. That's Not Sustainable
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its 2019 State Trends in Child Well-Being report and Texas ranked 41st. Contrast that with Texas being named as the 2018 top state for business by CNBC. If we were a state that was struggling, 41st might be understandable, albeit terrible. But, because we are a thriving state by so many other metrics and often recognized for our generosity, this stat — which illuminates deeper issues — should bring us to our knees. (Michelle Kinder, 7/11)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Juul’s SF Ballot Measure Typical Of Big Tobacco’s Disingenuous Tactics
Juul’s initiative would repeal anti-smoking laws that were enacted to keep e-cigarettes out of the mouths of children. It would also gut city officials’ authority to regulate e-cigarettes in the future. (Lousie Renne, 7/10)