Viewpoints: FDA Got Kudos For Vaping Limits, But It Didn’t Get Tough Enough; Are Dems Moving Toward ‘Medicare For Anyone’?
Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
FDA Vaping Proposal Doesn't Go Far Enough
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently proposed new limits on sales of many fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes. If the new rules are adopted, convenience stores and gas stations won’t be able to sell them unless they set up separate rooms that bar entry to anyone under 18. This is meant to stop the indiscriminate sales that have helped enable an alarming 3.6 million high school and middle school students to vape in 2018. And it is a step in the right direction. But it’s hardly the crackdown that the Food and Drug Administration is making it out to be. (3/19)
The Washington Post:
Democrats Have Figured Out Where They’re Going On Health Care
Something quite remarkable is happening right now among Democrats on the issue of health care: After an intense period in which rhetoric, policy and politics were all seemingly in flux, the party is rapidly moving toward something like consensus on where it ought to go next on its most critical domestic priority. As you may know, almost every Democrat running for president has said he or she supports Medicare-for-all, but most of them (with the exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been proposing a single-payer plan for years) have been vague about what that might mean. (Paul Waldman, 3/19)
ACA Anniversary — Let's Work To Strengthen It, Not Throw It Out
This week marks the ninth anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a landmark piece of legislation which has extended coverage to over 20 million Americans. As the debate over America’s health-care future continues to make headlines, now is a critical moment to reflect on the progress we have made and continue working together to extend quality, affordable health care to millions more Americans. (Lauren Crawford Shaver, 3/19)
New Zealand Attacks Unite Leaders On Gun Control. USA Stands Divided.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand share a historical heritage of frontier adventurism — the kind that bred a familiarity with firearms as tools for putting food on the table, or later as a sporting pastime. But the similarity ends abruptly when the evildoers of those societies use semi-automatic weapons to commit slaughter — as happened Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a gunman killed 50 worshipers at two mosques. In the wake of that horror, the New Zealand government moved rapidly to announce that by next Monday, it will unveil plans for tightening gun laws that could potentially include a ban on military-style rifles and require registration of all guns. (3/19)
Green New Deal, Air Pollution And Inequality
Many advocates of a Green New Deal insist that air pollution and racial justice are related and must be addressed simultaneously. In 2018, they point out, researchers from the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that black Americans suffer disproportionately from exposure to emissions. More recent research does not merely provide fresh details about the relationship between environmental degradation and racial justice. It adds disturbing new findings about apparent inequities across racial lines. In brief: African-Americans and Hispanics are subject to far more air pollution than they cause by their consumption choices. By contrast, white people are subject to far less air pollution than they cause by their consumption choices. (Cass R. Sunstein, 3/19)
The Washington Post:
Tech Addiction Is Real. We Psychologists Need To Take It Seriously.
Last summer, the World Health Organization recognized Internet gaming as a diagnosable addiction. This was an important step in aligning practice with research, but we need to go further. Psychologists and other mental-health professionals must begin to acknowledge that technology use has the potential to become addictive and impact individuals and communities — sometimes with dire consequences. The research is clear: Americans spend most of their waking hours interacting with screens. Studies from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media show that U.S. teens average approximately nine hours per day with digital media, tweens spend six hours, and even our youngest — ages zero to 8 — are spending 2 1 / 2 hours daily in front of a screen. (Doreen Dodgen-Magee, 3/18)
Are Eggs Unhealthy? It Depends What The Alternative Is
When the news broke last week that a new study has nutritionists again claiming eggs are unhealthy, I considered whether I needed to recant a 2016 column. There, I argued that declaring eggs and other real foods unhealthy back in the 1990s had driven people to make poorer food choices. Ditching eggs meant eating more cereal, muffins or oversized bagels with fake cream cheese. But when I perused the results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, I couldn’t see any evidence that eggs are worse than other things Americans tend to eat for breakfast. (Faye Flam, 3/19)
The Wall Street Journal:
College Scammers Hurt The Disabled
In the college cheating scandal exposed last week, some parents allegedly had their children “purport to have learning disabilities” to get extra time on standardized tests. Part of the damage these parents have done is to contribute to the perception that disability accommodations confer unfair advantages. Accommodations in school or in the workplace are not “special privileges.” They do not give disabled people an advantage or a head start. They level the playing field and allow those of us with disabilities the same opportunity and access to education, work and other essentials of life as everyone else. (Karin Hitselberger, 3/16)