Viewpoints: Lessons On Spreading Important Information About Vaccines; Trump Is Sabotaging Responsible Family Planning
Editorial pages focus on these health topics and others.
The Washington Post:
Measles Isn’t The Problem. People Are.
Set aside for a moment the public-health danger posed by the return of measles, and focus on people, because that is where the problem lies. Declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, measles is having outbreaks in six locations; this year already marks the second-highest case count in two decades. That’s because some people made a decision not to get vaccinated or not to vaccinate their children. It was a negligent decision, and in many cases also an inexcusably ignorant one, that endangered neighbors and strangers alike in quotidian public spaces — schools, stores and airports. (4/7)
Title X Hurts Community-Based Health Centers
The United States has supported the delivery of high quality, evidence-based family planning counseling to low income Americans for nearly a half century. It has done this with broad, bi-partisan support from Congress and from presidents of both political parties. This family planning program, widely known as Title X, has been a phenomenal success. Since the late 1970’s, when the program was launched, the initiative has helped prevent over one million unintended pregnancies annually. (Robert M. Hayes, 4/8)
Georgia Health News:
New Federal Regulations Will Seriously Undermine Family Planning Services
Final regulations published in March by the federal government profoundly conflict with the foundational principles that have guided Title X for decades, and they will have serious negative consequences in Georgia as well as in other places. The recently announced changes will limit access to critical health care services, threaten the health and well-being of Georgians who rely on safety-net providers for their health care, and exacerbate the state’s already extraordinarily high rates of unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, infant mortality, preterm birth, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases. (Sarah Blake and Andrea Swartzendruber, 4/8)
The Washington Post:
Research Says Septuagenarians Struggle With New Tasks. That’s Bad News For Several 2020 Candidates.
For people in their mid-70s such as myself, the 2020 presidential campaign is an oddly personal experience. Among the front-runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations are two men our age (Joe Biden, 76, and Bernie Sanders, 77) and another just a few years behind us: Donald Trump, 72, the oldest man ever elected president. If Trump had lost in 2016, Hillary Clinton, at 69, would have been the second-oldest person ever elected. (Robert G. Kaiser, 4/9)
Strong 'Medicare For All' Legislation Is Like Bargaining A Strong Union Contract
A recent Washington Post article highlighted how National Nurses United and other progressive groups influenced and shaped Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash.) new Medicare for All act into the strongest possible legislation. The Medicare for All Act of 2019 not only includes primary care, but also dental, vision and long- term care, at no cost to patients when they need to get treatment. While working people having a legislator’s ear was presented as a somewhat unique scenario, union workers and other everyday people should shape the policy that impacts their lives. Without working people at the table, policy becomes less about addressing what’s good for public health and safety, and more about appeasing corporate apologists who constantly champion “being realistic” over being safe, moral, or just. (Bonnie Castillo, 4/8)
Health Aides' Low Wages Threaten Home Health Care, A Necessity For Millions
To say that home health aides’ work is demanding is an understatement. They help elderly and disabled individuals get out of bed, bathe, dress, use the bathroom, eat their meals, and take their medications. They act on behalf of family members who don’t have the time or resources to take their loved ones to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment. Home health aides serve as the first line of defense by recognizing symptoms and behavioral changes and taking action to prevent costly and potentially dangerous hospitalizations. They make it possible for 14 million Americans to stay in their homes and out of expensive and impersonal institutional settings like hospitals and nursing homes. Along the way they often become trusted members of the family. Performing this necessary and in-demand work takes a physical and emotional toll, yet these individuals do it with compassion day in and day out. So why do we treat home health aides as low-wage, low-value workers? (David Totaro, 4/9)
Ohio In Great Need Of Universal Health Care
For decades, those of us who have studied the complex state of our health care financing system have arrived at the conclusion that the simplicity of a universal, single payer, publicly funded system of financing care would be the best method to address our inefficient, expensive and, for many, inaccessible system. Media attention has skyrocketed in 2019 since U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and over 100 co-sponsors introduced HB 1384 in February, which would create an expanded and improved version of Medicare for all. What is not known and needs more attention is that there are currently sixteen states in the U.S. that have been working for many years on getting just such a system in an individual state. Ohio is one of those states! (Dee Chavez, 4/8)