Viewpoints: Science-Backed Campaigns Against Vaping Could Go Long Way To Ending Teens’ Use; Everyone Should Get Behind Trump’s Push For Price Transparency In Health Care
Opinion writers weigh in on these and other health issues.
The Unanticipated Consequences Of Vaping: Implications For Policy
The pervasiveness of e-cigarette vaping has significantly increased among all age groups despite emerging evidence that the practice may be harmful. Some of the features of the devices contribute to these concerns. The e-cigarette inhalation system delivers nicotine as an aerosol instead of smoke. The emissions are lower than those found in combustible tobacco products. However, particles are smaller in vaping compared with combustible cigarettes and result in more toxic chemicals reaching deeper into the lungs. Vaping increases exposure to heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. Some “buttery” flavors contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease. A number of other chemicals are released during vaping which are potentially hazardous, including acetaldehyde, benzene, cadmium and formaldehyde, to name a few. (Sue Andersen, Diana H. Fishbein and Steve Sussman, 8/20)
Transparency Push For Health Care Will Benefit Consumers
President Trump signed an executive order in June that could force price disclosure in health care. Insurers, doctors, and hospitals would have to reveal the secretly negotiated rates they pay for services or charge for them. A month later, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule requiring hospitals to make more price information publicly available. The lack of price transparency behind these efforts is the driving force behind my company — but even if it means taking attention away from what we’re doing, I wholeheartedly support these moves. (David Vivero, 8/21)
Los Angeles Times:
Denying Flu Vaccinations To Border Detainees Isn't Just Cruel, It's Dangerous
All of this is to say that influenza is not a virus to sneeze at. It’s a killer, and the decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection not to provide vaccinations to migrant families being detained at the border is dangerous and short-sighted.The CBP’s justification, which came in response to questions from physicians about health conditions at the facilities, is that border detention is intended to be short-term, and that once children are transferred into the Department of Health and Human Services’ care, they can get vaccinations and other necessary treatment. (Mariel Garza, 8/21)
The Washington Post:
Harris’s Health-Care Retreat Shows It Never Pays To Follow The Herd
Well, the only ones who seem to be pushing for it as a litmus test are Trump, who wants to define the Democrats as socialists; the self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who every now and then sounds like she has room for a step-by-step approach. Harris and others who have decided against full-blown Medicare-for-all should be commended, not ridiculed as “small thinkers” for eschewing an enormously costly and choice-averse concept at a time Americans want discrete, concrete things (e.g., low drug prices). By listening to experts and voters, watching poll numbers and thinking strategically about how to beat Trump, Harris likely made the best political decision, long-term, for her campaign. There are good policy and political reasons to wind up where she did. (Jennifer Rubin, 8/20)
Climate Change Is One Of The Biggest Threats To American Health
Simply put, climate change is an existential threat to our health and continued life on the planet. Climate change is insidious. It is an important contributor to devastating hurricanes, extreme heat, desertification, drenching rainstorms, and other life-threatening environmental changes. Yet it is not the sole cause, so it is easy for the remaining small band of climate change deniers to disavow its true impact. But the pattern of changes clearly confirms its effects are protean and increasing. (Jonathan Fielding, 8/20)
DNA Uncovers Mix-Ups In Assisted Conception
A simple over-the-counter DNA test kit revealed the father of a 24-year-old woman was not the man who raised her – the person she revered and regarded as her biological father. Instead, it is alleged in a recently filed lawsuit, the fertility clinic that assisted the woman’s parents fell far short of the standard of care by mixing the wrong sperm with the mother’s egg in a medical procedure designed to help infertility patients have children. This tragic case joins too many other recently discovered assisted conception mix-ups, casting suspicion and doubt over the entire reproductive medicine field. (Judith Daar, 8/20)
The Washington Post:
Trump Has A Devastating Record On LGBTQ Rights. Don’t Deny The Truth.
President Trump’s dismissal of “fake news” means his constituencies can believe whatever they want about him and his actions — even if their beliefs are in mind-bogglingly stark opposition to one another. Religious extremists opposed to LGBTQ equality can confidently tout Trump as being down with their agenda by pointing to a speech in February in which Trump defended state-funded adoption agencies that turn away gay couples on religious grounds. Trump supporters who want to believe the opposite will point to a tweet he sent recognizing “LGBT Pride Month.” (Michelangelo Signorile, 8/20)
The New York Times:
She Beat Cancer. Now, She’s In Another Fight For Her Life.
Erika Zak beat Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. She survived more than 70 rounds of chemotherapy and at least 19 hospitalizations to treat infections, severe bleeding and other medical complications. She’s stayed alive more than two years despite liver failure after a botched surgery. And, as CNN reported, she prevailed in a lengthy battle with her insurer, United Health Care. The company repeatedly declined to cover the liver transplant that Ms. Zak’s doctors say she will die without, but relented last year after Ms. Zak made an impassioned plea. (8/20)
Regional Jail's Negligence
Virginia primarily operates two types of jails — local and regional. While local jails serve the area in which they are based and are managed by locally elected sheriffs, regional jails serve multiple localities. They’re governed by local boards and overseen by a superintendent. The state has little authority over their operations — which might play a significant role in the questionable and peculiar deaths of too many inmates in a number of these facilities. (8/20)