Viewpoints: Texas Abortion Care Doctor Being Sued; Why Are Dementia Rates Declining?
Editorial writers weigh in on these various public health topics.
Texas Lawsuits Against Abortion Doctor Could Hasten New Statute's Downfall
On Monday, two plaintiffs filed what are believed to be the first lawsuits against a Texas doctor who admitted that he performed an abortion apparently in violation of the state’s new abortion law. San Antonio physician Alan Braid revealed in an opinion piece in The Washington Post that he had performed an abortion on a woman later in her pregnancy than is allowed under the recently minted statute, which bans abortions after cardiac activity is detected, usually at about six weeks’ gestation. (Danny Cevallos, 9/21)
How Is It That Dementia Rates Have Fallen Even As Drugs Have Failed?
Billions of dollars have been spent in pursuit of a pharmaceutical treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Their fail rate through the 21st century is stuck at 100%. The dominant story promoted by Alzheimer’s advocacy organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and academic experts has been that, without a cure, aging societies will face a demographic tidal wave of dementia—a “silver tsunami” unleashing devastating socioeconomic consequences. (Daniel R. George and Peter Whitehouse, 9/23)
The New York Times:
Cuts To Biden’s Spending Bill Shouldn’t Harm Disabled Americans
As Congress debates President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda and negotiates a $3.5 trillion spending bill, at least one crucial part of the bill is being weakened. The House Energy and Commerce Committee cut Mr. Biden’s original promise of $400 billion in funding for home- and community-based services by more than half, to $190 billion over 10 years. These essential services help disabled people and seniors receive the care they need, giving them options to live in communities and out of congregate settings like groups homes, nursing homes and long-term rehabilitation centers. Those services can include meal preparation, cleaning and other chores, assistance with dressing and transportation. Senators are now negotiating the bill, giving home- and community-based service advocates an opportunity to push for more funding. (Mia Ives-Rublee, 9/23)
How Not To Pass Paid Family And Medical Leave
With Democrats' dream of passing a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill in peril, recent reporting suggests that they may get one item on their wish list: a new, permanent federal entitlement to paid family and medical leave. The primary question appears to be whether the proposed entitlement will be modeled after Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) FAMILY Act or Representative Richard Neal's (D-Mass.) universal paid leave proposal. But passing either of these proposals through a rushed, partisan process could hurt workers and endanger Social Security and Medicare. Moderate Democrats would be wise to put this effort on hold as part of Senator Joe Manchin's (D-W.V.) "strategic pause," and to consider alternative paths to paid leave. (Kristin A. Shapiro, 9/23)
The Baltimore Sun:
Marijuana Is Not Yet Real Medication, Despite State Laws Saying So
Contrary to the position in Maryland, three dozen other states and the District of Columbia, cannabis (marijuana) should not yet be considered medication. Yes, cannabis has medicinal properties that might be useful in the treatment of all sorts of diseases and disorders, from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis to post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia nervosa. And, yes, doctors and patients dealing with these diseases and many others should have every reasonable treatment option available to them. But pharmacological research into cannabis is dangerously lacking. (Schurtz, 9/22)
Capping Medicare Part B Payments Will Limit Outpatient Access To CAR-T
The revolutionary life-extending approach to treating cancer known as CAR-T is under threat from a quotidian source: policy proposals to limit Medicare reimbursement in the outpatient setting to the average sales price of the treatment plus a small addition for overhead. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies have been changing the cancer treatment landscape. These one-time customized treatments created from an individual’s own T cells represent a significant advancement in treatment. Expanding their use across care settings is essential to improving patient outcomes and quality of life. (Richard Maziarz and Sophie Snyder, 9/22)