KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Viewpoints: The Public Health Implications Of Undoing DACA; The Problems With Ohio’s Drug-Pricing Ballot Question

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The New England Journal Of Medicine: Dreams Deferred — The Public Health Consequences Of Rescinding DACA
After months of conflicting statements, President Donald Trump has announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a landmark immigration program introduced during the Obama administration, will be rescinded as of March 2018. ... Like many other elements of the administration’s immigration platform, the termination of DACA also appeared to be driven by a belief that rescinding economic benefits granted to undocumented immigrants would enhance economic opportunities for native-born people. ... The recent policy debates about DACA have centered on the program’s economic consequences, while its substantial public health benefits have been less discussed. ... The evidence clearly indicates that rescinding DACA will have profound adverse population-level effects on mental health. (Atheendar S. Venkataramani and Alexander C. Tsai, 9/13)

The New England Journal Of Medicine: Tragedy, Perseverance, And Chance — The Story Of CAR-T Therapy
In 2010, 5-year-old Emily Whitehead was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Though her parents were told that if you had to have a kid with cancer, ALL was the best one to have, Emily’s course was hardly typical. After two rounds of chemotherapy, necrotizing fasciitis developed in both legs and she barely avoided amputation. Sixteen months later, she had a relapse. Bone marrow transplantation was recommended, but the Whiteheads, concerned about toxic effects, sought a second opinion at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. There they learned about a new therapy, developed by University of Pennsylvania investigators and known as CART-19, which involved genetically engineering the patient’s own T cells to kill tumor cells. (Lisa Rosenbaum, 9/13)

The Des Moines Register: What's Happening To Rural Mental Health Center Is Sickening
This is madness. A Centerville mental health center has won national attention for saving taxpayer money and helping clients stay out of jail and the hospital, but it may be forced to close next month, as Register writer Tony Leys reported Sunday. Why? Because, in part, state administrators have yet to write rules allowing Medicaid to reimburse the Oak Place center — and the 10 other “crisis-stabilization” centers set up around Iowa. (9/14)

Lexington Herald Leader: Bevin’s Quest To Outlaw Abortion In Kentucky Is Unconstitutional And Underhanded
In case there were any lingering doubts, a trial in federal court in Louisville last week made this much clear: Gov. Matt Bevin is seeking to effectively outlaw abortion in Kentucky — something the U.S. Supreme Court has long ruled states cannot do. The three days of testimony also made clear that Bevin’s administration has used underhanded tactics to accomplish its unconstitutional goal. (9/14)

Chicago Tribune: Four Weeks To Kill The Soda Tax
With both sides steadfast yet lacking the votes to prevail, Cook County Board members on Wednesday kicked to next month a decision on whether to repeal the unpopular soda tax. The board is expected to take action at its Oct. 11 meeting. In other words, soda tax opponents: You’ve got four weeks to keep up the pressure. Don’t let up. Kill this arbitrary, unnecessary, expensive tax. (9/13)

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