KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Viewpoints: The Toll Of Gun Violence On Public Health; Gene Mapping Moves Closer To Reality

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

The New York Times: Gun Carnage Is A Public Health Crisis
“We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” President Trump promised all too casually after the Las Vegas gunman took 58 lives in a rapid-fire slaughter. Time is indeed going by, and the silence is alarming as the Republican Congress and Mr. Trump, the devoted candidate of the National Rifle Association, duck their responsibility to confront the public health crisis of gun deaths. (10/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Gene Editing Is Here, And Desperate Patients Want It
Should Americans be allowed to edit their DNA to prevent genetic diseases in their children? That question, which once might have sounded like science fiction, is stirring debate as breakthroughs bring the idea closer to reality. Bioethicists and activists, worried about falling down the slippery slope to genetically modified Olympic athletes, are calling for more regulation. (Henry I. Miller, 10/12)

Stat: With Little Help From Doctors, I Mapped My Recovery From Brain Surgery
There was no map for this recovery, no compass to point the way. I had no advocate, no guide to ensure that I received necessary treatments. How was I supposed to find my way? How was I supposed to heal? Would I ever be able to return to my work as a college math professor? Could I be a good mom again? Or would I be lost, a perpetual victim to my symptoms, forever struggling with dizziness, balance, short-term memory, sensory overload, emotional meltdowns — and even with thinking itself? (Deb Brandon, 10/12)

The Columbus Dispatch: Shady Clinics Add To Hell Of Opioids
As Ohio struggles under the crushing burden of an opioid-abuse crisis, flaws in state policy have the potential to make the problem dramatically worse. A mushrooming new business — standalone clinics where addicts can get prescriptions for Suboxone, another highly addictive opioid meant to help them get off of heroin — threatens to spawn a new generation of “pill mills.” (10/13)

Bloomberg: The FDA Needs This Nudge To Speed Along New Drugs
[B]elow those high-volatility positions work layers of appointees who are far enough from the president to be somewhat insulated from the chaos, but sufficiently high up to make a major difference in how the government works. The FDA commissioner is one of those appointees, and Gottlieb represents a much-needed countervailing force against the agency’s tendency to prize caution over speed. He has forcefully and persuasively articulated a vision of an FDA that better weighs the costs of risk aversion against the costs of bad side effects. (Megan McArdle, 10/12)

Chicago Tribune: How Illinois Failed Kenan And Other Babies
Well-run organizations keep track of their work. If a project runs late by weeks or months, managers ask questions, problem-solve and demand results. Suppose that assignment involves a new state law with potentially life-or-death consequences for babies. How long before officials get impatient with delays and sound the alarm? Six days? Six weeks? Six long months? (11/12)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.