Viewpoints: Time For E-Cig Companies To Step Up, Help Protect Consumers; Caretaking Needs To Be Reimagined For Today’s Families
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health issues and others.
The Washington Post:
Scott Gottlieb: E-Cigarettes Are Not Off The Hook
A mysterious lung illness that appears to be associated with vaping has swept across the country over the past few months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the victims are young people, who have been admitted to hospitals with symptoms that can include severe shortness of breath, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. One patient in Illinois died. NBC News reports that data from state health departments indicate at least 329 people have been affected. (Scott Gottlieb, 9/4)
The New York Times:
Does America Care About Care? Not Enough
Caretaking occupies a paradoxical place in the American mind. On the one hand, we cast caretaking for babies and children as a sacred duty of the private sphere. We lionize the bonds between parents and their children in movies, songs and storybooks. We romanticize the kinds of wisdom that are passed from an aging parent to a doting child in the dusk of life. At the end of our days, it is caring — love in action — that we feel matters most. (Courtney E. Martin, 9/4)
Social Determinants Of Health — Health Care Isn't Just Bugs And Bacteria
In an otherwise fractured Congress, Democrats and Republicans are coming together around newly proposed, bipartisan legislation to help states and communities manage costs and improve outcomes for Medicaid recipients. Called the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, the bill was introduced on July 25 by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). The bill received support from health-care industry groups like the American Hospital Association and Aligning for Health. It proposes planning grants and technical assistance for states and communities to address individual patient non-medical needs that are closely tied to health, like food security, housing stability and employment. It also targets high-need Medicaid patients and improving the coordination of health and non-health services. (Brian c. Castrucci, Jonathan Fielding, and John Auerbach, 9/4)
The Anti-Child Administration
As pediatricians, we are appalled by this latest cruel attack on the health of immigrant children, but sadly unsurprised. The Trump administration alleges that immigrant parents exploit their children to gain entry to the United States via legal loopholes, when in reality such parents take grave risks to save their children from violence, disease, and poverty, as any good parent would. Rather, it is the administration that exploits these children, recognizing their parents’ love as their greatest vulnerability and seizing upon it as a means to target and punish them. (Fiona Danaher, Ron Kleinman and Elsie Taveras, 9/5)
Who Is Really Behind A Proposed New Definition Of Pain?
A new definition of pain is out for comment from the International Association for the Study of Pain, an influential global alliance of researchers. When I heard about it, my hair stood on end. Some people think a new definition could lead to new therapies. But as a 23-year veteran of serious pain from a progressive disorder, I dread losing the old therapy: opioids. Prescription opioids have lost favor since the national opioid crisis, when problem users fell victim to an increasingly unrelated supply. (Dawn Rae Downton, 9/4)
The Washington Post:
No One Likes Surprise Medical Bills. So Why Does Congressional Action Seem So Unlikely?
Essentially no one in the United States likes surprise medical bills. That’s why Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate pulled together common-sense bills earlier this year to curtail the practice. So why isn’t such legislation a slam dunk? Because special interests — specifically hospitals and the private-equity-backed companies that have largely taken over their emergency rooms — are standing in the way. As lawmakers return to session next week, they should make it a priority to end this abusive tactic. (Ezekiel Emanuel, 9/4)
New Emergency Department Triage System Compromises Care
If you’ve needed emergency care in the last few years, you probably encountered this situation: Soon after entering the emergency department, you were asked to go to a triage area in the waiting room where a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant asked you a few questions and ordered some diagnostic tests while you waited.That’s a departure from the traditional form of triage, in which a nurse assesses the level of acuity of a patient’s illness or injury. ...The new “provider-in-triage” system ostensibly accelerates care. On the surface, ordering tests in the waiting room to get the ball rolling might seem like a good way to save time. A closer look reveals a system that sacrifices medical care for hospital profits. (Keith Corl, 9/5)
Los Angeles Times:
Hey, Gavin Newsom, Quit Messing With California's Vaccination Bill
The California Legislature showed great courage on Wednesday by voting to close a loophole that vaccination skeptics have been using to get around mandatory immunizations for schoolkids — a vote that protects the public against the risk of serious harm from infectious diseases.Now we just have to hope that Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t undermine all this good work with last-minute meddling. For some reason, California’s otherwise rational governor is acting irrationally when it comes to SB 276, a bill written and supported by doctors to ensure that physicians grant medical exemptions only to people who really need them. (9/4)
Time For Gov. Newsom To Pick A Side On Vaccination Debate
It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom to pick a side in the debate over vaccines. Will he choose science and public health? Or will he side with conspiracy theories and the spread of dangerous yet preventable diseases? We think the choice is clear, but Newsom seems uncertain. After signaling his intention to sign Senate Bill 276 earlier this summer, the governor seems to be waffling at the last minute. (9/4)