Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Americans’ Life Expectancy Drops For Third Year In Row, Signaling There’s ‘Something Terribly Wrong’ Going On

KHN Morning Briefing

Researchers say the grim new reality isn’t just limited to rural deaths of despair, but rather the numbers reflect that many different people living in all areas of the U.S. are struggling. “We need to look at root causes,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, the author’s lead study. “Something changed in the 1980s, which is when the growth in our life expectancy began to slow down compared to other wealthy nations.”

‘Trying To Reduce Anxiety’: Instagram Explores Ways To Take Away Likes, Improve Mental Health

KHN Morning Briefing

By removing users ability to see how many likes their followers got but allowing them to see likes on their own posts, might make social media less stressful. But marketing agencies say the change would not be beneficial for businesses looking to market through high-profile users. Other news on mental health comes from California, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Illinois.

PhRMA To Yank Millions In Funding From Nonprofit Geared Toward Helping Those Addicted To Opioids

KHN Morning Briefing

PhRMA, which is responsible for 90 percent of the Addiction Policy Forum’s funding, will walk back and then end its support by 2020. The forum was at the eye of previous controversy, with critics blasting the fact that most of its funding came from the drugmakers who they said were responsible for the crisis in the first place. News on the opioid epidemic comes out of Massachusetts and Ohio, as well.

Dems Who See Health Care As Winning Issue Increasingly Sounding Alarm Over Political Pitfalls Of ‘Medicare For All’

KHN Morning Briefing

Warnings are being issued at all levels of the party–from union members to candidates running in swing states. “We won in Kentucky and Louisiana, barely, in part, because we won on health care. I don’t think we can afford to lose on health care,” Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.) said. Meanwhile, industry opponents for “Medicare for All” are starting to go after the moderates’ health plans as well. In other election news, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has a plan to expand mental health treatment.

Mental Health Followups Needed For Gun Victims Who Suffer For Years Even When Injuries Are Small, Study Says

KHN Morning Briefing

In some of the first research into longterm effects of gun violence, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say not enough is being done to help tens of thousands of patients who can suffer for years from PTSD and other mental health problems following a shooting. Related news is also on: the effects of fatal police shootings and the lives of mass shooters.

Preliminary Data Shows CRISPR Benefits Patients With Devastating Sickle Cell Disease, Other Blood Disorders

KHN Morning Briefing

Two patients taking part in the trials have been free of transfusions to treat their diseases for months, showing the ”revolutionary” technology is working and the new cells are engrafting in bone marrow, researchers say. But they caution about celebrating too early. Public health news is on unwelcome changes in psychiatric wards, pledges to eradicate polio, harsh discipline of black girls, anal cancer, illiteracy’s impact on dementia, functioning with brain malformations, an app for recovery from addiction, and exercise’s benefits for older, sedentary people.

In Juul’s Early Days, Execs Bragged About The ‘Leg Up’ Research From Big Tobacco Gave Them On Addiction

KHN Morning Briefing

Research from the maker of Camel cigarettes showed that nicotine salts were a key ingredient in making the product palatable and addictive, a Los Angeles Times investigation uncovered. Juul’s salts contain up to three times the amount of nicotine found in previous e-cigarettes. In other news on the vaping crisis: more states sue Juul, President Donald Trump’s decision to back off a flavor ban angers advocates in both parties, a House panel approves its own ban, and more.

‘Please Just Let Me Out’: Children Locked Away In Isolation In Schools Across Illinois

KHN Morning Briefing

A ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation reveals the extent to which schools use “quiet rooms” to put children in “isolated timeouts.” But advocates argue the practice, which isn’t broadly monitored, can cause trauma for the children — and they say there are better ways to deal with difficult behavior.