Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Editorial pages focus on changes impacting the health law and other health care issues.
Reisa Sperling looks at the ten to fifteen year span before the onset of the disease when patients already have build-up of a protein that is believed to trigger the deterioration of the brain. In other public health news: pancreatic cancer, gout, depression, genetic testing, grandchildren for hire, and more.
Concerns about sugar are prompting customers to skip the fraps and go for other options instead.
“This study confirms that the EPA’s guidelines for PFAS levels in drinking water woefully underestimate risks to human health,” said Olga Naidenko, senior science adviser at the Environmental Working Group. Other news on the safety of drinking water comes from New York and Cleveland.
“If you say anything about patient care and the problems, you’re quickly labeled a troublemaker and attacked by a clique that just promotes itself. Your life becomes hell,” said one longtime employee at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. In other veterans’ health care news: a lawsuit over burn pits, the nomination hearing for the president’s pick to lead the VA, and staffing issues at medical centers.
The groups are challenging laws that say only doctors can perform abortions and that second-trimester abortions be performed in a hospital, which they argue are unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
It was shown to be only slightly better than the old one. But baby steps are still forward movement, experts say. In other news on vaccinations: there’s a national shortage on the shingles vaccine; an experimental therapy for type 1 diabetes shows some early stages of success; and officials warn about hot spots for diseases where vaccination rates lag.
Stat looks at the measures to address the nation’s drug epidemic that experts say still don’t go far enough. Meanwhile, the crisis is taking its toll on children and taxing foster systems across the country.
The changes President Donald Trump wants to make to agencies that oversee government aid are unlikely to come to pass, but they signal the White House’s agenda toward social safety-net programs. Right now the focus is on the Education and Labor Departments, but officials are also looking at programs and offices within HHS.
“It’s not like an auto body shop where you fix the dent and everything looks like new. We’re talking about children’s minds,” said Luis H. Zayas, professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Texas at Austin. “We did the harm; we should be responsible for fixing the damage. But the sad thing for most of these kids is this trauma is likely to go untreated.” Media outlets dive into the mental health toll of President Donald Trump’s family separation policy, as well as the lasting political ramifications it may have in the coming months.
Media outlets report on news from New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, California, Montana, Kansas and Oregon.
Demographers say the pattern is moving America towards a future where white people are no longer the majority faster than previously predicted. In other public health news: bioterror, anti-aging, survivors of childhood cancer, social media, HPV, and more.
CMS chief medical officer Kate Goodrich said the agency “is committed to transparency of quality and cost information” and denied that it was proposing to remove the information from Hospital Compare and said any changes are up for public comment.
Social media companies have been under increasing pressure to step up in the fight against the opioid epidemic. In other news related to the crisis: medication-assisted treatment, a big increase in deaths in rural areas and the dangers of fentanyl.
Thousands of mental health professionals and physicians have criticized the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, which is resulting in migrant children being separated from their parents at immigration facilities.
Families that rely on states’ medical marijuana laws are more cautious than celebratory as one company’s actions to make sure its product can be legally prescribed and sold by pharmacies threaten to curtail programs that have been in effect for years. Marijuana news comes out of New York, Florida and Virginia, as well.
Women who are on the path to recovery were having their babies taken away from them, sometimes as early as right from the hospital. That was setting off a spiral, where to cope with the pain the women would turn to opioids and thus make it harder to ever get their kids back.
Dr. Alice Flaherty likes to tinker with machines until she fixes what’s broken. And her current interest involves patients who others say aren’t really sick or lack motivation to get better. “I got interested in that whole thing, like if you want to get better then you’re sick, if you don’t want to get better, then it’s a vice,” she says. “What was it that made us attribute willfulness to people who were obviously miserable?” In other public health news: smoking, video game addiction, autism, diets, ticks, alternative medicines, and more.
“So many lines” were crossed in the alcohol study that people were “frankly shocked.” The investigation was prompted by reports that scientists were wooing the alcohol industry to pay for the study that would tout the benefits of daily moderate drinking.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association have all issued statements against the Trump administration’s new policy. “To pretend that separated children do not grow up with the shrapnel of this traumatic experience embedded in their minds is to disregard everything we know about child development, the brain, and trauma,” reads a separate petition from mental health professionals.