Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
The Hill: Let’s Make Our Babies A National Priority
Four million babies will be born in the U.S. this year, each one a bundle of infinite potential. They’re the next generation of doctors, scientists, artists, parents, educators and leaders. Science tells us that their early life experiences, from how they are nurtured and the food they eat, to the quality of early learning opportunities and health care they receive, will lay the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. In fact, our brains develop faster in this time than at any later point in our lives. New data from ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also tells us that where you’re born matters and can make a big difference in your chance for a strong start in life. (Myra Jones-Taylor, 3/12)
The New York Times: Earning Prizes For Fighting An Addiction
David Oliver wins gift cards for staying away from drugs. At St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia — which treats more overdoses than any other hospital in Canada — a program rewards users of cocaine and other stimulants with prizes when they don’t use. It’s a new approach to help substance abusers, and it’s also being tried in Veterans Affairs hospitals across the United States. “I was sober for 19 years from cocaine and 14 from alcohol,” said Mr. Oliver, who is 58. But then, he said, he started using cocaine again in 2013 after feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of two jobs, a marriage, and raising two boys. (Sahil Gupta, 3/12)
Stat: Biotech Execs Need To Lead The Way To Truly Scientific Cultures
“What traditions do you want to follow for your baby?” asked the midwife leading our prenatal education group. As we went around the circle of parents-to-be, most couples discussed holiday traditions, camping trips, and weekend routines. When it was my turn to share, I thought about the pseudoscience that had been espoused in this group — the alleged benefits of eating the placenta, theories about the harmful effects of vaccines, and the like. “I want a facts-based, scientific household,” I said. “For example, is breastfeeding better than formula? To me the only thing that matters is the clear scientific consensus that breastfed infants grow up to be, on average, advantaged in some way — maybe healthier or smarter.” (David Johnson, 3/13)
Stat: HIPAA Proposal Would Move Us Closer To Coordinated Care
While many people were paying attention to drug pricing, a proposal to update the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) flew largely under the radar. But if this proposal — or others like it — were to be implemented, they would reach farther than any proposal to lower drug prices to create better, more personalized health care at lower cost. (David Friend, 3/13)
The New York Times: Latin America Claims To Love Its Mothers. Why Does It Abuse Them?
Five years ago, a Brazilian woman in labor was detained by police officers and forced to deliver by C-section. The woman, Adelir de Goes, had already had two cesarean sections — an all-too-common procedure in my country — and was hoping to deliver her third child vaginally. But her baby was in breech presentation. Doctors felt that a vaginal birth would put the baby in danger. (Vanessa Barbara, 3/11)
Miami Herald: Caregivers For Older Adults Must Have Proper Training, Security And Background Screening And Vetting. You Can’t Allow Just Anyone To Take Care Of Frail Adults.
For decades, national surveys have shown that older adults prefer to age in place, in familiar surroundings. These surveys underscore the fact that, “There’s just no place like home.” This is not just a tagline for United HomeCare, it’s an integral part of our corporate DNA and mission.As Florida’s population ages, we must strengthen safety net programs for home- and community-based care. These programs include the state-funded Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) and Home Care for the Elderly (HCE). Both are essential for helping older adults who do not qualify for Medicaid to continue living independently at home for as long as possible, preventing institutional care. (Carlos L. Martinez, 3/12)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: More Local Government Funding And Targeted Housing Aid To Help Homeless And Lead-Poisoned Children Should Be Among Gov. DeWine’s Budget Priorities
Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to reveal his first two-year budget proposal later this week, possibly fleshing out funding sources for many of the priorities he outlined in his State of the State message last week. What DeWine should not do is harm the Local Government Fund — previously raided by former Gov. John Kasich. Kasich’s cuts hurt localities and contravened a longstanding revenue-sharing paradigm in Ohio. If anything, DeWine should look for ways to restore most of those cuts. (3/13)
San Jose Mercury News: Both Abortion Factions Try To Silence Opponents
Abortion is a divisive moral and political issue that generates ceaseless heated debate, as it should. However, it also entices those who feel passionately about it, one way or the other, to use politics to shut down the other side. (Dan Walters, 3/11)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.