Editorial pages focus on these health issues and others.
The Hill: Equity, Not Equality, Will Advance Cancer Care
Cancer care research is plagued by inequity. And this process starts early: at the time of enrollment of patients for clinical trials in. When new cancer therapies are tested, or being developed, the process is far from being inclusive. Medical literature is brimmed with evidence on how minority patients and women are constantly under-represented in clinical trials. When cancer therapies, or treatment regimens, are developed for a demographic that does not represent the larger society, one should not be surprised to learn of weakening disparities in cancer care. (Junaid Nabi, 1/22)
WBUR: The Shutdown Is Causing A Man-Made Hunger Crisis
The health and well-being of 42 million individuals who rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits — and hundreds of thousands more furloughed employees now struggling to live without a paycheck — are at unnecessary risk. Unless a compromise is reached to re-open the federal government, 769,912 Massachusetts residents who rely on federal food assistance to make ends meet will not have enough food to eat. We are careening towards a man-made food crisis — a real national emergency. (Erin McAleer, 1/21)
The Hill: Breast Cancer Is Not A Partisan Issue — We Need To Work Together To Address It
The first step would be to strengthen our commitment to ensuring people get screened for breast cancer. Many people who are uninsured or underinsured rely on the local screening clinics funded by the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. In addition to continuing to support this vital program, it is time to modernize the state programs to expand eligibility so fewer women fall through the cracks. And if a woman’s screening results raise concerns, we need to ensure she has access to free or low-cost diagnostic services. (Paula Schneider, 1/22)
The New York Times: The Abortion Wars Have Become A Fight Over Science
It was perhaps, at first glance, an unusual feature of the 2019 March for Life that it downplayed what many have come to think of as the central claim of the anti-abortion movement: that the unborn have a constitutional right to life. Instead, march organizers focused on proclaiming that science was on their side. They circulated material on “when human life begins,” whether abortions are ever medically necessary and when fetal life becomes viable. They praised legal restrictions based on what science supposedly says about fetal pain. (Mary Ziegler, 1/22)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Drop In Drug Overdose Deaths In Cuyahoga County, Elsewhere In Ohio, Reflects Policy Successes, But Too Many Are Still Dying
Preliminary data for 2018 drug-overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County and a number of other counties in Ohio appear to confirm a trend first seen more than a year ago: The tidal wave of opiate-related overdose deaths that washed over the state, sweeping more than 700 to their early deaths just in Cuyahoga County in 2017, is abating. But drug deaths remain high and other threats loom, including a trend to different drug cocktails. (1/23)
WBUR: Volunteers Step Up To Care For Furloughed Federal Workers
Government employees are often the targets of jokes and wisecracks. But a lot of Americans have now stepped up to help furloughed government workers get through these weeks of enforced idleness or compulsory work for no pay. Chef Jose Andres, who has provided so much food aid to victims of hurricanes and wildfires, opened a kitchen right on Pennsylvania Avenue — yes, not far from the Trump Hotel — to give free meals to furloughed federal workers, and food to bring home for their families. (Scott Simon, 1/19)
Cleveland Plain Dealer: For New Gov. Mike DeWine, The Most Urgent Priorities Include Education Funding, Lake Erie Protections And Third Frontier Funding
Guarding the future for today’s children — a key DeWine plank — is also why the new administration must muster additional aid to combat lead poisoning in cities with older, deteriorated housing. Sobering research in Cleveland suggests children exposed to toxic levels of lead at a young age are so handicapped by that exposure that they fail to catch up by the time they enter kindergarten, even with high-quality preschool interventions. (1/22)
The Hill: ‘War On Drugs’ Doesn’t Tackle The Drug Problem
It’s not news that the overdose crisis continues to destroy lives, families and whole communities across the country. Nor is it news that the so-called “war on drugs” waged by the federal government has proven an absolute, abject failure. What is news is that cities can, must and are taking the lead in stopping the damage done both by drug use and by the drug war itself. As the Mayors of Ithaca, N.Y. and Santa Fe, N.M, we are doing just that: developing and implementing data-driven, evidence-based compassionate drug policies. (Svante Myrick and Alan Webber, 1/22)
Columbus Dispatch: Preventing Harm To Patients Must Be Hospitals’ Primary Focus
The lesson of the long-ago IOM report was that hospital boards can no longer afford to make the bottom line their top priority, and physicians are not infallible beings whose work can never be questioned. Only a comprehensive top-down commitment to patient safety can ensure hospitals are the healing spaces we all want them to be. (1/20)
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Has A Mental Health Crisis. Reopening 6 Clinics Isn’t Enough.
For those seeking mental health services, the city of Chicago is one large waiting room. We need help. Desperately. But reopening six clinics, a plan the City Council is expected to vote on Wednesday, is a Band-Aid when we need intensive care. The state of our mental health as a community has deteriorated considerably for a host of reasons since those clinics were closed in 2012, and we need to think much bigger if we want to truly help a city experiencing a mental health crisis. (Alexa James, 1/22)
Sacramento Bee: Making Connections Helps Healing Process For Homeless
Housing is essential to solving homelessness. That’s obvious. But a lasting solution starts with creating connections. Perhaps this isn’t so surprising when we understand that most homeless situations start a downward spiral precisely because of disconnections. (David Silveira, 1/22)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.