Worth reading: Planned Parenthood, needle exchange policy, and Oliver Sacks

By | 2015-09-14T11:56:53+00:00 September 14th, 2015|5 Comments

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked:

Sara Rosenbaum at the Health Affairs Blog: Planned Parenthood, Community Health Centers, And Women’s Health: Getting The Facts Right

Laura Ungar at USA Today: Study: Needle exchange policy prevented HIV

Maryn McKenna at Phenomena: Germination: Tickborne Diseases: Widespread, Serious, and Taking us by Surprise

Elissa Strauss at Longreads: The Lost Summer

Oliver Sacks’s opinion piece “My Periodic Table” appeared in the New York Times in July, just weeks before he died of cancer. Since then, past writing by and about him has gained attention. I enjoyed reading Steve Silberman’s “The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks,” from WIRED in 2002. All of Sacks’s New Yorker pieces are here, and The Atlantic has assembled a collection of some of Sacks’s best writing and interviews from multiple sources.

About the Author:

Liz Borkowski
Liz Borkowski, MPH is the managing editor of the journal Women's Health Issues and a researcher at the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Her blog posts are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of her employer.


  1. See Noevo September 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    In the first article on Planned Parenthood, I read
    “A sudden cutoff in funding would create an immediate health care access crisis for millions of women, placing enormous strain on community health centers and other providers.”

    These women should be covered under Obamacare, right?
    What’s the problem?

  2. JustaTech September 15, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    See Noevo @1: “Obamacare” describes health insurance. A person still needs a provider (doctor/clinic/hospital) to actually provide the care. Even if you have the best insurance in the world, if the only doctor in town closes you’re not going to be able to get care.

    That’s the problem.

  3. See Noevo September 15, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    To JustaTech #2:

    If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.
    According to the article, 40% of Planned Parenthood’s funding is from the federal government.
    Accordingly, PP should either go out of business or reduce its operations such that it can survive without the fed funding.

    [And if the government is dead set on spending (and it always is) the $500 million that used to go to PP, maybe it could open some government-run health care facilities similar to the VA hospitals/clinic.]

  4. JustaTech September 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    See Noevo, you don’t understand how Medicaid reimbursement works, do you?

  5. Liz September 20, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Planned Parenthood gets federal funding in order to provide services for low-income patients who can’t afford to pay full price for them (providers who get Title X funding charge fees on a sliding scale). The alternatives to the government giving money to Planned Parenthood and other such providers would be:

    1. The government could itself establish, staff, and run enough healthcare centers to assure all low-income women can access affordable healthcare services; or
    2. Low-income women will go without needed sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

    Option 1 wouldn’t be popular with all of those who complain about “big government,” and it would take at least a decade to get a network of such clinics set up. But those who oppose giving money to Planned Parenthood could demonstrate that they really do care about women’s health by advancing a serious proposal to create a government-run alternative.

Leave A Comment