Right now, according to public health officials, about half a million U.S. kids have blood lead levels that could harm their health. However, new research finds many more children — hundreds of thousands more — are likely going unidentified.
Protecting babies and children against dangerous — sometimes fatal — diseases is a core mission of public health. Everyday, in health departments across the nation, someone is working on maintaining and improving childhood vaccination rates and keeping diseases like measles and mumps from regaining a foothold in the U.S.
More than 8 million U.S. children depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program for access to timely medical care. The program is authorized through 2019, but its federal funding expires in September and it’s unclear what Congress will do.
There was always an assumption that the Affordable Care Act would need time to find its sea legs. That’s why it included measures to shield insurers from the potential profit losses that inherently come with offering millions more people better health coverage at more reasonable prices. Insurers operate on profit margins and the ACA took that into account, for better or for worse.
Immigrant workers who get injured at work now fearful about accessing workers' comp; women ironworkers win six months of paid maternity leave; many home health workers still going without health insurance coverage; and a health care union declares itself a sanctuary for immigrants.
Public health is in trouble.
To get a clearer sense of just how bad our drug overdose problem has gotten, look no further than this year’s County Health Rankings. The annual report found that after years of declining premature deaths, that rate is on the rise and due primarily to overdose deaths. It means we could be seeing the first generation of American kids with shorter life expectancies than their parents.
Before Patrick Morrison worked for the International Association of Fire Fighters, he was a firefighter himself. He’s experienced the horrifying and profoundly saddening events that first responders see every day. And like many other firefighters, he turned to alcohol to deal with the accumulating mental trauma.
There’s a lot at stake for women’s health in the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, which eliminated out-of-pocket costs for birth control and has been highly successful in breaking down barriers to affordable family planning. The cost-sharing changes alone are saving individual women hundreds of dollars each year on their choice of contraception.
As the Republicans push forward their abysmal Affordable Care Act replacement, much of the talk surrounding its impact focuses on insurance numbers and premium hikes. Those things are certainly important. But this is more important: The Republican plan will cause unnecessary suffering and preventable death.