On the risk of vaccine exemptions, the science is clear — it would take a relatively small decline in immunization rates to produce big jumps in disease and health care spending. The trick is keeping communities above the danger threshold.
On the day before World AIDS Day, the White House put out a statement saying “we reaffirm our ongoing commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat.” Advocates are waiting — and hoping for — that same sentiment to materialize into policy.
In more encouraging public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccination rates among kindergarteners have remained stable, with the median vaccine exemption rate at 2 percent. Some states even reported an increase in immunization rates.
Senate Republicans are again trying to ram through an Affordable Care Act replacement that threatens the health and well-being of millions of Americans. It’s shameful. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at what people who actually work in health care are saying about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill.
Earlier this week, members of the Senate Finance Committee announced an agreement to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The announcement had been anxiously awaited by families and advocates across the nation, as the program’s federal funding expires in about two weeks. The agreement is good news, but coverage for CHIP’s 8.9 million children isn’t safe just yet.
U.S. investments in global health research have saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable suffering. And by working to detect, treat and eventually eliminate infectious diseases worldwide, we’re protecting our own country too. That cliché about diseases knowing no borders is unfortunately very true. All that alone should be enough to remain committed to the cause.
Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.
Uber's new insurance plan won't do much to protect its injured workers; investigation finds 1,000 additional black lung cases in Appalachia; Washington state welcomes a new paid family leave law; and St. Louis workers face a pay cut after state legislators overturn the city's minimum wage hike.
The House and Senate health care bills are overflowing with proposals that will strip Americans of access to quality, affordable health care. But perhaps the cruelest part is what they do to children — the most vulnerable and powerless among us. Children can’t show up at the ballot box to protect their health and so it truly is up to the rest of us.
Last year’s emergency Zika funding is about to run out and there’s no new money in the pipeline. It’s emblematic of the kind of short-term, reactive policymaking that public health officials have been warning us about for years. Now, as we head into summer, public health again faces a dangerous, highly complex threat along with an enormous funding gap.