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.
To the surprise of literally no one, President Trump’s 2018 budget proposed stripping all federal funds, including Medicaid dollars, from Planned Parenthood. Proponents of this argue that if Planned Parenthood clinics end up shuttered, women can simply access care elsewhere. But growing research shows that’s the opposite of what actually happens.
Last week, researchers officially opened enrollment in the nation’s first decades-long study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer health — an effort they hope will transform our understanding of the health challenges LGBTQ people face and begin narrowing a giant data gap on their physical, mental and social well-being.
A Zika attack rate of just 1 percent across the six states most at risk for the mosquito-borne disease could result in $1.2 billion in medical costs and lost productivity, a new study finds. That’s more than the $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding that Congress approved last year after months of delay and which is expected to run out this summer.
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.
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.
Another day, another study that shows soda taxes work to reduce the consumption of beverages associated with costly chronic diseases in children and adults.