Should-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes | Well being & Health


It’s late October, so you understand what which means: It’s time to get your flu shot! (You thought I used to be going to say elections, didn’t you? Don’t fear, we’ll be attending to that.) Earlier than your roll up your sleeve, take a look at this story about pharmacies and grocery shops competing for flu shot clients now that the vaccination is roofed by the well being regulation. Would cash off gasoline or present playing cards for meals be extra doubtless to attract you in? (Additionally, if you happen to do get the flu, excellent news: There’s now a single-dose remedy for it.)

A fast editor’s notice earlier than we get into it: “The Friday Breeze” will likely be on break for the subsequent two weeks as I take a poorly timed (or well-timed! relying in your mentality) trip. I’ll be again in your inboxes Nov. 16.

Now, on to what formed as much as be a reasonably busy week within the well being care realm.

President Donald Trump is proposing tying the quantity the federal government pays for sure medicine to their prices in different nations. The president has lengthy railed in opposition to the “international freeloading” that he says forces American shoppers to subsidize decrease drug costs in overseas nations. To be clear, the plan wouldn’t apply to medicines individuals purchase on the pharmacy, simply ones administered in a health care provider’s workplace.

Pharma got here out swinging in opposition to the plan in a gap salvo of what’s prone to be an uphill, exhausting battle over the problem. However, total, the response appears to be muted from each candidates on the path and most people, overshadowed maybe by extra simply digestible speaking factors.

There’s a sense of foreboding setting in over the pharmaceutical business as a blue wave gathers drive to probably sweep into the Home. Put collectively a populist president and a celebration that’s made excessive drug prices a central, successful difficulty and what do you get? Pharma’s worst fears realized.

Protections for preexisting circumstances have change into one thing of an Achilles’ heel for Republicans on the path. Some have chosen to duck the subject, whereas others vow to maintain that common provision with out offering particulars on how. However Trump took it a step additional by attempting to say that making certain protection for preexisting circumstances is a Republican precedence and never a Democratic one. Critics have been fast to level out that along with the GOP’s years-long battle to eradicate “each phrase” of the well being regulation, there’s presently an administration-backed lawsuit within the courts aiming to overturn the entire thing.

On that notice, the administration this week introduced that it’ll give states extra flexibility over protection necessities, which may enable them to bypass a number of the well being regulation’s protections for sufferers. States may, for instance, use federal funds to subsidize short-term insurance coverage.

Specialists fear this can be a step again towards the pre-ACA panorama, when the state a affected person lived in decided what sort of well being care they obtained.

How do you make Medicaid growth a successful difficulty if you happen to’re working as a Democrat in a deep-red state? Make it about sensible enterprise selections. At the least, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams hopes that tactic works.

A report in The New York Instances revealed that the Trump administration is contemplating redefining gender in a manner that might strip transgender people of sure protections. Backlash from the LGBTQ neighborhood was fierce, with some individuals questioning the timing of the information. “It’s a reminder that ache is a political instrument,” stated Gabrielle Bychowski in NYT’s protection. A #WeWillNotBeErased motion was rapidly ignited.

Biologists spoke out, as effectively, saying that defining an individual’s gender at start and making it unchangeable is an “insult to science.”

America is popping the tide in opposition to the opioid epidemic, HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated this week, citing a dip in overdoses. Whereas acknowledging there’s nonetheless an extended method to go, Azar was optimistic authorities efforts have been beginning to make a dent within the disaster. Specialists have been extra cautious, nonetheless, warning that six months of information shouldn’t be sufficient to find out that, and the development may simply be a blip.

In the meantime, as everybody’s eyes (and cash! and sources!) are on the opioid disaster, methamphetamines, cocaine and benzodiazepines are quietly flooding into the gaps left behind.

Within the miscellaneous must-read file:

• First feminine Supreme Courtroom Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote a touching e mail to “pals and fellow Individuals” saying that she’ll be stepping out of public life following a dementia analysis. “Whereas the ultimate chapter of my life with dementia could also be attempting, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the numerous blessings in my life,” she wrote.

• That may’t be authorized, proper? That was my first thought upon studying this heartbreaking story about ladies who work in strenuous jobs and are denied lighter duties when pregnant (even once they have a health care provider’s notice). A few of them go on to have miscarriages whereas working.

• We’ve all heard about how crowdfunding websites could be like a miracle to determined sufferers who can’t afford care. However there’s a darkish aspect to the latest increase in medical crowdfunding: The campaigns have raked in thousands and thousands of {dollars} for scientifically unproven, and doubtlessly harmful, remedies up to now three years alone.

• The agricultural mountain West is dubbed the “suicide belt” of America, containing eight of the highest 10 states with the very best suicide charges within the nation. Stigma, weapons and a “pull your self up by your bootstraps” tradition could also be contributing to the issue.

That’s it from me till after the elections. See you on the flip aspect!

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