Covering the Land of Lincoln

Viewpoints: What Else Can MRNA Vaccine Technology Do ?; Investigation of the personal effects of SB 8

Editorial authors respond to these public health concerns.

The Atlantic: What If MRNA Vaccines Could Cure Cancer?

Two years ago, almost no one on earth had ever heard of mRNA vaccines. For the very good reason that no country had ever approved one. As a scientific experiment, synthetic mRNA was over 40 years old. It still had to be born as a product. (Derek Thompson, Oct 18)

CNN: Texas Doctor: What the Abortion Law Does to My Patients

I’m a gynecologist who has been performing abortions in Texas for eight years. Since September 1st, my staff and I have been forced to adhere to an extreme ban on abortion – SB 8 – which prevents patients from having an abortion for about six weeks before many patients know they are pregnant. Working under this cruel law every day has been heartbreaking and unjust. One of my patients – whom I had to turn away because she was more than six weeks pregnant – curled up and began to cry uncontrollably. I could only hold her hand. (Amna Dermish, October 18)

The New York Times: Why the Pro-Life Movement Hasn’t Disappeared

In another lawsuit against Roe v. Wade will hear oral arguments with the Supreme Court in December on whether Mississippi can restrict access to abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. There is little more constant in American life than legal challenge to Roe, which is remarkable in a country where so much else has changed. (Jon A. Schilder, 10/19)

USA Today: Mental Health Care Has Improved, But Our Work Is Not Done Yet: Tipper Gore

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the health and wellbeing of all Americans. Equally disturbing – and more often overlooked – is the impact of the pandemic on Americans’ mental health. We are experiencing national collective trauma on the order of hundreds of thousands of deaths, widespread illnesses, lockdowns, significant employment disruptions, and difficulties in raising families and caring for loved ones. During this extremely challenging time, people with mental illness have limited access to health care providers, personal advice and community support networks. (Kipper Gore, 10/18)

East Bay Times: How to Resist When Prescribed Medical Treatment Is Refused

Has your health insurance company ever refused treatment or medication prescribed by your doctor? But does that happen very often? According to a recent survey of Californians conducted by the Healthcare Consumer Rights Foundation in late August, insurance companies denied 30% of Californians access to a drug or treatment their doctor deemed necessary. That’s the equivalent of about 11.8 million Californians not receiving prescribed medical treatment – a number that is higher than the total population of 44 states. (Steve Poizner, October 16)

The Boston Globe: If lawmakers want to curb health care costs, they should strengthen the Health Policy Commission

Massachusetts is a leader in health care reform. Its groundbreaking coverage expansion in 2006 achieved near universal health coverage in the state and served as the basis for the Affordable Care Act of 2010. We still enjoy the highest coverage in the country at 97 percent. In 2012, the Commonwealth again pioneered the establishment of the Health Policy Commission to track health spending and persuade payers and providers to contain cost increases. Both reform packages are well equipped and led by experts. But while coverage expansion remains robust, cost containment appears to be stalling. These divergent results suggest that a third round of reforms is still needed. (John Kingsdale, 10/18)

Modern Healthcare: Helping communities address the social determinants of health

The convention district I serve is Peoria, Illinois, a vibrant community, a growing restaurant and bar scene, and beautiful riverside. It is also home to zip code 61605, which is considered to be one of the most troubled zip codes in the nation. Parts of the Peoria region have a poverty rate three times the national average, limited access to pharmacies and a persistent food desert. (Representative Cheri Bustos, 10/19)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a round-up of health coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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