Health Policy Happenings, 3.12.19

I loved sending a weekly roundup of health policy and public health news to one of my student interest groups in graduate school, so I thought it would be a great way to share the interesting articles, research papers, podcasts, and more that I come across each week with all of you! I hope you find something interesting and engaging!

An Unvaccinated Child Contracted Tetnus. It Took More Than Two Months and More Than $800,000 to Save Him

“For more than 30 years in Oregon, cases of tetanus in children were almost mythical — studied in textbooks but never seen in person — thanks to the effectiveness of pediatric vaccination programs. That streak ended in 2017 when an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy arrived at a hospital in the state, experiencing jaw spasms and struggling to breathe, according to a new case study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

‘Medicare for All’ : The Impossible Dream

“The Brits and Canadians I know certainly love their single-payer health care systems. If one of their politicians suggested they should switch to the American health care model, they’d throw him out the window. So single-payer health care, or in our case “Medicare for all,” is worth taking seriously. I’ve just never understood how we get from here to there, how we transition from our current system to the one Bernie Sanders has proposed and Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and others have endorsed.”

Medieval Diseases Are Infecting Californias’s Homeless

“Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard. Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.”

Why So Many Babies Are Getting Their Tongues Clipped

“While the popularity of frenotomies has exploded in recent years, many medical professionals and researchers say it’s not totally clear whether they address the issues they’re supposed to—or whether a lot of babies are having an unnecessary procedure.”

Black Women Are Facing A Childbirth Mortality Crisis. These Doulas Are Trying to Help

“‘Our team in general is woke,’ Patrick said in a Skype interview. She explained that the majority of her team, three founders and 16 doulas, are white and the majority of their clients are white. She said she believes this racial makeup actually helps her see the disparities more clearly. While Emerald Doulas aims to serve all women, part of their efforts to reduce the black maternal and infant mortality rate includes having regular team meetings where their doulas are encouraged to speak up about any racial disparities they witness between clients and providers.”

Facebook Vows To Quash Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

“The decision follows a Tuesday Senate hearing on how to stop the outbreak of preventable diseases in which an 18-year-old testified that he was immunized against the wishes of his mother, who he said had developed anti-vaccine beliefs through her involvement with various Facebook groups. “For certain individuals and organizations that spread this misinformation, they instill fear into the public for their own gain selfishly, and do so knowing that their information is incorrect,” Ethan Lindenberger said.”

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