Each week, KHN’s Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
VICE News: Seven States Have Only One Remaining Abortion Clinic. We Talked To The People Keeping Them Open.
Across the country, the number of abortion clinics has been declining for years, and after another clinic closed in West Virginia in January, seven states have just one abortion provider left. (An eighth, Arkansas, has only one full-service provider offering both medication and surgical abortions.) (Allison McCann, 5/23)
Vox: The Obscure Senate Rule That Could Sink Obamacare Repeal, Explained
The fate of the Republican drive to repeal and replace Obamacare — and of the 24 million more Americans who could be uninsured if they succeed — now lies with obscure, complex Senate rules. One rule in particular will determine what Republicans can include in the bill, how much of Obamacare they can repeal, and perhaps whether the bill can pass at all. And the last-minute additions that got conservatives on board with the House version of the American Health Care Act might run into trouble, according to experts and recent legislative precedents. (Dylan Scott, 5/22)
FiveThirtyEight: The Obamacare Marketplaces Aren’t In A Death Spiral
Are the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act really on the verge of collapse, as President Trump and GOP leaders have repeatedly claimed? Three months ago, this story would have started like this: It depends on where you look and who you ask. Today, it goes something like this: They are in a fragile state pretty much everywhere. (Anna Maria Barry-Jester, 5/19)
WIRED: Medicine Is Going Digital. The FDA Is Racing To Catch Up
When Bakul Patel started as a policy advisor in the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008, he could pretty much pinpoint when a product was going to land in front of the reviewers in his division. Back when medical devices were heavy on the hardware—your pacemakers and your IUDs—it would take manufacturers years to get them ready for regulatory approval. FDA reviewers could keep up pretty well. (Megan Molteni, 5/22)
The New Yorker: A Bipartisan Way To Improve Medical Care
The health-care crisis in the United States is in many ways a pricing crisis. Nearly all medical care is paid on a fee-for-service basis, which means that medical providers make more money if they perform more procedures. This is perverse. We don’t want an excess of health-care services, especially unnecessary ones; we want health. But hardly anybody gets paid when we are healthy. (Adam Davidson, 5/22)
The Atlantic: The Lead-Poisoned Generation In New Orleans
There is no safe level of lead in the human body. Even at low levels, chronic exposure can damage the brain and the central nervous system, and can cause symptoms from hearing loss to IQ deterioration to lack of impulse control. Over time, lead gets absorbed into the bones, making them brittle and stunted, and causes teeth to crack and rot. Exposure in young children with developing minds and growing bones is most destructive, and in times of serious stress and trauma—common in places like the New Orleans projects in the 1990s—those effects are magnified. (Vann R. Newkirk II, 5/21)
Vox: 45 Million Americans Rely On Food Stamps. Trump Wants To Gut The Program.
In the 1960s and 1970s, food stamps were rolled out in different counties at different times — and researchers have used this variation as a natural experiment to examine the health impacts of SNAP. From improving birth weight to reducing obesity, food stamps were associated with a number of positive health effects. (Julia Belluz, 5/23)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.