Editoral writers express about these public health issues and others.
Washington Post: Vaping Is Not The Biggest Threat To Our Children Today
There have been 22 shootings at U.S. schools in 2019 alone. Active-shooter drills are a back-to-school activity. America’s children are under attack. And President Trump has moved to protect them by banning … flavored vape pods? Apparently, it’s a mint-flavored Juul that stands as the biggest threat to children today. (Christine Emba, 9/12)
The Wall Street Journal: The Stakes Of The Vape Debate
A campaign against vaping products is moving at land speed records, with the Trump Administration announcing this week it will pull flavored e-cigarettes from the market. This is becoming a political pile on, and regulators risk foreclosing one of the best opportunities in public health, which is to reduce cigarette smoking. President Trump on Wednesday popped off about “a problem in our country,” which is the new trend of vaping. “There have been deaths and there have been a lot of other problems.” The First Lady recently tweeted that she’s “deeply concerned” about e-cigarette use among youth, and Health and Human Services says it is stepping in to clear the market of flavored options. (9/12)
The Wall Street Journal: A Vaping Ban Will Send Smokers Back To The Pack
Recent news that e-cigarettes may be linked to hundreds of cases of severe lung disease across dozens of states has refocused public attention on the potentially harmful effects of vaping. As many as six people have already died of severe respiratory illness brought on by use of e-cigarettes. On Wednesday President Trump announced a Food and Drug Administration ban on many flavored vaping products citing safety concerns, calling it “a new problem.” (Liam Sigaud and Steve Pociask, 9/12)
The Washington Post: What Trump’s Authoritarian Push On Homelessness Is Really About
If you want to find an emblematic policy tale of the Trump presidency, you can’t do much better than the president’s newfound interest in homelessness. He just discovered a problem that has existed for decades. His administration has been actively making the problem worse. His ideas about it are driven by his disturbing psychological quirks. The solutions he’s considering are authoritarian and unconstitutional. He wants to use it as part of a reelection campaign based on hatred and division. (Paul Waldman, 9/12)
The New York Times: Trump’s Vague Plans On Homelessness
Donald Trump likes speaking in declarative sentences and promising to solve big problems. He revels in the appearance of activity and the development of vague plans. And it is in this spirit that Mr. Trump has turned his attention to homelessness in California. There is no question that California is in the throes of a crisis. In the state’s most populous county, Los Angeles, a county report in June found the homeless population had spiked to an estimated 59,000 — a 12 percent increase over June 2018. (9/12)
The Hill: Congress Must Act To Fix Military Hunger In National Defense Authorization Act
The need to act is stunning. According to Pentagon records obtained by NBC News through a Freedom of Information Act request, 30 percent of military children attending Department of Defense-run schools in the U.S. qualify for free or reduced lunch. Not coincidentally, there is a food pantry operating on or near every military base in the United States, a dramatic indicator of the breadth of military food insecurity. We say enough is enough. America’s military service members are called upon to defend our great nation, yet are struggling to make ends meet, a completely unacceptable situation requiring urgent attention. (Abby J. Leibman and Kelly Hruska, 9/13)
Stat: Assisted Outpatient Treatment: A Tool For Serious Mental Illness
The most important and compassionate change the Trump administration and the federal government can make is to increase the number of psychiatric beds available to those who need them. This can best be achieved by eliminating Medicaid’s Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, which precludes Medicaid from paying states for treating mentally ill adults while they reside in psychiatric hospitals. By withholding funds from state psychiatric hospitals, the exclusion creates a financial incentive for states to deny hospital admission to people with serious mental illness, discharge them before they are ready, and close psychiatric hospital beds. (DJ Jaffe, 9/13)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.