Viewpoints: Lawmakers Need To Pass Laws To End All Vaccine Exemptions; Lessons On The Decreasing Birth Rate In The U.S.

Syndicated from Kaiser Health News

The Hill: Vaccine Hesitancy: Most Difficult Fight We Have Ahead Of Us Is Political

It is a form of government regulation of disease, one that demands of all of us an equal amount of risk — albeit a very, very small one — in order to benefit all of us equally. For both conservatives and liberals, we need to remind them that our inalienable rights come with inescapable responsibility, like the responsibility to not carry infectious diseases and comply with medical recommendations to stop outbreaks. (Rene Najera, 5/15)

The Wall Street Journal: A Historic Shortage Of Americans It should be self-evident that a thriving country tends to enjoy healthy population growth. But a growing population of young taxpayers is essential for a country that habitually makes massive unfunded entitlement promises. Anthony DeBarros and Janet Adamy report in the Journal on the impact of the new baby bust: The decline has important implications for the U.S. economy and workforce. The total fertility rate... has generally remained below the “replacement” level of 2.1 since 1971. A fertility rate falling farther below replacement level means that, without enough immigrants, the U.S. could see population declines and a workforce too small to support a growing segment of retirees. (James Freeman, 5/15) Stat: Connecting With Patients Can Keep Docs From Being 'Uncomfortably Numb' As a surgeon who specializes in gynecologic cancer, I have performed thousands of operations over my two-decade career. But the ones my team and I have done since the beginning of this year have been the most fulfilling. The reason? A simple yet remarkable adjustment in how we prepare for surgery has forever changed the way we now practice medicine. The first of these “new” operations started when I asked to have Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” — a title so dripping with irony that it was impossible for the team not to notice (more on that later) — playing over the sound system as a patient entered the operating room. (Benjamin Schwartz, 5/16)

Los Angeles Times: Climate Change Could Bring The Bubonic Plague Back To Los Angeles

The steamship caused the last global outbreak of bubonic plague. Climate change could cause the next one.Longer, hotter weather patterns are extending the breeding season of rats and rodents, leading to a steep increase in their numbers in places like Los Angeles, New York and Houston. Over the last decade, urban rat populations are up by 15% to 20% worldwide, thanks to a combination of climate changes and a greater preference among humans for urban living, increasing the amount of trash available for scavengers, according to estimates from Bobby Corrigan, a rodent control consultant and one of the nation’s leading rat experts. (David K. Randall, 5/16)

The Hill: A Public Option For Health Care Is Viable — DC Should Take Note

In the endless debate about health care among politicians, the public option gets passing comment but not much in the way of serious discussion.In 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was being considered, the House of Representatives passed their version which included a public option. The public option was to be created in each state to compete in the individual market place with commercial insurers. The theory was that the public option, without shareholders, would offer robust competition for private insurers to keep rates more affordable. (John Baackes, 5/15) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

Some stories produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Patricia is the founder and editor of Little Bytes News, a former elementary teacher, radio talk show host, political activist and political blogger. In 2012, Patricia was nominated one of “Circle of Moms” top 25 political bloggers.

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