This week, the health care sector spent most of its time digesting the health care policy news from the end of last week. Reactions are coming in regarding Theresa Manning, Trump’s head of Title X family planning program. Here is a woman who criticizes the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) on its endorsement of Plan B, the morning after pill, and who openly claims that contraception doesn’t work.
Did you know that 22% of pregnant Texans under 18 have had multiple children ? Texas, the State recently enacting several curtailments to women’s reproductive services, is now grappling with it’s varied distinctions such as having sky high maternal mortality rates, and the highest repeat teen pregnancy rates in the Union. In a near comical about face, Texas is now considering a bill to provide free contraception to minors without parental consent. They have just now figured out this will reduce maternal morbidity, mortality, abortion rates and Medicaid costs. WOW.
Reactions at a town hall meeting on New Jersey were quite clear, as participants boo’d their elected Senate Representative Tom MacArthur as he explained that rape victims could potentially be excluded from coverage. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Pregnancy stands to be much more expensive under the ACHA. Those with prior Obstetrical complications such as C sections may fall under preexisting conditions and be charged exorbitant premiums.
Senate Conservatives plan to drop millions of adults from Medicaid, which they say will reduce health care spending. They had originally said that tax credits instead would help people pay for health care, but now they wish to limit those on the fear that some may use their tax credit cash to pay for abortions. Paranoid much ? Moderate Republican Senators wish to keep the Medicaid expansion, citing it’s many benefits to their States.
The Congressional Budget Office still appears to have teeth. They are the nation’s bean counters and they have yet to weigh in with REAL FACTS not #alternativefacts on how much the current administration’s ACHA (American Health Care Act) health care proposal will cost. This will include not only the cost of the insurance, but the uncovered health care costs incurred by those who lose their insurance. Polls show support of the ACHA is waning, and is down to around a third of Americans.
A new study has shown that the credit card debt jumps for women but not men after a year of major medical expenses. Combine this with the fact that women have, on average, 20 % less income and spending power compared to men. Still ?
As the weather gets warmer, Zika is back in the news. The CDC is now recommending all women at risk for Zika get a baseline Zika blood test. Once pregnant, they are to be retested every trimester. The CDC anticipates that this proactive schedule of testing will unearth many more cases of Zika this year.
Hepatitis C has tripled its incidence between 2010 and 2015. Federal officials feel that the heroin epidemic is driving this. Among pregnant women, the infection rate has doubled.
Perhaps in response to all the anti-contraceptive politics or perhaps for a variety of other reasons, the use of LARCs (Long acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs) has increased seven fold between the years of 2008 and 2013. These are considered very good but still underutilized methods.
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology states that marijuana smoked by pregnant women could damage the retinas of unborn children. The study utilized an animal model which showed this effect.
Research presented at ACOG’s recent annual meeting indicated that patient information presented on Society Websites is too advanced for patients. These education materials do not meet the so-called health literacy standards, which are meant to ensure that information reaches it’s target. This is of particular concern to me as medical writer whose aim it is to convey information to a lay public and to my patients.
What do you think ? Would you rather information be a little too simple or a little too complex ? It is quite hard to get it just right.
Stay tuned for more breaking news next week on Medical Monday.