Healthcare and public services

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    In the 2018 midterms, Medicaid was a big winner in three deep red states.  

In the 2018 midterms, Medicaid was a big winner in three deep red states.  

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In this year’s midterm elections, not only did the Democratic Party retake the US House of Representatives, voters in three red states – Utah, Nebraska and Idaho – approved the expansion of Medicaid via ballot measures. Sarah Scaffidi writes that the votes to expand Medicaid to more than 300,000 people across these states shows that voters value healthcare above […]

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    Despite Democrats’ takeover of the House, don’t expect Republicans to give up on undoing Obamacare

Despite Democrats’ takeover of the House, don’t expect Republicans to give up on undoing Obamacare

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In the lead up to last week’s midterm elections, polls consistently showed that healthcare was on the forefront of many Americans’ minds. With the Democratic Party now in control of the US House of Representatives, Republican efforts to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare reform, Obamacare, are likely to be significantly curtailed. But that doesn’t mean they will end completely, […]

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    Stereotypes about poverty mean that policymakers aren’t fighting food insecurity. Local food movements may be our best hope for now.

Stereotypes about poverty mean that policymakers aren’t fighting food insecurity. Local food movements may be our best hope for now.

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Despite the country’s vast food production and exports, millions of Americans go hungry every day. While many are quick to point the finger at poor spending choices, the reality of food insecurity is far more complex, write Kaitland M. Byrd, W. Carson Byrd, Leslie Hossfeld, E. Brook Kelly, and Julia Waity. They argue that as long as those in […]

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    The jury is in on cannabis legalization in North America: it’s been a success.

The jury is in on cannabis legalization in North America: it’s been a success.

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Has the legalization of cannabis in some parts of North America been a success? While some suggest that the jury is still out on that question, Daniel Bear argues that the drug’s legalization has largely been a good thing. Citing increasing tax revenues which have been allocated to health and education programs as well as falling violent crime in […]

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    The jury is still out on the effects of legalised cannabis in North America

The jury is still out on the effects of legalised cannabis in North America

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Recent decades have seen a sea change in cannabis regulation in North America beginning with the legalisation of the drug for medicinal use in the 1990s in some US states and then referendums which legalised marijuana for recreational use in many states after 2014. But has cannabis legalisation been a good thing? Wayne Hall writes that despite growing support […]

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    Men can see hormonal contraception as a joint responsibility with their partners

Men can see hormonal contraception as a joint responsibility with their partners

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For now, hormonal contraception is available only to women. But to what extent to men help to manage this contraceptive method alongside their partners? In new research, Ann Fefferman and Ushma D. Upadhyay find that despite literature which suggests men can often be absent or coercive in contraceptive management, they are often active partners in this area, even […]

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    To tackle the opioid crisis, the US should look to Switzerland’s successes with substitution therapy

To tackle the opioid crisis, the US should look to Switzerland’s successes with substitution therapy

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The US is facing an opioid crisis at a colossal scale. But Switzerland has been there before. Christian Schneider looks back to the policy innovations introduced to tackle the European nation’s opioid crisis in the 1990s. By implementing substitution therapy, heroin-assisted treatment and harm reduction measures, he writes, the US may be able to begin to get a grip […]

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    For African American Millennials, difficulties on the road to adulthood may be hurting their mothers’ health

For African American Millennials, difficulties on the road to adulthood may be hurting their mothers’ health

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Exposure to constant stress has a proven to be bad for people’s health. But what is the effect of stress that comes from family relationships, such as when parents have to support their children’s path to adulthood? In new research, Ashley Barr studies the effects of this kind of stress on mothers’ health, finding that young African Americans’ challenges […]

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    Why educated Republicans are still less likely to trust childhood vaccinations than educated Democrats

Why educated Republicans are still less likely to trust childhood vaccinations than educated Democrats

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There is overwhelming evidence that the benefits of vaccinations outweigh their risks. But why do so many continue to be skeptical of their use? In new research, Mark Joslyn and Steven Sylvester find that education is an important predictor of trust in vaccine science, and that Democrats are more influenced by this effect than Republicans. They write that these […]

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    High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US 

High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US 

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The US spends nearly 18 percent of its GDP on health care, making it a real outlier among high-income countries in this area. But what is behind this unusually high level of health care spending? Irene Papanicolas investigates common beliefs about why spending is so high, including that US residents use more health care services, have poorer quality of care, and use ‘too much’ inpatient care. She finds that higher costs […]

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