Abortion care in Canada is decided between a woman and her doctor, without recourse to criminal law

BMJ 2017; 356: j1506
Authors: W V Norman, J Downie
“As the UK debates decriminalisation of abortion and people wonder about the effects it might have, it may be useful to consider the Canadian experience of nearly 30 years without a criminal law to police access to abortion.”
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What Can US Policymakers Learn About Essential Health Benefits From Israel?

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Authors: Rachel Nisanhotz, David Chinitz, Sara Rosenbaum
“US policymakers confronting these complex questions could benefit from a close look at how other health systems approach them. In particular, it may surprise readers to know that Israel has a system very much in line with many US policymakers’ goals of fostering a competitive private insurance market. The Israeli system rests on the concept of competing private health plans selling care in a market of empowered consumers. But one crucial difference is how Israel approaches the question of what it means to be covered.”
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How Will People Who Are Already Sick Be Treated Under A New Health Law?

NPR, 13 March 2017
Author: Julie Rovner
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it illegal for insurers to deny or charge people more money because of a history of illness. That’s a pretty big deal because an estimated 52 million American adults have such conditions – ranging from serious ailments like diabetes and HIV to more minor maladies like acne or seasonal allergies. Before the ACA, people with these conditions were often denied insurance. If they were offered insurance, it could cost more or didn’t include coverage of their condition.”
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Why critics say a Texas bill lets anti-abortion doctors lie to pregnant women

The Washington Post, 11 March 2017
Author: Peter Holley
“In announcing the proposed legislation in November, Creighton’s office said that the state senator from Conroe, near Houston, “took a stand for the unborn with a bill intended to protect doctors from legal pressure to recommend abortion. Based on legal precedent, doctors can be assigned liability for children born with abnormalities if they identified those abnormalities in utero and failed to advocate for termination, resulting in what’s termed a ‘wrongful birth.’” The bill’s opponents say S.B. 25 would create an incentive for antiabortion doctors to avoid conducting prenatal tests, of fully informing pregnant women of the test results — or even to lie to patients who might seek an abortion after learning their fetus has abnormalities.”
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States Wrestle With Legalizing Payments For Gestational Surrogates

NPR, 10 March 2017
Author: Emily Sohn
“Last month, state legislators proposed a bill that would regulate gestational surrogacy — potentially adding legal oversight to fertility clinics that facilitate these pregnancies, when one woman carries a pregnancy for another. Minnesota’s surrogacy legislation and the debates that surround it echo the larger national debate on reproductive rights.”
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Reproductive Health Under Assault

Health Affairs Blog, 3 March 2017
Author: Aziza Ahmed
“American political, social, and religious history has made abortion a deeply partisan issue. This despite the reality that many women (as well as trans and gender non-conforming individuals) from diverse racial, cultural, class, and religious backgrounds regularly access abortion-related services. The outcome of the 2016 elections has set into motion an expected but nonetheless deeply damaging anti-abortion agenda that is slowly taking form in the Trump administration’s early days — aided by the Republican majority House and Senate. These early moves signal that the new administration aims to roll back gains made toward reproductive justice in 2016.”
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‘Really Sick and Really Scared’ Voters Temper Action on Health Law

NYT Health, 5 March 2017
Author: Jennifer Steinhauer
“Ms. Capito and other Republican lawmakers, particularly in the Senate, increasingly see a need to tread carefully, or even alter course, as party leaders vow to quickly repeal and replace the health care law. That unease is all but certain to have an enormous impact as House and Senate Republicans begin to publicly draft a plan this month.”
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Outdated Privacy Law Limits Effective Substance Use Disorder Treatment: The Case Against 42 CFR Part 2

Health Affairs Blog, 1 March 2017
Authors: Sarah Wakeman, Peter Friedmann
“On November 17, 2016, Surgeon General Vivek Murphy released the first report on substance use disorder (SUD) in the U.S. This landmark document described the tremendous toll of alcohol and drug use on the health and well-being of our nation. With the report, the Surgeon General issued a call to action, stating “how we respond to this crisis is a test for America.” Highlighted in the recommendations was the need to address the segregation of SUD treatment outside of medical care and the need to fight persistent stigma. However, full implementation of these recommendations remains nearly impossible so long as the archaic federal privacy law known as 42 CFR part 2 remains in place.”
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