Public Health Law Blog

Legal Steps Minnesota Could Take to Decrease Vaccine Waivers

posted on Tue, May 23 2017 3:42 pm by Jennifer Bernstein

Combating low vaccinations rates has become a difficult problem for public health. Consumers often receive mixed messages and false information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and the dangers of vaccine preventable diseases. There are, however, legal steps that can be taken to inccrease vaccination rates.

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Homelessness and the Public’s Health: Legal Responses ̶ Q&A

posted on Thu, May 11 2017 8:51 am by James Hodge, Jr.

Many experts and advocates consider homelessness a critical public health issue. Professor James G. Hodge, Jr., director of the Network's Western Region Office, co-authored the article “Homelessness and the Public’s Health: Legal Responses” in the recently released Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics supplemental issue. In this Q&A, he discusses his article and the role of law and advocacy to ameliorate the public health impact of homelessness.


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April Public Health Law New Round-Up

posted on Mon, May 8 2017 1:33 pm by The Network

Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in April include the rising rate of kindergartener vaccinations in San Diego following a change in that state’s vaccination laws; smokeless tobacco use in major league ballparks; expanding “Health in All Policies” initiatives; a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco; soda taxes; and more.

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The Link between Daily Fantasy Sports and Problem Gambling – a Public Health Concern

posted on Wed, Apr 26 2017 9:44 am by Mellissa Sager

Not a lot of people think “public health” when examining state laws and policies regulating gambling—but public health professionals should. This is particularly true with respect to daily fantasy sports (DFS) because of its association with problem gambling conditions.

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Is Homelessness a Medical Condition?

posted on Tue, Apr 11 2017 11:52 am by Jennifer Bernstein

In an effort to reduce the costs of treating homeless individuals with chronic medical conditions by providing them with permanent housing, legislation was recently introduced in Hawaii that would classify homelessness as a medical condition.

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March Public Health Law News Round-up

posted on Tue, Apr 11 2017 10:21 am by The Network

Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in March include a call by physicians for policy changes to better address the opioid epidemic, states’ efforts on oral health care access for the elderly, the effects of gun laws on suicide rates, and a new federal law requiring water companies to notify customers of lead and other dangerous contaminants in water.

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Threats to ACA Protection of Black Lung Victims

posted on Fri, Mar 24 2017 11:03 am by Daphne Wilson

The prevalence of severe black lung disease is rising at an alarming rate. With modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looming, victims of black lung disease may soon face elimination of critical benefits and protection.

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FDA’s Recent Drug Labeling Changes Will Help Pregnant Women and Their Physicians

posted on Tue, Mar 14 2017 3:29 pm by Erin Redmon and Leila Barraza

Prescribing drugs for patients is routine for physicians, but counseling pregnant patients about medication use is more complex. The FDA’s recent Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Rule (PLLR) addresses this issue by making known drug safety data readily available to both doctors and patients.

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Licensing E-Cigarette Retailers and Vape Shops

posted on Fri, Mar 10 2017 11:45 am by William Tillburg

While “Tobacco 21” and clean air laws are effective tobacco control strategies, particularly at reducing youth use, they’re not politically feasible in much of the country – twenty states still do not have comprehensive indoor smoking restrictions and only California and Hawaii have raised the minimum tobacco purchase age to 21. State and local tobacco licensing programs are critical to preventing youth use of tobacco products. These programs enable communities to identify retail businesses that sell tobacco products.

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How Medicaid and the ACA are Helping States Address Opioid Overdose

posted on Thu, Mar 2 2017 8:28 am by Corey Davis

In 2015, 33,091 Americans died of accidental opioid overdose, that’s more deaths than from car crashes or guns. Early interventions to prevent and treat substance use disorder and opioid use disorder, save lives and resources. Although access to evidence-based prevention and treatment remains far below where it should be, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have been instrumental in improving it.

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