Public Health Law Blog

Executive Action as a Tool for Promoting Evidence-Based Public Health Decision-Making

posted on Tue, Feb 12 2019 10:16 am by Colleen Healy Boufides

Gubernatorial executive orders and directives can serve as powerful tools for furthering public health goals. In addition to directing public health agency activities, establishing policies and priorities, and responding to emergencies, executive orders or directives can also play a role in shaping agency culture to promote effective public health decision-making.

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Medicaid and Spending Caps – A Bad Idea that Won’t Go Away

posted on Thu, Jan 31 2019 8:49 am by Sarah Somers

Recent reports from news media assert the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on plans to radically change the way that state Medicaid programs are funded – without the requisite changes in the law. If CMS goes ahead with this plan, it would give states permission to strictly limit spending on their Medicaid programs, which has the potential to negatively impact public health in significant ways.

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Public Health Law News Round-Up – January 2019

posted on Tue, Jan 29 2019 2:27 pm by The Network for Public Health Law

Public health law and policy stories that made headlines recently examined the disproportionally high maternity mortality rates for African American women, the lack of access to mental health care for children, New York’s worst measles outbreak in decades, states’ efforts to address the opioid crisis, Philadelphia’s new plan to curb gun violence, and a Missouri law that connects animal abuse and domestic violence.  

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Public Health Pushes Back Against Proposed EPA Rule

posted on Tue, Jan 22 2019 2:35 pm by Brian Brooks

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation that could undermine the agency’s mission to protect human and environmental health. This regulation could preclude the EPA from consulting pertinent studies, decreasing the quality of the data on which it bases its regulatory decisions. 

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Ebola Outbreak 2018-2019: An Escalating Health Crisis

posted on Tue, Jan 15 2019 1:53 pm by Chelsea Gulinson

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing its 10th outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). As of January 2, 2019, 608 individuals have been infected, 368 of whom have died. Already, the outbreak is the “second-deadliest and second-largest in history.” Federal, state, tribal, and local governments should stay well informed of outbreak developments and should review their plans and procedures for response to the potential spread of EVD to the U.S.

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The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative Provides a Blueprint for Improving Medicaid Prenatal Care

posted on Wed, Jan 9 2019 1:18 pm by Daniel Young

Timely, evidence-based prenatal care dramatically improves health outcomes for pregnant women as well as their babies. However, many women in the United States lack access to timely and adequate prenatal care.  Lack of access to care is particularly prevalent among women of color as well as younger women, exacerbating existing inequities.

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What School Nurses Really Do: Realizing the Power of School Nursing in Public Health

posted on Wed, Dec 19 2018 11:04 am by Kerri Lowrey and Donna Mazyck

School nurses understand the complexities between physical and mental wellbeing and academic achievement, and can play a critical role in advancing child and adolescent health — including expanding access to care for many children. However, laws across the country do not yet recognize the importance of school nurses, and only one state requires a full-time registered nurse in every school.

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Eliminating Library Late Fees and Overdue Fines to Increase Health Equity

posted on Wed, Dec 19 2018 10:08 am by Jill Krueger

As recognized by Healthy People 2020, reading makes a critical contribution to health. One principal way libraries promote health is through supporting literacy in early childhood, and access to books for parents, children, young adults, adults and seniors. However, overdue fines can present barriers to accessing library resources. Communities throughout the country are increasingly implementing policy and programmatic approaches to address these fines.

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Texas Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act: The Ruling and What to Expect

posted on Mon, Dec 17 2018 11:30 am by Sarah Somers, J.D., M.P.H., and Jane Perkins, J.D., M.P.H.

A federal district court judge in Texas recently struck down the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as unconstitutional and found that the rest of the Act was not severable and struck it down, too. Here’s our overview of the decision and what’s to come.

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Medicaid Managed Care and Social Determinants of Health

posted on Tue, Dec 4 2018 4:43 pm by Sarah Somers

In recent years, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the Medicaid program, has encouraged states to use Medicaid-managed care for coverage of non-health services that can impact the social determinants of health. Some states, like North Carolina, have used special waivers available under the program to pilot innovative new programs.

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