Tuesday, July 31, 2018
States have expanded legal gambling significantly over the last decade and continue to do so as they grapple with budget shortfalls, desperate to raise revenue without raising taxes. All but two states collect revenue through one or more types of gambling. The nature of gambling has changed in recent years, however, with the proliferation of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). The major DFS companies offer services in 39 states as many regulators have determined that DFS is a permissible skill-based game rather than impermissible gambling (or games of chance). In 2017, the DFS industry collected over $3 billion in user entry fees and generated $335 million in revenues. And now states have the opportunity to further expand permissible gambling—and state revenue—by permitting sports betting, such as wagers on the Super Bowl and brackets for March Madness following the decision in Murphy v. NCAA (May 14, 2018).
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
In states that have passed mandatory flu immunization for children between six months and five years of age, deaths and hospitalization due to flu have declined. In June, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a New York City Health Code requiring annual flu vaccination for children (ages of six – 59 months) who attend city-regulated child care or school-based programs. The ruling is a significant victory for public health in light of the ongoing legal challenges to mandatory vaccination requirements and childhood vaccination rates.
Access to broadband is increasingly being recognized as an important social determinant of health. However, despite progress in expanding connectivity, approximately 34 million people in the United States still lack broadband access. The “digital divide” is particularly acute in rural communities, where 23 million residents lack broadband access. Law and policy directly affect the availability and cost of broadband services. Federal and state policies, including the funding of broadband infrastructure in rural areas, can facilitate expansion of broadband access.
Monday, July 16, 2018
More women in the United States die from pregnancy complications than in any other developed country, and the rate of maternal deaths continues to rise. Recent legislation passed by Congress establishes a shared responsibility between States and the Federal Government to identify opportunities to improve maternal health. The legislation supports the development of a model for States to operate maternal mortality reviews, assess the various factors that may have contributed to maternal mortality, and develop appropriate interventions to reduce and prevent such deaths.