National School Lunch Program – More Flexibility; Less Nutrition

Law & Policy InsightsHealth in School

February 26, 2019
by Leila Barraza

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was last modified in 2012 by the Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which established nutrition standards for school meals consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The USDA has announced that it will soon implement less stringent standards for school lunch nutrition regarding the requirements for whole grains, sodium, and milk.

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

Law & Policy Insights

February 12, 2019
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

Law & Policy InsightsMedicaid

January 31, 2019
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

Law & Policy Insights

January 29, 2019

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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Ebola Outbreak 2018-2019: An Escalating Health Crisis

Law & Policy InsightsEmergency Legal Preparedness and Response

January 15, 2019

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

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child Health

January 9, 2019

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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