On December 18, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower district court ruling that the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 is unconstitutional. While the case was sent back to the lower district court for further deliberation, proponents of the ACA believe this ruling could potentially dismantle the law. The Network’s monthly reporter, Judicial Trends in Public Health, summarizes the key elements of this ruling as well as other select court decisions from the last three months impacting public health.
Law and Policy Perspectives
Law and Policy Pathways to Protect Soil Health—A Critical Component of a Healthy Climate and a Healthy Population
Healthy soil contains organic matter that contributes to the nutritional quality of food and can have a significant impact on agricultural output. It also plays a critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing erosion and storm water runoff, protecting against drought, and reducing carbon emissions. Policymakers at both the federal and local level are increasingly including laws and provisions that promote healthy soils in their environmental policies and legislation.
Federal Housing Policy: From Disappointing Regulatory Proposals to Inspiring Enforcement Actions
Public health leaders have criticized a recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposal that would place an increased burden on those seeking to prove discrimination in housing practices. While the HUD proposal moves through the regulatory process, another federal agency, the Department of Justice, continues to do its part to prevent discrimination in housing and punish those who engage in unfair and illegal housing practices.
Public Health Decision-Making Tool
Health officials and boards of health have a duty to protect the public’s health. They have a great amount of discretion in how they fulfill this duty and must make difficult decisions around emerging threats that require balancing many factors, including the risk of acting prematurely based on limited information and the risk of delaying action until they have additional information. This tool provides a checklist of key questions for public health decision-makers and practitioners to consider in making a decision whether to act or to wait based on information known at the time.
Data Governance: Ensuring Trust and Managing Risks
January 14 | 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST
When health care providers, public health and others create, use and share data, governance is required to ensure that trust is maintained and interoperability risks are appropriately managed. This webinar will highlight how governance is achieved by providing coordination and oversight through a policy framework, a decision-making body and trust agreement, and will include real world examples of governance in action.
2020 Public Health Law Conference
The 2020 Public Health Law Conference will provide critical information, best practices, tools and resources to those on the front lines of public health. Help bring resource-strapped practitioners, lawyers, community advocates and students to the Conference. Your tax-deductible contribution will help pay for travel and housing costs, registration and other expenses.
Apply to the DASH Mentor Program: Build Your Collaborative and Data Sharing Capacity
Through the DASH Mentor Program, seven deeply experienced organizations will serve as Mentors within the All In network to support communities to advance their efforts to share and use multi-sector data to improve community health. DASH is seeking “Mentees” to participate in small peer-to-peer learning groups, each led by a different DASH Mentor. Mentees will receive $5,000 over 10 months starting in January, though the greater value of the Mentorship will be regular access to experienced Mentors and fellow collaborations working on community data-sharing. The application deadline is December 23, 2019.
Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS) Initiative: State Policy Project
Part of the Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS) Initiative is a collaboration between Trust for America's Health and the Center for Public Health Law Research to provide states with ways to improve community health through cost-saving policy changes. The collaboration has published two new harm reduction-focused, cross-sectional datasets on syringe service programs and tobacco pricing strategies. The entire project will include 13 datasets through summer 2020.
Executive Director: Environmental Health Legal Team
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Environmental Science and Policy seeks to hire a lawyer to serve as Executive Director of the Environmental Health Legal team. Reporting to the Assistant Commissioner, the Director will assume oversight responsibility for multiple legal and policy projects and team supervision, while operating with a wide degree of independence and autonomy. Use job ID# 424584 to apply online.
Kerri McGowan Lowrey, Deputy Director, Eastern Region Office
Areas of expertise:
› Emergency legal research and coding
› Injury prevention
› Child and adolescent health policy
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The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.