Thursday, April 21, 2022
In this live webcast from the 2022 Public Health Law Summit, Dr. Dzirasa will share her insights on public health and policy strategies for mitigating harms from the pandemic and addressing the racial disparities in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Dr. Dzirasa will also speak about social media and other communications efforts related to vaccinations and other measures.
Maryland Poised to Join Small Group of States Offering Comprehensive Adult Dental Coverage Through Medicaid
Poor oral health is linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. While states are required to provide dental benefits to children covered by Medicaid, they can choose whether to provide dental benefits to adults. A bill recently signed by Maryland’s Governor fills a gap in access to dental care for adults that has been missing in Maryland and is still missing in many other states across the country. The bill requires Maryland Medicaid to cover adult dental services, including diagnostic, preventive, restorative, and periodontal services.
Biden Administration Executive Order Results in Long-Needed Update to SNAP Nutrition Benefits
More than 13.8 million U.S. households lack the necessary food and nutrition to live an active and healthy life. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial benefits to qualified individuals that can be used to purchase food. These benefits are based on the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which was last revised in 2006. A January 2021 Biden Administration Executive Order urging the USDA to promptly update the TFP to reflect the current cost of food resulted in a 21 percent increase in SNAP benefits.
States, Preemption, and Patented Drug Prices
Expensive prescription medications impose serious costs on patients and health systems alike. Yet, despite bipartisan support, Congress has been unable to pass prescription drug pricing reform. With federal legislation stalled, states remain a vibrant source of experimentation. Often, however, the most expensive medications are patented which raises complex legal questions for states.
Law and Policy Pathways to Increase Affordable Housing
About 36 percent of households in the U.S. rent their homes and nearly half spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. This cost burden means many renters are unable to allocate resources for other important needs such as healthcare, education, and healthy food. Studies have shown that when families gain access to affordable housing, whether rented or owned, their health and quality of life improves. This resource outlines laws and policies, including investing in public housing, mortgage and homeownership assistance, and zoning law reforms that have shown a proven track record of success.
Legality of Dispensing and Administering Expired Naloxone
In response to the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. These fact sheets discuss the efficacy of expired naloxone in Kentucky and Texas and whether the relative laws in each state permit the distribution and administration of such naloxone.
Just What the Doctor Ordered: State and Local Strategies to Advance Health Equity
The United States continues to experience high levels of health inequality and disparities, particularly within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities. Historic and structural racism continue to fuel these inequities by influencing social determinants of health. This research brief from Altarum, outlines how, for various reasons, state and local governments are uniquely placed to implement policies that target health disparities and drive health equity and discusses some promising strategies that these governments have been using, highlighting efforts by different states and localities.
Key Facts on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity
Due to systemic and overt discrimination, Black people are disproportionately affected by high maternal and infant morbidities and mortality. A recent KFF analysis found that Black people fared worse than other racial and ethnic groups in all maternal health indicators measured. They were more likely to have preterm births and have low birthweight babies compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Black infants were twice as likely to die as White infants, and Black people were more likely to die while pregnant or within a year of giving birth compared to all other groups.
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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.