Network Report



Public Health in Court: The Challenge to ACA Subsidies

Yesterday, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on the King v. Burwell case, which challenges the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies for middle- and low-income Americans. If the Supreme Court determines that the subsidies are illegal when administered through the federal insurance exchange in the 34 states without state-managed marketplaces, millions of Americans may no longer be able to afford coverage. Many believe this case is the single largest threat to health care reform.

Q&A: Impact of King v. Burwell on Health Reform

Network Attorney Jane Perkins has been closely following the developments in King v. Burwell and its challenge to ACA health insurance subsidies. In this Q&A, she explains the details of the case, how the subsidies work, who would be affected, and the broader implications for public health.

Read the Q&A.

Webinar: When Public Health Goes to Court

As evident in King v. Burwell, the U.S. court system can have a big impact on public health. Our webinar, today at 1 p.m. ET, will discuss the recent challenge to ACA insurance subsidies and other ACA litigation, as well as court cases involving vaccination requirements and other public health topics. The webinar is free and CLE credits are available.

Learn more and register.

Other Issues in Public Health Law

Heroin Use and Bloodborne Disease Infections: Anticipating a Public Health Risk

Evidence shows that a number of people who become addicted to prescription opioids will move from swallowing pills to injecting drugs – this switch has the potential to increase the risk of bloodborne illnesses from shared needles. Syringe access programs can help decrease needle sharing, and prevent disease infection.

Learn more about policies to prevent the spread of bloodborne disease.

High School Start Times and Healthy Sleep

Experts recommend that teens get between 8 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night for good health, but most teens get far less. Physical health, mental health, safety, as well as academic performance are affected by sleep deprivation. Adjusting school start times is one policy lever to address chronic sleep deprivation in teens, but there are logistical, financial and other factors to consider.

More on health sleep and school start times.

Upcoming Webinar: Shared-Use Agreements to Support Public Health

Public health authorities seeking opportunities to encourage physical activity within communities are looking at shared-use agreements and community use policies as a cost-effective way to open school property to programming shared between schools and the community. This webinar will explore the nature of shared-use agreements and community use policies, and offer evidence-based best practices, as well as experiences from the field. This webinar is free and will take place on Thursday, March 19.

Learn more and register.

Ask the Experts

Prosecutorial Practices that Impact Public Health

A public health advocate recently contacted the Network, concerned that a local prosecutor’s office was using possession of a condom as evidence of prostitution. Such a practice is worrisome to those who work in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, as it may discourage condom use in populations at risk. The requestor was interested in working with the prosecutor’s office to change the practice and asked the Network if other areas of the country had faced similar issues.

View the Network’s response.

Public Health Law Research: Medical Marijuana Laws

The recently updated Medical Marijuana Laws for Patients Map includes information on the diseases and symptoms that qualify a patient to use medical marijuana, where medical marijuana can be used, whether non-residents can use medical marijuana, and the possession limits for patients.

View map.

Career Opportunities

Research Manager - Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

This position serves as the Campaign’s subject matter expert on key issues, providing information and analysis to Campaign staff, tobacco control advocates, policymakers, media, and the public to promote the mission of the Campaign. The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years of relevant experience (not necessarily in tobacco control). 

More about the position and how to apply.

APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government

This fellowship is designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and make a contribution to enhancing public health science and practical knowledge in government. The fellowship will begin in September 2015 and continue through August 2016.

Learn more and apply.


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