In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Employers and insurers are installing sophisticated kiosks in more workplaces so that workers can quickly consult a doctor offsite when they take ill at work. (Phil Galewitz, 6/21)
Aetna to spend nearly $50 million on health initiatives, agrees to more rate review. (Chad Terhune, 6/20)
Fertility specialists say that egg donation is safe and involves the same process as in vitro fertilization, but there are sporadic reports of cancers, some fatal, and subsequent fertility problems among egg donors. Because of a lack of research, it isn't known whether these problems are linked to the process or are the result of chance. (Sandra G. Boodman, 6/21)
Researchers estimated that a year’s worth of care for kids with diabetes cost more than $17,000. (Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, 6/20)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Even The Score?'" by Steve Kelley.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
TELECOMMUTE OR TELEMEDICINE?
Step into the booth
To see a doctor and get
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
At a hearing held by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, activists say a focus needs to be placed on universal health care ahead of the November election. In other news, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., focuses on the health law in his tough reelection campaign.
Morning Consult: Some Democrats Aren’t Giving Up On Universal Health Care
Democrats should push for universal health coverage ahead of the November election, several health care advocates urged the committee drafting the Democratic National Committee’s platform at a recent session focused on health policy. Their liberal health care proposals echo a similar theme from an environment-themed session the same day, in which activists criticized DNC members for not pushing harder on climate change. The hearing was part of a series of regional events held by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee “designed to engage every voice in the party.” (McIntire, 6/20)
Politico Pro: In Fight Of His Political Life, McCain Hammers Obamacare
John McCain is running for reelection like it’s 2010. The Arizona Republican has made his opposition to Obamacare — which dominated Senate races across the country six years ago — a central point of his campaign, by all accounts, the toughest reelection fight of his career. He’s betting that shrinking coverage options and premium increases that could go as high as 65 percent if insurers get their way will resonate with Arizona voters, even as most of his Republican colleagues running this year have moved on to other issues. (Haberkorn and Meyer, 6/20)
A measure by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would have encouraged states to submit mental-health records to the nation’s background-check system. In other news, senators blast the Food and Drug Administration for its policy on gay men donating blood and the Orlando shooting has revived a debate about how first responders should treat victims at the scene of a traumatic event.
The Wall Street Journal: Senate Rejects Four Gun-Control Proposals
The Senate on Monday night rejected four proposals to tighten the nation’s gun laws, as familiar partisan battle lines left lawmakers unable for now to respond to this month’s mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. ... Two measures focused on the background-checks system also stalled Monday night. The Democratic bill would have expanded the use of background checks beyond only federally licensed dealers to include private gun sellers and all sales online. A competing measure from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) that would encourage states to submit relevant mental-health records to the nation’s background-check system was blocked. It would also have changed certain mental-health terminology in a way that Democrats said would make it easier for those with mental illness to procure guns. (son and Hughes, 6/20)
The Hill: Warren Presses FDA To Lift Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) are applying new pressure on the Obama administration to lift long-time restrictions on blood donations from gay men in the wake of the Orlando attacks. The two senators, who have been long-time critics of the policy, wrote to the head of the Food and Drug Administration on Monday blasting what they call a “discriminatory” policy. (Ferris, 6/20)
The Washington Post: From Columbine To Orlando, Medics Grapple With How Best To Stop The Bleeding
In the 17 years of mass shootings and stalled debates about gun control that separate Columbine from the recent massacre in Orlando, another debate has evolved among medical professionals and first responders about how to prevent deaths like Sanders’s. It hovers over the decision in Orlando to wait three hours after Omar Mateen began shooting before breaching the Pulse nightclub where he was holding hostages and where unknown numbers were wounded. And it is an increasingly urgent focus for emergency responders, because one of the few comments experts make with confidence about these unpredictable mass attacks is that they are sure to happen again. “Scoop and run” — the idea of moving victims to a trauma hospital as quickly as possible — is a mantra of modern U.S. emergency care. Internal hemorrhage can be handled only in an operating room. But stanching bleeding from arms and legs often needs to happen even sooner. (Stead Sellers, 6/20)
The early tests, in 40 adults, will look at safety concerns first. In other developments, health officials from around the world examined the Zika threat at a U.N. meeting, U.S. officials seek to ensure the safety of blood donations and a look at the virus' effect on children.
The Associated Press: Experimental Zika Vaccine To Begin Human Testing
An experimental vaccine for the Zika virus is due to begin human testing in coming weeks, after getting the green light from U.S. health officials. Inovio Pharmaceuticals said Monday it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin early-stage safety tests of its DNA-based vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus. That puts the company ahead of researchers at the National Institutes of Health, who have said they expect to begin testing their own DNA-based Zika vaccine by early fall. (Perrone, 6/20)
The Washington Post: Scientists Announce Important Zika Milestone: First Vaccine Ready For Human Trials
Pennsylvania vaccine maker Inovio Pharmaceuticals and South Korea’s GeneOne Life Sciences said Monday that they had received approval from U.S. regulators to start testing a DNA vaccine, known as GLS-5700, on humans. The early-stage study will include 40 healthy subjects. It is primarily designed to assess the safety of the vaccine but will also measure the immune response generated by the injection. (Cha, 6/20)
Stat: Experimental Zika Vaccine Is Approved For Clinical Trials For First Time In US
Interim results from the trial, which will involve 40 healthy adults, are expected later this year. Testing in mice and monkeys has shown the vaccine triggered what Inovio called a robust antibody response. Gary Kobinger, whose team at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg did the mouse testing, said the Inovio team decided late last year to try to develop a Zika vaccine in the shortest time it could. (Branswell, 6/20)
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Plymouth Meeting Firm Begins Zika Vaccine Clinical Trials
The tests will be done at three U.S. locations, including Philadelphia, and will evaluate safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus. Test results from the study are expected this year, said Inovio president and CEO Joseph Kim. (Loyd, 6/21)
The Associated Press: Experts Only Beginning To Grasp The Damage From Zika Virus
Even though the explosive spread of the Zika virus has been met with a new level of international response, thanks to lessons learned from the Ebola crisis, experts warn they are only beginning to grasp the damage the mosquito-borne virus can do. Doctors speaking at a U.N. meeting on Global Health Crises said Monday that the Zika virus has already affected 60 countries on four continents, and a major outbreak on the Atlantic Ocean island nation of Cape Verde suggests the disease is now poised to enter continental Africa. Zika has already become epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Astor, 6/20)
Reuters: U.S. To Help Fund Technology To Eliminate Zika In Blood Supply
The U.S. government said on Monday it has agreed to help fund two pathogen reduction technologies to help reduce the risk of Zika virus and other infections from being transmitted through the blood supply. (6/20)