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Kaiser Health News Original Stories

2. Fighting HIV In Miami, One Dirty Needle At A Time

A Miami doctor spent five years working to pass a needle exchange law for Miami-Dade County that he hopes will reduce HIV and other infections. The doctor’s battle inspired a patient who was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from a shared needle. (Amy Driscoll, Miami Herald, 8/10)

4. Political Cartoon: 'Anyone? Anyone?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Anyone? Anyone?'" by Dave Coverly, Speed Bump.

Here's today's health policy haiku:


Sometimes, controlling
HIV takes a doctor’s
stubborn commitment.

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:

Campaign 2016

5. Ballot Initiatives Nudge 2016 Health Care Talks Past Scripted Back-And-Forth On ACA

California and Colorado are among the states that have high-profile health care measures on their ballots this November that pivot the discussion toward issues other than Obamacare.

The Associated Press: Beyond 'Obamacare': State Initiatives Refocus Health Debate
Moving beyond "Obamacare," political activists are looking to state ballot questions to refocus the nation's long-running debate over government's role in health care. This fall, California voters will decide whether to lower some prescription drug prices, while Coloradans will vote on a state version of a "single-payer" government-run health system, similar to what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed in his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (8/9)

Politico Pro: How The Industry Plans To Kill Single Payer In Colorado
A well-financed industry campaign trying to kill a single-payer health care measure on the ballot in Colorado in November is coalescing around a simple overarching message: Pretty much everyone, they say, hates the idea. The “Coloradans for Coloradans” campaign has received financial backing — about $3.7 million, so far — from large health insurers, Colorado hospitals and others with ties to the health care industry. But the campaign’s strategy is to build a far broader coalition — not just businesses and conservatives who are the natural foes of a bigger government role in health care, but more liberal voices such as unions, and even some abortion rights advocates who think single payer would be bad for the state, or who say the priority should be improving Obamacare. (Pradhan, 8/9)

Capitol Hill Watch

6. Clinton Latest To Urge Congress To Pass Zika Funding 'Immediately'

In response, Republican leaders called out Hillary Clinton's running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, saying he and other Democratic lawmakers should end their filibuster. In other news, a report reveals the struggle public health officials had trying to understand and contain the first home-grown case of Zika, and Americans still aren't worried a poll finds even as Florida reports more cases.

Stat: Hillary Clinton Presses For Zika Funding, Takes Shot At Trump
Hillary Clinton added her voice Tuesday to the chorus calling for Congress to return to Washington as soon as possible to pass emergency funding to respond to the Zika virus. After a visit to a Miami-area health clinic, the Democratic presidential nominee said she “would very much urge the leadership of Congress to call people back for a special session and get a bill passed.” (Scott, 8/9)

Reuters: Clinton Urges Congress To Reconvene, Pass Zika Bill
"I am very disappointed that the Congress went on recess before actually agreeing what they would do to put the resources into this fight," Clinton said. "If we pass this critical funding we can develop rapid diagnostic testing and even begin the hard work of developing a vaccine." (8/9)

The Hill: Clinton Calls On Congress To Pass Zika Bill 'Immediately' 
In response to Clinton on Tuesday, Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called on Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and other Democrats to stop blocking the Republican-backed Zika response bill. "We would love for Sen. Kaine and others to end that filibuster and pass the bill, but it doesn’t sound like they’re prepared to do that," Stewart said. "Apparently they believe an earmark for Planned Parenthood in the future is more important that preventing the threat of Zika now." (Sullivan, 8/9)

The Hill: Health Chief Warns Congress: Zika Funds Quickly Running Out
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is warning that administration funds to fight the Zika virus are quickly running out.  In a letter to congressional Republicans sent Monday, Burwell points to a range of responses that will be impaired if Congress does not provide new funding. The letter comes as Democrats and Republicans point fingers at each other over who is to blame for the lack of Zika funding. (Sullivan, 8/9)

The Wall Street Journal: Pregnant Zika Victim Alerted Officials To Florida Outbreak
The woman who set off the Zika scare in Florida doesn’t have a clear connection to the neighborhood where the outbreak is believed to be concentrated. She hasn’t traveled to a country where Zika is circulating and she hasn’t had sex with anyone likely to be infected. These confounding facts are also laced with potential danger. The woman in her early 20s is pregnant. The woman is one of 21 cases health officials are grappling with in their efforts to understand and contain the first known mosquito-borne Zika outbreak in the continental U.S., according to an internal report on the investigation for health officials reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. (McKay and Evans, 8/10)

The Washington Post: Americans Are Still Not Worried About Zika, Poll Finds
Zika’s first mosquito-borne transmission in the United States has not sparked alarm for the vast majority of Americans, who do not fear infection by the disease, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Sixty-five percent of Americans say they are “not too” or “not at all" worried about being infected with Zika or about having an immediate family member become infected, which is hardly changed from 67 percent in June. Just over one-third of the public, 35 percent, is at least somewhat worried, though only 12 percent say they are “very worried” about infection. (Guskin and Clement, 8/9)

The New York Times: Zika Cases Rise In Miami, And Officials Try To Soothe Fears
As the number of locally acquired Zika cases in Miami climbed a notch on Tuesday, county officials held an emergency meeting to blunt concerns about an epidemic and to underscore that local infections remain well contained. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said Tuesday that four more people had been identified as likely to have acquired the Zika virus from local mosquitoes in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, the only place in the continental United States with active transmission. That brings the number of locally acquired cases in Florida to 21. On Monday, officials announced a Zika case in West Palm Beach, and they are investigating how the person, who recently traveled to Miami, was infected. (Alvarez, 8/9)

The Wall Street Journal: Florida Reports Four New Zika Cases, Likely Contracted Locally
Florida health authorities have found four more people who likely contracted Zika through mosquito bites in the Miami neighborhood where an outbreak began, Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday.The new cases bring to 21 the total number of people in Florida who health authorities believe became infected without traveling to areas outside the U.S. where the virus is circulating. (Kamp, 8/9)

The New York Times: New York Health Dept. Expands Zika-Testing Guidelines
In an effort to detect any local transmission of the Zika virus, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said on Tuesday that it had expanded the guidelines on who should be tested for the disease to include anyone with its most-common symptoms. Previously officials said only those who had traveled to a Zika-affected region or their sexual partners should be tested. The move comes on the heels of the first confirmed cases of local transmission by mosquitoes in Florida — a number that continues to rise. (Santora, 8/9)

The Columbus Dispatch: Zika Concerns Bring Business To Central Ohio Pest-Control Firms 
As the number of cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. increases, so does the number of people calling local exterminators to rid their yards of the potentially dangerous mosquitoes. Although no mosquito-transferred cases of Zika have been found in Ohio, area businesses specializing in mosquito control have seen an uptick in business this summer.The phones have been ringing so much at one exterminator, Mosquito Squad in Dublin, that co-owner Leslie Wilson said she had to hire an answering service to field the influx of inquiring customers. (Husnick, 8/10)

7. Baby Girl Is First Known Zika-Related Death In Texas, Second In U.S.

The infant's mother had traveled to Latin America during her pregnancy and the baby was born with microcephaly.

The Texas Tribune: Baby Girl's Death Is First Zika-Related Fatality In Texas
A baby girl has died in Harris County from complications related to the Zika virus, local public health officials said Tuesday. The death is the first known fatality in Texas linked to the virus, which can cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant mothers. It is the second Zika-related death in the continental United States after an elderly man in Utah died in June. (Walters, 8/9)

Dallas Morning News: Baby Who Died Shortly After Being Born In Houston Area Is State’s First Zika-Associated Death 
The mother traveled during her pregnancy to Latin America, where it's believed she became infected, before giving birth in Harris County, according to

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