healthcare

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Public trust in science is a fickle creature. Surveys show a clear majority of Americans believe science has positively impacted society, and they’re more likely to trust scientists on issues like climate change and vaccines. On the other hand, surveys also find that factors like politics, religion, age and race can greatly impact the degree of that trust. It presents a delicate challenge for agencies that depend on trust in science to do their jobs.

U.S. investments in global health research have saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable suffering. And by working to detect, treat and eventually eliminate infectious diseases worldwide, we’re protecting our own country too. That cliché about diseases knowing no borders is unfortunately very true. All that alone should be enough to remain committed to the cause.

Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.

With the future of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, most of the news coverage has gone to insurance coverage, premiums and Medicaid. And rightly so. But also included in the massive health reform law were a number of innovative measures to improve the quality and value of the medical care we actually get in the doctor’s office. With repeal still on the table, those measures are at risk too.

In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, nearly 200 people have died from opioid-related overdoses in the first five months of this year. That means that this one U.S. county is on pace to lose more than 700 people to fatal overdoses by the end of 2017.

Last year’s emergency Zika funding is about to run out and there’s no new money in the pipeline. It’s emblematic of the kind of short-term, reactive policymaking that public health officials have been warning us about for years. Now, as we head into summer, public health again faces a dangerous, highly complex threat along with an enormous funding gap.

When you ask public health advocates about President Trump’s recent budget proposal, you typically get a bewildered pause. Public health people don’t like to exaggerate — they follow the science, they stay calm, they face off against dangerous threats on a regular basis. Exaggerating doesn’t help contain diseases, it only makes it harder. So it’s concerning when you hear words like this about Trump’s budget: “devastating,” “not serious,” “ludicrous,” “unfathomable.”

To the surprise of literally no one, President Trump’s 2018 budget proposed stripping all federal funds, including Medicaid dollars, from Planned Parenthood. Proponents of this argue that if Planned Parenthood clinics end up shuttered, women can simply access care elsewhere. But growing research shows that’s the opposite of what actually happens.

Last week, researchers officially opened enrollment in the nation’s first decades-long study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer health — an effort they hope will transform our understanding of the health challenges LGBTQ people face and begin narrowing a giant data gap on their physical, mental and social well-being.

A Zika attack rate of just 1 percent across the six states most at risk for the mosquito-borne disease could result in $1.2 billion in medical costs and lost productivity, a new study finds. That’s more than the $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding that Congress approved last year after months of delay and which is expected to run out this summer.