Worth reading: Planned Parenthood, needle exchange policy, and Oliver Sacks

A few of the recent pieces I've liked:

Sara Rosenbaum at the Health Affairs Blog: Planned Parenthood, Community Health Centers, And Women’s Health: Getting The Facts Right

Laura Ungar at USA Today: Study: Needle exchange policy prevented HIV

Maryn McKenna at Phenomena: Germination: Tickborne Diseases: Widespread, Serious, and Taking us by Surprise

Elissa Strauss at Longreads: The Lost Summer

Oliver Sacks's opinion piece "My Periodic Table" appeared in the New York Times in July, just weeks before he died of cancer. Since then, past writing by and about him has gained attention. I enjoyed reading Steve Silberman's "The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks," from WIRED in 2002. All of Sacks's New Yorker pieces are here, and The Atlantic has assembled a collection of some of Sacks's best writing and interviews from multiple sources.

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Wired has a fascinating interview with Oliver Sacks about music. I particularly enjoyed this question from Steve Silberman about the joys of combining a good melody with drugs: Wired: You write that there was a time in med school when you took a lot of amphetamines. What's the most vivid experience…
Earlier this week, the Geiger Gibson/ RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative released a policy research brief that estimates the impact of the House of Representatives' proposed reduction in funding to community health centers. (Full disclosure: the Geiger Gibson program is part of…
Dr. Oliver Sacks is a rare bird in the world of medicine: not only is he one the country's top neurologists, but he also has a knack for weaving clinical profiles of his most exceptional patients into lovely, thoughtful books that open up the complex workings of our minds to the peering eyes of…

In the first article on Planned Parenthood, I read
“A sudden cutoff in funding would create an immediate health care access crisis for millions of women, placing enormous strain on community health centers and other providers.”

These women should be covered under Obamacare, right?
What’s the problem?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 14 Sep 2015 #permalink

See Noevo @1: "Obamacare" describes health insurance. A person still needs a provider (doctor/clinic/hospital) to actually provide the care. Even if you have the best insurance in the world, if the only doctor in town closes you're not going to be able to get care.

That's the problem.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

To JustaTech #2:

If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.
According to the article, 40% of Planned Parenthood’s funding is from the federal government.
Accordingly, PP should either go out of business or reduce its operations such that it can survive without the fed funding.

[And if the government is dead set on spending (and it always is) the $500 million that used to go to PP, maybe it could open some government-run health care facilities similar to the VA hospitals/clinic.]

By See Noevo (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, you don't understand how Medicaid reimbursement works, do you?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Planned Parenthood gets federal funding in order to provide services for low-income patients who can't afford to pay full price for them (providers who get Title X funding charge fees on a sliding scale). The alternatives to the government giving money to Planned Parenthood and other such providers would be:

1. The government could itself establish, staff, and run enough healthcare centers to assure all low-income women can access affordable healthcare services; or
2. Low-income women will go without needed sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

Option 1 wouldn't be popular with all of those who complain about "big government," and it would take at least a decade to get a network of such clinics set up. But those who oppose giving money to Planned Parenthood could demonstrate that they really do care about women's health by advancing a serious proposal to create a government-run alternative.