Women’s Health Care

Politico: 10 Things We’ve Learned About Abortion In The Year Since Roe Fell
Several developments defied predictions: Conservative lawmakers at the state and federal levels have struggled to agree on the parameters of abortion bans, while progressive groups have clashed over how far to go in expanding access. Doctors in states with bans have reported hesitancy around providing even legal care because of vague new policies and the fear of prosecution. Voters in Kansas, Kentucky and Montana rejected attempts to curtail access, and Democrats held the Senate in part because of their promise to protect abortion rights. With the legal and political landscape still roiling, here are 10 surprises from the past year. (Ollstein and Messerly, 6/22)

Child Marriages

Sacramento Bee: Protesters At Capitol Urge California To Ban Child Marriage
Protesters wore wedding gowns, duct-taped their mouths and chained their wrists on the steps of the California state Capitol on Thursday morning to call on lawmakers to set the minimum age of marriage in California to 18. “Mouths taped, trapped and silenced. This is what life looks like for individuals right here in California who are forced to marry,” said Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of Unchained at Last, a nonprofit advocacy group working to end forced and child marriage in the United States. (Scullion, 6/22)

Drug Use

Los Angeles Times: More Youths Overdose In L.A. Juvenile Halls
Less than two months after a teenager fatally overdosed inside one of Los Angeles County’s troubled juvenile halls, four youths were hospitalized after ingesting substances in the span of a few days — a grim sign that the Probation Department’s pledged contraband crackdown has gaping holes. (Ellis, 6/22)

Children’s Health

NPR: In A First, FDA Approves Sarepta Gene Therapy For Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
In an eagerly anticipated decision, the Food and Drug Administration Thursday approved the first gene therapy for muscular dystrophy. "Today's approval addresses an urgent unmet medical need and is an important advancement in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a devastating condition with limited treatment options, that leads to a progressive deterioration of an individual's health over time," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a statement. (Stein, 6/22)

The Wall Street Journal: The Price Of First Gene Therapy For Muscular Dystrophy: $3.2 Million
Young children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy can now get the first gene therapy for the crippling muscle condition. The one-time treatment will cost $3.2 million. The drug, known as Elevidys and made by Sarepta Therapeutics, becomes the first treatment that seeks to treat the disease by repairing the genetic defect at its root. The Food and Drug Administration approved the therapy on Thursday, following a fast-track review. (Whyte, 6/22)

USA Today: Best Hospitals For Kids: US News Releases Rankings Amid Legal Scrutiny
U.S. News & World Report released its latest rankings for the country’s top children’s hospitals Wednesday, a day after a scathing letter criticized the media company for its annual rating system. San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu alleged U.S. News’ rankings system is fraught with bias, questionable methodology and undisclosed financing, according to a letter obtained by USA TODAY Tuesday. Chiu said the letter is "more than a heads up." (Rodriguez, 6/21)

Los Angeles Times: Measles Cases Have Been Reported In California's Central Valley
Two cases of measles have been reported in California’s Central Valley, prompting local officials to remind people to get their children vaccinated against the highly infectious disease. The infections were confirmed in a single household in Fresno County. County health officials said they are working with their counterparts at the state level and in neighboring Madera County to contact individuals who may have been exposed but believe at this point that the risk to the general population is low. (Lin II, 6/20)

Mental Health Care

Advocates Call for 911 Changes. Police Have Mixed Feelings.

Though most California counties are experimenting with dispatching health professionals rather than law enforcement to respond to people experiencing mental health crises, powerful police unions fear defunding. (Molly Castle Work, 6/22 )

CalMatters: California Gov. Newsom Is Proposing A Boost In Mental Health Funding. Why Children’s Advocates Are Worried
Come March, California voters will get the chance to weigh in on sweeping changes proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the state’s mental health funding system — including a $4.68 billion bond measure to add treatment beds — but critics say the proposal pits children’s mental health services against the state’s ballooning homelessness crisis. (Hwang, 6/21)

USA Today: Against Backdrop Of A Mental Health Care Shortage, Emergency Room Doctors Are Overwhelmed
A 9-year-old boy lived for weeks in a hospital emergency room, dressed in paper scrubs, because his parents couldn't handle him and the state's social services agency had nowhere to place him. A 14-year-old spent more than four weeks in an emergency room in a community with no beds for a teen with mental health needs. (Alltucker, 6/21)

Governor Details How He’ll Fund Mental Health Care Plan: Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his plan Tuesday to build housing for people with mental illness and addiction using $4.68 billion in new bond funding and some existing revenue from the state’s mental health services tax. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee.

Health Care Workforce

LA Residents To Vote On Hospital Exec Pay: Los Angeles voters will decide next spring whether to clamp down on pay for hospital executives, capping their total wages and other compensation at $450,000 annually, after the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to put the proposed measure on the March 2024 ballot. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

Nurses Authorize Walkout: Nurses at Greater El Monte Community Hospital and Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park have voted to authorize strikes, claiming they’re short-staffed, overworked, and dealing with patient violence. Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.


Newsweek: Poverty Is Killing Nearly 200,000 Americans A Year
The land of the free is suffering from a "self-inflicted" injustice when it comes to poverty, experts say, as the rich are getting richer while thousands living without sufficient means die every year in the United States, as a recent study shows. The issue, according to an exclusive poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Newsweek, worries a majority of Americans. (Carbonaro, 6/19)

LGBTQ Health Care

KFF Health News: Medical Exiles: Families Flee States Amid Crackdown On Transgender Care
Hal Dempsey wanted to “escape Missouri.” Arlo Dennis is “fleeing Florida.” The Tillison family “can’t stay in Texas.” They are part of a new migration of Americans who are uprooting their lives in response to a raft of legislation across the country restricting health care for transgender people. (Sable-Smith, Chang, Rodriguez and West, 6/20)


AP: Donald Triplett, The 1st Person Diagnosed With Autism, Dies At 89
The Mississippi man known as “Case 1,” the first person to be diagnosed with autism, has died. Donald G. Triplett was the subject of a book titled “In a Different Key,” a PBS documentary film, BBC news magazine installment and countless medical journal articles. ... Triplett’s autism diagnosis arose from a detailed 22-page letter sent to a Johns Hopkins researcher in Baltimore containing telling observations by his parents about his aptitudes and behavior. The letter remains a primary reference document for those who study the disorder. (6/16)

Stat: Why ADHD Is Under-Diagnosed Among Asian Americans
Behind a veneer of accomplishment, underneath good grades and musical talents, Emily Chen was in disarray. She never knew what she was missing, perpetually cycling through potential mistakes in her mind in a desperate attempt not to slip up. At the age of 23, after navigating school and college in a nearly perpetual state of panic, Chen was diagnosed with ADHD. At the time, she was the only Asian American she knew with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Goldhill, 6/19)