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What We're Reading - June 26, 2015

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
June 26, 2015
A rundown of the articles and stories that caught our eye this month:

Comptroller's View: No budget deal, no checks for those who can least afford to miss them
“As the state's chief financial officer, I manage the state's checkbook. This can be quite a challenge in Illinois, where we are nearly $6 billion behind in paying the state's bills. It will get much worse if the General Assembly and the governor don't reach a budget agreement the next 2½ weeks.”
Rockford Register Star, June 13, 2015

Illinois Providers Prepare Shutdown Plans for 26,000 Mentally Ill Adults, Kids
“The failure of Illinois state leaders to adopt a new budget has prompted service shutdown planning for nearly 26,000 mentally ill adults and children.

‘Without a budget or clear direction from state agencies, the consequences will be severe,” Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) President and CEO Janet Stover said on Tuesday. “Tens of thousands will lose service, and thousands more will be sent to the unemployment line as these predominately not-for-profit organizations struggle to stay afloat.’”
The Illinois Observer, June 24, 2015

OP-ED: Justice Foiled by Ignorance of Trauma
“In the parking lot, I sat in my pickup for several minutes thinking about this woman who had the outward appearance of a meth addict. I wondered how she came to be the person I just saw and what I might have done differently to improve her outcome.

My thoughts turned to remarks delivered by Abigail Baird, a developmental neuroscientist studying brain development and decision-making by teenagers. She was addressing a symposium sponsored by the National Center for State Courts and the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative.

A few days later, I was in the audience for a presentation by Anne Studzinski, managing director of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition. Both experts referred to the effects of trauma on the intersecting development of the individual. These two discussions had a link that stirred up my own memories of Kera’s visits to my courtroom.”
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, June 10, 2015

What Poverty Does to the Young Brain
“Over the past decade, the scientific consensus has become clear: poverty perpetuates poverty, generation after generation, by acting on the brain. The National Scientific Council has been working directly with policymakers to support measures that break this cycle, including better prenatal and pediatric care and more accessible preschool education. Levitt and his colleagues have also been advocating for changing laws that criminalize drug abuse during pregnancy, since, as they pointed out in a review paper, arrest and incarceration can also trigger the ‘maternal stress response system.’ The story that science is now telling rearranges the morality of parenting and poverty, making it harder to blame problem children on problem parents. Building a healthy brain, it seems, is an act of barn raising.”
The New Yorker, June 4, 2015

At Home, Many Seniors Are Imprisoned by Their Independence
“Almost two million people over age 65, or nearly 6 percent of those Americans (excluding nursing home residents), rarely or never leave their homes, researchers recently reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The homebound far outnumber the 1.4 million residents of nursing homes.

Who are the homebound? Compared with other aging adults, ‘they’re older,’ said Katherine Ornstein, an epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and the study’s lead author. ‘They’re more likely to be female and less likely to be white; they’re lower income. They’re more likely to be non-English speakers and to be Medicaid beneficiaries.’”
The New York Times, June 19, 2015

Why the Healthcare Industry Must Take the Lead on Climate Change
“The effects of climate change threaten decades of healthcare progress, and health leaders have a responsibility to help reduce energy consumption and frame the crisis as a health issue instead of a scientific or political one, according to a report published by the Lancet/UCL Commission on Health and Climate Change.”
FierceHealthcare, June 23, 2015