What We're Reading: Abstinence Focus; Arthritis Cases Missed; Protections for Transgender Patients

April 23, 2018

HHS will shift federal funding aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates to focus on programs that teach abstinence; relying on data about doctor-diagnosed arthritis alone may miss almost half of cases in middle aged adults; the Trump administration is seeking to reverse an Obama administration decision preventing healthcare discriminating against transgender patients.

Federal Grants for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs to Focus on Abstinence

HHS will shift federal funding aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates to focus on programs that teach abstinence, The Hill reported. The Trump administration is changing the grant program, called the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, created under former President Barack Obama, representing a major shift in the way the federal government treats teen pregnancy. The Obama administration mostly awarded TPP grants to organizations that taught comprehensive sex education, which can include teaching teens about contraception and abstinence.

More Adults May Have Arthritis Than Previously Thought

Relying on data about doctor-diagnosed arthritis alone may miss almost half of cases in middle-aged adults who may see doctors less often or ignore occasional joint symptoms, The Wall Street Journal reported. New research suggest prevalence of arthritis is rising, driven largely by aging baby boomers and the obesity epidemic. The CDC estimates 54 million adults have been told by a doctor they have the condition, but new research suggests more than 91 million adults have the condition.

Trump Administration Seeking to Undo Healthcare Protections for Transgender Patients

The Trump administration is seeking to reverse an Obama administration decision preventing doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender patients, The New York Times reported. The change could jeopardize the access that transgender people have to medical care, including gender reassignment procedures, which many insurers denied in the past. The rule was adopted in 2016 to carry out a major civil rights law embedded in the Affordable Care Act. The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in “any health program or activity” that receives federal financial assistance.