What We're Reading: Ky. Medicaid Case Begins; NIH Ends Alcohol Study; AAP Warns of Health Effects of Separating Children

June 18, 2018

Oral arguments were held in a closely watched case involving Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky; an advisory panel to Francis Collins, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recommended ending a controversial $100 million study looking at the health effects of moderate drinking; the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is warning that migrant children who are forcibly taken from their parents are at risk of long-term health effects.

Kentucky Medicaid Case Begins

Oral arguments were held Friday in a closely watched case involving Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky, Kaiser Health News reported. The National Health Law Program, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center are suing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and HHS, arguing that waivers allowing work requirements lack the authority to transform a program designed to increase healthcare access into a work program. The state was the first of 4 to win approval for such a Medicaid waiver; close to a dozen other states are looking to adopt their own work requirements. The judge in the case said he would have a decision before the requirements are scheduled to take effect July 1.

NIH Ends Controversial Alcohol Study

An advisory panel to Francis Collins, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recommended ending a controversial $100 million study looking at the health effects of moderate drinking, and Collins agreed, The New York Times reported. The money for the study came from the alcohol industry and was solicited by NIH scientists, in violation of federal policy.

AAP President Warns of Harmful Long-Term Effects for Children Separated at the Border

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is warning that migrant children who are forcibly taken from their parents are at risk of long-term health effects, The Hill reported. Colleen Kraft, MD, said that children who have suffered such trauma and “toxic stress” have demonstrated links to asthma, obesity, and cancer, in addition to tendencies toward substance abuse, developmental delays, and mental health issues. The Trump administration put the policy into place last month.