What We're Reading: Smokeless Tobacco; McCain's Recovery; Government's Role in Healthcare Coverage

Tobacco Companies Pursue Smokeless Products

Big Tobacco is campaigning for smokeless tobacco products to be named a safer alternative to smoking, and some public health advocates agree. According to The Wall Street Journal, moist, smokeless tobacco is less harmful than smoking products like cigarettes, and some public health advocates believe that promoting this information is better than just espousing an abstinence-only message. The idea is that some smokers who are unable to quit smoking should be encouraged to switch to less harmful alternatives.

Health Vote Will Happen Without McCain

Despite recently being diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a rare brain tumor, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) will return to the Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) doesn’t plan to wait for McCain to vote on healthcare, according to CNN. This decision leaves Republicans with an even smaller majority—now, the party can only afford to lose 1 vote. McConnell plans to vote on healthcare sometime early next week, but as of now, it is still unclear what bill the Senate will be voting on.

Americans View Health Coverage as Government’s Responsibility

A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 62% of Americans say the federal government is responsible for ensuring all Americans have healthcare coverage. This represents a shift in views from as recently as March 2017, when only 52% of Americans believed the same, reported the Associated Press. However, the poll found a very sharp partisan split, with only 3 in 10 Republicans believing healthcare coverage is the government’s responsibility compared with 8 in 10 Democrats.