A study, covered by The Hill, ranks the US healthcare system the worst among 11 developed countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and US). The health systems were assessed on care, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes. The US spent the most on healthcare, and performed the worst on access, equity, and outcomes.
Vox explores the benefits and drawbacks to scientifically backed medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, and how its effectiveness is overshadowed by the way Americans think of addiction as a moral failing rather than a treatable disease. NPR reports on the inadequacy of funding dedicated to opioid treatment and prevention in the latest Senate healthcare bill: “[A]ddiction treatment specialists warn that sum of money is far from enough to address a crisis that has escalated across the United States in recent years, killing tens of thousands of people. The federal money would be spent over about a decade, and is part of a bill that also dramatically cuts Medicaid, which is helping many people get treatment now. Those cuts will hit people in some states especially hard – those living in states that expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Act. "You're going to take a lot of people, take away their health care benefit, and basically do just a small grant to each state. It's going to be real big problem," says Richard Edley, executive director of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, which includes hundreds of mental health and substance use disorder providers in Pennsylvania. "You hate to say you're opposing [$45 billion], but it's packaged with a rollback of benefits to these same individuals."’
Washington State will become the first state to notify domestic violence victims when their abusers attempt to purchase guns. ThinkProgress reports that “Washington has been a leader in gun control legislation, and it was the first state to require universal background checks. The most recent law, however, is a huge step to better protect domestic violence survivors, Owens said, because it’s far easier to get a restraining order than to get an abuser convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence [which would prevent the abuser from legally acquiring a firearm].”
Mother Jones highlights a report by The Building Movement Project that shows there is bias against LGBT employees of color in the nonprofit sector, even in organizations that serve the LGBT community. Findings are based on a 2016 survey, in which 4,385 staff and board members from various nonprofits answered questions about their organizations, professional backgrounds, and perceptions on leadership and race. The report highlights potential solutions and notes, “Mainstream LGBTQ nonprofits may have well-intentioned racial equity or diversity values on paper but often do not have funding or resources to make formal organizational commitments to align those values with their organizational practices and structures.”
The Trace reports on “legal and practical obstacles” to implementation for gun-control laws passed last year in California. “The first blow to the package of laws came June 26, when an obscure state office found that Attorney General Xavier Becerra improperly withheld a new assault weapon regulation from a review process that grants time for public comment. Under the new law, owners with rifles equipped with “bullet buttons” — a device that allows for the release a gun’s magazine — would have to register their firearms with the California attorney general by year’s end. The finding, by the Office of Administrative Law, hampered Becerra’s to launch a functioning registration system before the looming January 1 deadline. The deadline has since been pushed back. Then, just three days later, on June 29, a federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction halting the statewide ban on the possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds from taking effect July 1. The ruling came at the request of lawyers from the National Rifle Association’s state affiliate.”
Colorlines reports on three California communities (Marin and San Mateo counties, and the city of Imperial Beach) that sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies for negligence and public nuisance, claiming that “these companies knowingly emit dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, which threatens their communities with sea level rise.”
California Senate Bill 5 was revised to include anti-displacement language (contributed by PI) this week: “Section 1. DIVISION 45. CHAPTER 1. 80001. (7) now says: To the extent practicable, priority for grant funding under this division will be given to a project that advances solutions to prevent displacement if a potential unintended consequence associated with park creation pursuant to the project is an increase in the cost of housing.”
On-site parking regulations cost renters an average of $1,700 for garage spaces (a 17% rent hike). Researchers estimate that there are 708,000 households in the US without a car who have “bundled” parking spaces that they don’t need, costing those households approximately $440 million per year. The researchers advise that cities reduce or eliminate parking requirements and allow developers to offer unbundled parking options.
Earlier this week, the defection of more Republican senators temporarily sunk the updated Senate healthcare bill’s prospects, though McConnell is planning to bring a partial repeal bill to the floor next week for a vote.