Health News Roundup

Boston hospital helps breastfeeding Black moms, babies thrive, and more in this week’s roundup

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Paying attention: Boston hospital helps breastfeeding Black moms, babies thrive
Katherine Standish and Afi Semenya, The Emancipator, September 12
The racial disparities that impact Black women’s breastfeeding journeys reflect the systemic and structural inequities throughout health care and society. In addition, fewer than 2% of certified lactation consultants identify as Black, and most lactation consultants charge out of pocket. Boston Medical Center’s outpatient breastfeeding clinic is trying to change that.

With a promising new plan to pay for pricey cures, two states set out to eliminate hepatitis C. But cost hasn’t been the biggest problem
Nicholas Florko, STAT, Sept. 13
For nearly a decade, many experts assumed the biggest obstacle to eliminating hepatitis C was the sky-high cost of new cures. But as Louisiana and Washington try to eliminate the disease by providing access to treatment, both states have encountered more barriers than cost. The struggles underscore the difficulty in eliminating hepatitis C – and the need for a comprehensive, well-funded strategy for actually getting people connected to treatment.

The uninsured rate of Americans relatively steady
Victoria Knight, Axios, Sept. 14
The number of Americans without health insurance fell by a million people in 2021, according to new data from the Census Bureau. Despite COVID-19 and the economic uncertainty it spawned, the uninsured rate remained stable due to enhanced subsidies and the Medicaid continuous coverage provisions Congress enacted in response to the pandemic. However, the looming end of the public health emergency could reverse these gains.

Expanded safety net drives sharp drop in child poverty
Jason DeParle, The New York Times, Sept. 11
A new analysis shows that child poverty has fallen 59 percent since 1993, with need receding on nearly every front. Child poverty has fallen in every state, and it has fallen by about the same degree among children who are white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian, living with one parent or two, and in native or immigrant households. The analysis found that multiple forces reduced child poverty, but a dominant factor was the expansion of government aid.

Opinion: Why do people turn down social risk assistance offered by their doctors’ offices?
Caroline Fichtenberg and Emilia De Marchis, STAT, Sept. 12
As the health care sector aims to identify and assist people who face social risk factors such as food or housing insecurity, research shows that a significant number of people decline the assistance offered by their health care teams. New results from six different research groups highlight key factors impacting social assistance referrals, and offers some solutions.