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The Health Policy Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with women’s health, the Affordable Care Act, Head Start, child care and child support services, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and federal food and drug policy. This domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the department of Health and Human Services, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Latest Health & Gender Posts


MIS-C: What is it, and Why it Matters

Brief #96—Health & Gender
By Justin Lee
There are multiple reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (in children, MIS-C) being seen across the world shortly after the onset of COVID-19. Children and teen patients with MIS-C can suffer from inflammation that can limit blood flow throughout the body, exposing danger to major organs such as the heart, kidneys, and other organs. While cases, which have ranged from ages 2 to 15 years, have been considered rare the outcome can be dangerous if left untreated. MIC-C can be treated with drugs that can control the inflammation and prevent prolonged, permanent organ damage.

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Our Decentralized Health System Creates Vaccine Rollout Challenges

Brief #95—Health
By Erin Mcnemar
Confusion. Disorganization. Decentralization. All across the country, states are struggling with the vaccination process. From deciding who should be a priority to simply not having enough vaccines, many states are facing criticism for what seems like a failure to plan. These issues are due to the decentralized health system present in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, “Health systems decentralization involves moving decision making away from centralized control and closer to the users of health services. Many countries have embarked on a process to decentralize their health systems as a means to improve their responsiveness and performance.”

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Biden Signs Executive Orders Regarding Abortion and Obamacare

Brief #94—Health and Gender
By Erin McNemar
On Thursday, January 28, President Joe Biden signed two executive orders regarding the future of health care in America. According to  a press release from the White House, the Executive orders are being signed to strengthen Americans’ access to quality and affordable health care. The first of the executive orders was to roll back anti-abortion measures that were put in place during the Trump administration.
The second of the two orders was to direct federal agencies to reverse Trump administration policies that weaken HealthCare.gov, and made it harder for individuals to get Medicaid. As Biden continues to roll back Trump administration policies, the American people are going to see the return of plans that reflect the Obama era.

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Biden and Abortion: What Should America Expect?

Brief #92—Health and Gender
By Justin Lee
Former President Trump took strong actions against abortion and reproductive health policies during his presidency. Trump reinstated and strengthened the Mexico City Policy, which implemented funding restrictions to foreign organizations that provided abortion services or counseling. First introduced in the Reagan administration, Trump’s stance lead to the closure of many reproductive health clinics that provided care not just for abortions, but also for HIV care. Trump  also attempted to limit the scope of the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which previously required most insurance plans to cover birth control without copayments. The Supreme Court upheld the exemptions for employers with religious and/or moral objections  to refuse providing birth control benefits for employees in July 2020.

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The Public Health System in the US: Does it Work?

Brief #91—Health & Gender
By Justin Lee
Newly inaugurated President Biden nominated Xavier Becerra to lead and be the next Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS is comprised of various public health and human services agencies and offices that provide guidance, oversee and regulate operations, and establish laws and regulations. Agencies like the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (lead by the Surgeon General) all branch within the HHS.

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