Dually Noted from around the web

June 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

50 years ago: The birth of Medicare
In Generations: The Journal of the American Society on Aging, Joseph Califano, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Carter, chronicles the birth of Medicare. Califano, who served in the Johnson administration when Medicare became law, explains how the origins of Medicare can be traced to 1946, when President Truman proposed national health insurance. Over the years, the idea of providing care for the elderly gained momentum, culminating in the passage of the 1965 law.

Online service increases access to mental health care
A digital mental health service called “Big White Wall” offers a “wide range of behavioral health self-management services, anonymized peer support, and immediate access to evidence-based tools” to individuals seeking mental health services. The service has proven popular with employers, payors, the military, and individuals who are engaging the mental health system for the first time. Launched in the UK in 2007, Big White Wall expanded to the US last year.

Commentary: the opioid addiction crisis and corporate responsibility
Psychotherapist Janna Malamud Smith, writing on WBUR’s website, argues that the current prescription pain killer addiction crisis is the consequence of a system that “puts profit over people.” To increase revenue, she claims, drug companies “pressure(s) doctors to prescribe opioids to people who don’t need them, and shouldn’t ever get them.” She calls on drug manufacturers to act in the “common good,” and set up “free treatment programs to heal all those harmed by their pills.”


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