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Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
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Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News

Tribal Treaty Requires US Government to Provide Competent Care

A United States Court of Appeals last week affirmed a lower court ruling that the US government is obliged to provide competent health care to South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a modest but important victory for the human right to health of tribe…
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs host a field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 17, 2016, to discuss proposed legislation aimed at fixing shortcomings at the network of hospitals run by the Indian Health Service.
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Children and Youth Have a Right to Comprehensive Information

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill that will update the US state’s sexuality education law, removing inaccurate and stigmatizing language about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Previously, Alabama state law required…
Pride Flag
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Ensure Accessible, Affordable Treatment for Millions of Vulnerable Americans

The stimulus package the United States Congress approved last week provides billions of dollars for hospitals but does not ensure COVID-19 treatment is affordable and accessible. This gap could prove devastating for millions of…
A woman waits outside the emergency check-in entrance at the Providence Medical Center in Portland, Ore., on March 24, 2020.
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Health Care Should be Recognized as a Fundamental Right

Philip Alston, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, did not mince words when he issued his recent report on poverty in the United States. Recent policies under the Trump administration “seem designed to…
People walk around the neighboring streets around the Fred Jordan Mission, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 12, 2018.
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US Maternal Death Rates Are Rising, With Black Women at Greatest Risk

Around the world every single day 800 women and girls die from preventable causes during and after pregnancy. Human Rights Watch has documented some of the root causes of these deaths – lack of accountability of health professionals to…
The maternity ward is show at the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital in San Diego, California , U.S., April 17, 2017.
News

Baseless Claims Made That Fund Supports Coercive Abortion, Sterilization

While attention has been focused on the tumult around US President Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US officials quietly renewed a decision made last year to block funding for the UN Population Fund – known as…
Syrian women sit in the waiting area to see a female doctor at a maternity clinic run by United Nations Population Fund inside Jordan's Al Zaatari refugee camp, which houses nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees, in Mafraq, Jordan November 22, 2016.
News

US Student Rape Victims Still Need Title IX

Eighty percent of female university students who have been sexually assaulted do not report it. I am one of them. Now, I fear that the US Department of Education will make it even harder for survivors like me to come forward. …
Protesters hold signs to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus at the Stanford University commencement ceremony in Palo Alto, California on U.S. June 12, 2016.
News

When Sexual Harassment and Abuse Hits Close to Home

“Why would anyone do that?” My son asked this as he looked at the photo of Al Franken, Senator of our home state of Minnesota, posing with his hands over radio host Leeann Tweeden’s breasts as she slept, a stupid grin on his face. My son…
A boy looks at a writing on the ground during a protest in support of women's rights, in New York City, U.S. on October 7, 2017.
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GOP’s Cuts to Medicaid, ACA, Mean Millions Lose Access to Drug Treatment Programs

US President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. What that means in practice remains to be seen – possibilities include increased federal funding, inter-agency coordination, and improved rural health…
US President Donald Trump signs a presidential public health emergency declaration on the nation's opioid crisis in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
News

Order Undermines ACA, May Result in Higher Premiums for Many Americans

Having failed – again – to gain congressional support for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), US President Donald Trump last week took two actions that will undermine some of its core principles. The President’s executive order allows for…
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) applauds as U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order to make it easier for Americans to buy bare-bones health insurance plans and circumvent Obamacare rules at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2017
News

Proposed Law Would Take Health Care out of Reach for Millions

This spring, “Mark,” a 65-year-old man from California, lost the toes on his right foot. Doctors had no choice but to amputate them after he developed complications from a staph infection. With a monthly income of US$1,499 from Social…
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaks with reporters following the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Sept
News

Proposed Medicaid Spending Cuts May Lead to Rural Hospital Closures

Rural America is in the midst of a health emergency that will probably get much worse if the US Senate’s healthcare bill passes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who live in rural areas are more likely…
Pineville Community Hospital, Pineville, Kentucky.
News

Saudi Arms Vote Shows Senators Can Do The Right Thing

Nearly half the United States Senate on Tuesday voted to ban a sale of US$510 million weapons to Saudi Arabia, because those weapons may be used to perpetrate war crimes against Yemeni civilians. It was a stunning result, just weeks…
Demonstrators that include mostly medical students protest a proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act in New York, U.S., January 30, 2017.
News

Healthcare Bill Threatens Millions

“I get the sense that my government would rather that I die.” That’s how Alana Theriault, a 50-year-old woman with spinal muscular atrophy, feels about proposed cuts of US$880 billion in Medicaid funding to US states. …
Protesters with ADAPT, a disabled people's rights organization, stage a demonstration at the gates of the White House in Washington, April 20, 2015.
News

More Resources for Review Boards Could Aid Those Wrongfully Discharged

Many US military personnel who reported being raped or sexually assaulted by other armed service members have been discharged on erroneous mental health grounds. But being assigned a mental disorder – one they were never even diagnosed with – has…
Gary Noling holding dogtags belonging to his daughter, Carri Goodwin, a rape victim who died of acute alcohol intoxication less than a week after receiving an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Marines.
News

As HIV Rates Decline, Possible Budget Cuts Emerge as New Threat

Tuesday was the 25th anniversary of AIDSWatch, the annual convening of people living with HIV and their allies in Washington, DC, to urge Congress to protect access to health care and services. This year’s event was the biggest yet, with more than 600…
AIDSWatch participants with Senator Marco Rubio, March 28, 2017, Washington DC.
News

Legislature’s Vote Sets Example for Other US States

In a major victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, Utah has repealed its “no promo homo” law restricting discussions of homosexuality in schools. On Monday, Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 196, revising a state law…
Josh Greer, a student who has been the target of bullying and discrimination in school, writes in his journal in his bedroom in Cache Country, UT, October 2016.
News

US Senator’s Public Meeting Overwhelmed by Questions about Obamacare Concerns

Louisiana’s Republican Senator Bill Cassidy scheduled his town hall during pre-Mardi Gras parades, in a location outside of New Orleans, with seating limited to 200 people. But that didn’t stop about a thousand of his constituents from attending, many…
A protester holds a sign at Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy's town hall meeting in Metairie, Louisiana, February 22, 2017.