Welcome to Finestra’s Weekly Reader, wherein we recount intriguing, important, or infamous health care-related stories you may have missed over the past week.
- “Tattoo Artists Face a Grayer Palette in Europe” (NY Times) - The European Union recently banned several pigments used commonly in tattoos. The primary concern is that exposure to sunlight or laser tattoo removal treatments can lead to a toxic reaction. However, not all public health experts are convinced that this ban is an improvement, even if risks exist.
- “100 Million People in America Are Saddled With Health Care Debt” (Kaiser Health News) - Although health care debt is an increasingly common piece of discussion, many people might not be aware of truly how bad things have gotten, with nearly one-third of all people in the country experiencing some degree of it.
- “Was the Delta Variant 😂 for Children?” (Science Based Medicine) - In this opinion piece, Dr. Jonathan Howard discusses how the Delta variant of COVID-19 affected children - and why critics were wrong to originally pounce on his urging for caution last year.
- “Medical Bills Can Shatter Lives. North Carolina May Act to ‘De-Weaponize’ That Debt.” (Kaiser Health News) - Although North Carolina has one of the worst concentrations of health care debt, legislators are looking at two pronged approach: expanding Medicaid and increasing protections for patients.
- “Are You Exercising Too Much?” (Wall Street Journal) - Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercising too much can potentially result in health problems. Although this field of research is relatively new, scientists are already having concerns about people’s well-intentioned fitness practices.
- “Buy and Bust: When Private Equity Comes for Rural Hospitals” (Kaiser Health News) - It’s no secret that rural hospitals are facing a number of serious issues. As this reporting shows, while investment from private equity may at first seem like a sweet deal, there are difficulties that many did not anticipate.
- “Alphabet is spending billions to become a force in health care” (The Economist) - Although many physicians cringe at patients’ Google-prone self-diagnoses, big tech companies are collectively investing billions of dollars each year to move into the health care world.
- “Biden administration says it plans to cut nicotine in cigarettes” (The Washington Post) - In a move to help battle nicotine addiction, the Food and Drug Administration is drafting a rule that would require cigarette companies to reduce the overall amount of nicotine in their products. The move would not ban cigarettes, but would instead make them less addictive.