March 16, 2019, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann - A coalition of 166 health groups wrote to House leaders last month asking them to approve $50 million for the CDC to study gun violence prevention in the next annual spending bill for the agency.The groups argue that gun violence is a public health issue, one that is killing an increasing number of people every year. Gun-related deaths reached their highest point in five decades in 2017, when about 40,000 people died, according to the CDC data. The agency tracks gun deaths but doesn’t study their causes.Two-thirds of those deaths were suicides, while 37 percent were homicides. Public health experts say their intention is not to take away people’s guns. “Treating car injuries as a public health issue didn’t mean demanding people give up cars,” said Dr. John Cullen, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “We need to be able to study this to come up with ways of making gun ownership as safe as possible for people who own guys and those around them.”
March 15, 2019, The Atlantic, Olga Khazan - In April 2016, Venus Lockett was about to give a speech at an event she’d volunteered for near her home in Atlanta. She was already stressed. The previous night, she had stayed up late making her presentation, and then deleted it by mistake. As she stepped up to the podium to give her remarks, she noticed that her words were slurring. She tried to speak into the mic, but the words that came out didn’t make sense. A few people, noticing that something wasn’t right, walked Lockett to another room and called an ambulance. Lockett, who was 57 at the time and uninsured, didn’t know whether she could or should refuse the ambulance ride or decide which hospital it would take her to. Paramedics sped her a few miles to Emory University Hospital Midtown, where she was held overnight. It turned out that she had suffered a transient ischemic attack, or a mini-stroke. The hospital performed tests and sent her home, where she recovered fully. In May, the hospital bill arrived. Lockett had been charged $26,203.62 total for “observation,” which the bill instructed her to pay within 20 days. Lockett went into a tailspin.