To End School Shootings, Activists Consider a New Culprit: Parents

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For the first time, a jury has convicted a parent on charges related to their child’s mass-shooting crime: A Michigan mother of a school shooter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. What remains unclear is whether this case succeeded because of compelling evidence of negligence by the shooter’s mother or if this could become a new avenue for gun control advocates to pursue.

Meanwhile, a prominent publisher of medical journals has retracted two articles that lower-court judges used in reaching decisions that the abortion pill mifepristone should be restricted. The case is before the Supreme Court, with oral arguments scheduled for March 26.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • Sage Journals, a major medical publisher, has retracted two studies central to abortion opponents’ arguments in a federal court case over access to the abortion pill mifepristone. Although the retraction came before next month’s Supreme Court hearing on the case, the now-discredited studies have permeated the public debate over mifepristone.
  • Florida’s Supreme Court has until April 1 to stop a measure about the availability of abortion from appearing on the November ballot. The decision could be pivotal in determining abortion access in the South, as Florida’s current 15-week ban (compared with near-total bans in surrounding states) has made it a regional destination for abortion care.
  • In Medicaid news, the nation is about halfway through the “unwinding,” the redetermination process states are undergoing to strip ineligible beneficiaries from the program’s rolls. Although the process will amount to the biggest purge of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program rolls in a one-year period, it is expected that, when all is said and done, overall enrollment will look much as it did before the pandemic — though how many people are left uninsured remains to be seen.
  • In the states, Georgia is suing the Biden administration to extend its Medicaid work-requirement program. Meanwhile, some states are using Medicaid funding to address housing issues. Despite evidence that addressing housing insecurity can improve health, it is also clear that state budgets would need to be adjusted to meet those needs.
  • And in “This Week in Health Misinformation,” PolitiFact awarded a “Pants on Fire!” rating to the claim — in a fundraising ad for Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) — that Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “brought COVID to Montana” a year before it spread through the U.S., among other spurious claims.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week that they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: Alabama Daily News’ “Alabama Lawmakers Briefed on New ‘ALL Health’ Insurance Coverage Expansion Plan,” by Alexander Willis.

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Stat’s “FDA Urged to Move Faster to Fix Pulse Oximeters for Darker-Skinned Patients,” by Usha Lee McFarling.

Sarah Karlin-Smith: The Atlantic’s “GoFundMe Is a Health-Care Utility Now,” by Elisabeth Rosenthal.

Rachana Pradhan: North Carolina Health News’ “Atrium Health: A Unit of ‘Local Government’ Like No Other,” by Michelle Crouch and Charlotte Ledger.

Also mentioned on this week’s podcast:

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