By Hyeongsu Park and Kathy Wang
- 40 years after the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, the legal fight over abortion continues on. Washington and Arkansas legislatures have been debating new restrictions on availability and coverage of such procedures by state and private insurance.
- In light of renewed concerns over gun control, there has been a focus on mental illness and corresponding health care. However, critics point out that this may be unfair, cautioning lawmakers to avoid making rushed decisions regarding mental health services.
- With Washington state introducing the possibility of introducing a ballot initiative to require the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients, major food companies and advocacy groups have been began pushing for a uniform system of food labeling.
- Biotechnology firms have been increasing their lobbying efforts to limit generic competition of their top-selling drugs, citing research costs, patient safety, and loss of revenue. Several states have already begun considering these proposals and acting upon them.
- Earlier this week, House Speaker Will Weatherford announced that in the coming session, lawmakers would finally reach a decision over expanding Medicaid in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
- Since the full legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, the decriminalization of marijuana at the state level has been a rising issue. Advocates of the legalization of marijuana have now turned to the possibility of influencing national legislation as well.
- After last week’s vote by the FDA to toughen the restrictions on certain painkillers, critics have immediately begun voicing their concerns that this action would not help drug addiction or overdose, and instead simply make it more difficult for patients to actually receive adequate dosages, leaving them in pain.