Monday, August 1, 2011

Patt Morrison for Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:30

Birth control, a mammogram and a colonoscopy won’t cost you a thing under new rules for preventive health care – next patient, please

In a move sure to feed the controversy over the federal health care reform bill, yesterday the Obama administration announced new standards requiring private health care insurers to cover all government-approved contraceptives and a comprehensive list of preventive measures for women without co-payments or other fees. Supporters say this will remove long-time barriers to birth control and increase the use of preventive services that will now be available without cost sharing requirements, including colonoscopies, mammograms, immunizations, HIV screening and counseling, gestational diabetes screening, well-woman visits, breastfeeding support and counseling, and domestic violence screening. Opponents say the new standards, which follow recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, should not include coverage for contraception, and indeed there is a clause in the regulations that allows certain religious employers to be exempt. In a recent interview with CBS, Stephanie Cutter, a deputy senior advisor to President Obama, said "This isn't about abstinence. This is not about preventing unwanted pregnancies. This is about women's health.” The rules, which take effect for most insurance policies on August 1, 2012, set the stage for increased participation in comprehensive preventive health care, which if successful, could translate to better health outcomes and significant financial savings. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, chronic disease, which is often preventable, is accountable for 75% of the nation’s health spending. Will these new rules convince you to check in with your doctor and save the country a dollar or two in the future? 



Stephanie Cutter, deputy assistant to President Obama for special projects




Judy Waxman, vice pres of health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center





1:30 - 1:58:30





2:06 – 2:19




2:21:30 – 2:39

The murky politics of petitions: how signature gathering & threats of identity theft play into initiative reform




State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-10th District; Senate Majority Leader; author of SB 168 that would have prohibited paying signature collectors by the name


John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative & Referendum Institute at USC





2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Senators urge FDA to halt consideration of genetically engineered “frankenfish” as a food

Eight senators call them “frankenfish” and are asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt its approval process for the genetically engineered salmon—an approval the could land the first GE animal on a dinner plate near you. The fish, produced by AquaBounty Technologies, come from embryos that have been sterilized in Canada before being shipped to a land-based facility in Panama, where the males are exposed to estrogen, sex-reversed and sterilized to prevent further breeding. The senators’ opposition is far-reaching: concerns about public health for consumers; GE salmon escaping and mating with or out-competing other fish in the sea; a lack of transparency in the review process; and a hit to local economies in those Senators’ home states, where fish are a vital component. There is no timeline for the FDA to complete its environmental impact assessment on the salmon, which it started last September, even though AquaBounty brought its product before the organization 15 years ago. Are these genetically modified fish an answer to humans’ unsustainable appetite for seafood or a serious threat to a delicate ecosystem? And would approval of GE salmon open the floodgates to other GE animals for human consumption?



Senator Mike Begich (D-Alaska), one of eight senators who sent a letter to the FDA asking it to "immediately cease" consideration of GE salmon, a product brought before the agency by AquaBounty Technologies 15 years ago



Alison Van Eenennaam, animal science researcher at UC Davis; she served on the FDA committee that reviewed AquaBounty salmon (The veterinary medicine advisory committee) and deemed it as safe for consumption as regular salmon




Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
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