NBC News – EPA eases path for new chemicals, raising fears of health hazards

Some former EPA officials, as well as experts and advocates, say the agency is skipping vital steps that protect the public from hazardous chemicals that consumers have never used before, undermining new laws and regulations that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016.

Vox – The case for a junk food tax

Taxes have been an effective, though still controversial, approach to curbing the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and soda. Now researchers from New York University and Tufts writing in the American Journal of Public Health are making the case for shifting food prices in ways that steer consumers toward healthier diet choices.

ABC News – Walmart distributing first-of-its-kind opioid disposal product

Walmart is offering a first-of-its kind opioid disposal product for free at all of its pharmacies, according to a company statement. The product, called DisposeRX, enables patients to responsibly dispose of leftover medications by turning them into a useless gel.

The New York Times – After a debacle, how California became a role model on measles

Data from a California county-by county analysis shows that in many schools with the lowest vaccination rates, there was an increase of 20 to 30 percentage points in the share of kindergartners vaccinated between 2014 and 2016. One law changed the behavior of impassioned resisters more effectively than a thousand public service announcements might have.

NPR – Home care agencies often wrongly deny Medicare help to the chronically ill

Medicare does cover home care services for patients who qualify but, according to advocates for seniors and the homecare industry, incentives intended to combat fraud and reward high-quality care are driving some home health agencies to avoid taking on long-term patients who have debilitating conditions that won’t get better. Rule changes that took effect this month could make the problem worse.