Sunday, October 2, 2011

Massachusetts health report could impact federal health care debate

Patrick Donges at WAMC (Great Barrington, Massachussets): The Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report, a study of the potential effects of climate change in the state and ways to curb their severity released earlier this week, cites several areas where public health may be put at risk by warmer global temperatures.

The report, mandated by a state law passed in 2008 aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lists several potential undesirable health effects including spikes in respiratory illnesses, increased occurrences of mosquito borne diseases, and conditions aggravated by degraded water quality.

Steve Long is director of government relations at the Massachusetts chapter of The Nature Conservancy. "I think when you look at the nexus between climate and health; more hot days will mean more stressors for people and also the air quality issues will be exacerbated, so that will affect people who have asthma."

...Rich Hamburg, deputy director of the Washington-based Trust for America's Health, said universal access to quality care isn't the sole factor in the realization of improved care and lower costs. "Health reform is certainly an issue of coverage, but what comes with that coverage not only are programs, but are expanded prevention provisions."...

A chest x-ray, shot by Nevit Dilmen, Wikimedia Commons, nder the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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