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This Week In Public Health: GOP bill could hit rural America hard ... Optimism over teen opioid use

roseannadana/via Flickr

This week - Fewer teens are using opioids, a couple new studies say. Could it help alleviate the nation's opioid epidemic? ... In Indiana, lawmakers are moving new bills aimed at improving food access and establishing a needle exchange in the state ... Another week, more assessment of what the GOP's plan for health care could mean for Americans' insurance coverage and health ... Read on ...

GOP Health Care Bill Could Hit Rural America Hard

Insurance premiums tend to be higher in rural areas, where patients are often older, poorer and sicker than most; but that’s just part of the health care challenge in rural areas. There's another issue, reports Side Effects' Bram Sable-Smith: Eighty rural hospitals have closed across the country since 2010. (Photo by roseannadana/via Flickr).

New Yorkers In Affordability Gap Brace For Lost Coverage

For 665,000 New Yorkers, the state's Essential Plan, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, has helped them afford health coverage they wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford. But as prospects of Obamacare repeal loom, many fear the plan will hit the cutting room floor, leaving them uninsured without a clear path to getting new health insurance. Karen Shakerdge reports on one woman's story, and how she's not alone, for Side Effects.

Cautious Optimism After Studies Show Decline In Teen Opioid Use

The opioid epidemic is a problem for adults, but it also hits teens and children hard, and family members' opioids are a major source for youth who use them. But new studies say opioid prescriptions have been decreasing since around 2011, reducing youth access to the drugs. For NPR, Tara Haelle reports new initiatives and reclassifications of some drugs could help explain the decline.

In Indiana this week: 

Treatment 'Silos,' Needle Exchange Bill Edges Forward


Financing Sought For Healthy Food Legislation

Quick Hits

Does good food count as health care?

President Trump is proposing big cuts for medical research. Here's what's at stake.

Getting cancer. What's bad luck got to do with it?

Gun injuries cost Americans $730 million a year in hospital bills.

Could nutrition in schools affect how students learn?