Policy

News and updates about health and medicine policy.

Equitas Health

In many Midwest states it’s illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without telling partners about the illness. Some public health experts are pushing to change those laws.

Should the Smoking Age Be 21? Some Legislators Say Yes

Oct 14, 2015
Nadja Tatar via Flickr

While a growing number of states have turned their attention to marijuana legalization, another proposal has been quietly catching fire among some legislators—raising the legal age to buy cigarettes.

This summer, Hawaii became the first state to approve increasing the smoking age from 18 to 21 starting Jan 1. A similar measure passed the California Senate, but stalled in the Assembly. And nearly a dozen other states have considered bills this year to boost the legal age for buying tobacco products.

Just three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone around clinics that perform abortions, lawmakers there are rushing through a replacement. The new bill, which they hope to pass before the legislative session ends in two weeks, would give police more power to disperse unruly protesters.

The bill has broad support, but opponents say it still goes too far.

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Rebecca Onie's TED Talk

Health advocate Rebecca Onie describes how our health care system can be restructured to prevent — and not just treat — illness.

About Rebecca Onie

There are just a few weeks until the Mar. 31 deadline for sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and many are still unhappy with the idea of mandatory healthcare.

Earlier this week, the House passed a bill allowing individuals to opt out of mandatory health insurance by writing “sincerely held religious beliefs” on their tax return, along with a sworn statement explaining their objection.