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Pope Urges Lawmakers to Protect People with Healthcare Laws

Pope Urges Lawmakers to Protect People with Healthcare Laws

Welcome to Practice Rounds, our weekly column exploring what's being covered in the larger world of healthcare.

Pope: Protect All With Healthcare Laws

On Thursday during a medical association meeting at the Vatican, Pope Francis asked lawmakers to be sure health care laws in developed countries protect the "common good," voicing disappointment in the fact that only the privileged can afford top-end medical care.

The meeting was timely as lawmakers have been in the headlines debating how to improve health care in America for months.

"Increasingly, sophisticated and costly treatment are available to ever more limited and privileged segments of the population, and this raises questions about the sustainability of health care delivery and about what might be called a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care," the pope said.

Pope Francis went on to cite wealthy countries willingness where health care access risks being more dependent on people's money than on their need for treatment, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Study: ACA Medicaid Expansion Led to Smoking Cessation

A new study from the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health found Medicaid expansion under the ACA led to a higher rate of smoking cessation by low-income adults.

The study, which looked at data from 2011 to 2015, found Medicaid expansion increased the likelihood that low-income adult smokers would quit by 2.1 percentage points. Smoking is responsible for 9 percent of annual health care spending in the U.S., and 30 percent of low-income adults smoke cigarettes, double that of the U.S. average, according to the study.

The study included 36,000 low-income adults ages 18 to 64 without children. Researchers compared their answers to smoking-related questions among residents in the 31 states that had expanded Medicaid coverage with residents in the states that did not.

AMA Adopts New Policies at 2017 Interim Meeting

During its annual interim meeting, the AMA's House of Delegates voted to adopt new policies concerning emerging health care topics.

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