Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Trump’s Rules Allowing More Employers To Opt Out Of Covering Contraception Get Day In Court

KHN Morning Briefing

The rules, which are set to go into effect Monday, relax requirements under the health law that birth control services be covered at no additional cost. California is challenging in court the new guidelines that would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to back out of the requirement by claiming religious objections. Meanwhile, lawmakers clash over a rule that would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage.

Wis. Republican Lawmakers See Bumpy Road Ahead For Legislation Protecting Preexisting Conditions Coverage

KHN Morning Briefing

The state’s Senate and the Assembly have struggled in the past to find common ground. “I don’t want to overpromise on that right out of the gate,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said, even as Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced his chamber would be taking up a bill protecting the coverage. Other health law news comes out of Connecticut and California, as well.

Calif. Governor’s Ambitious Health Plans: Newsom Wants To Reshape How Drugs Are Paid For, Implement Single-Payer System And Mandate Insurance

KHN Morning Briefing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) says he will also create a state surgeon general position via executive order and make California the first state to cover immigrants without legal status who are younger than 26 through Medi-Cal. Newsom did not provide details during his inauguration speech about how he is going to pay for these health care goals, though Democrats in the Legislature are generally supportive of his ideas.

California’s Fires And Drought Are A Preview Of Future, When Simultaneous Disasters May Become Commonplace

KHN Morning Briefing

Florida has also been hit with multiple natural disasters recently: extreme drought but also Hurricane Michael. And New York can expect to be hit by four climate crises at a time by 2100 if carbon emissions continue at their current pace, a new study finds. While wealthy nations will be burdened with the costs of such disasters, poorer nations will experience great loss of life from them, the authors say. Meanwhile, California’s poor air quality is drawing attention to the lasting negative health toll it can take.

Volunteers Comb Through Camp Fire Rubble As Number Of Missing People Climbs To Around 1,000

KHN Morning Briefing

Over the weekend, the death toll rose to at least 77. Hundreds of search-and-recovery personnel are involved in the effort, going to homes when they receive tips that someone might have died there. In other news from the fires: Malibu’s “Rehab Riviera” scrambles to evacuate addiction treatment patients; air quality in California remains dangerous and scientists warn that such toxic smog will only become more common; fire survivors return to their homes; and more.

Serious Health Effects From California’s Wildfires Almost Inevitable Despite Precautions, Experts Warn

KHN Morning Briefing

Beyond the current fires burning in California, doctors, scientists and public health officials are concerned that the changing face of wildfires will pose a much broader health hazard than just bothersome smoke. In other news, the death toll continues to climb from the Camp Fire, and the number of unaccounted people soars to over 600. Meanwhile, a norovirus outbreak threatens the health of those who have been evacuated, and residents gets mixed messages about mask safety.

Death Toll In California Wildfires Keeps Climbing With More Than A Hundred Still Missing

KHN Morning Briefing

“I can’t imagine that he is alive, but we have not stopped looking. We are still calling the shelters every day. We are calling the hospitals every day,” said Angela Loo of her stepbrother. Media outlets report on the efforts to find missing people, stories of the victims, public health threats from the smoke, and more on the California fires.

Looming Showdown Over Safe-Injection Sites Pits Trump Administration Versus San Francisco

KHN Morning Briefing

Federal officials warn that any city setting up a safe-injection site for opioid users will be met with “swift and aggressive action” and criminal prosecutions. On Monday, the California Legislature passed a bill approving San Francisco’s plan to open such sites. Other news on the crisis includes the sale of Narcan-maker Adapt Pharma, more lawsuits against painkiller manufacturers and a possible crackdown on fentanyl in Massachusetts.