Latest Morning Briefing Stories

West Virginia Reaches Opioid Settlement Deal With Most Drug Companies For $1.25B

KHN Morning Briefing

This would be the first deal among about 3,000 lawsuits that exist nationwide. Details must still be resolved on payments to local, state groups as well as hospitals and others. The plan also does not apply to two key drugmakers, Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt. News on the national drug epidemic is from California, as well.

California Coronavirus Case With No Travel Link Shines Light On Deep Flaws In CDC’s Early Testing Strategy

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The patient wasn’t tested right away because she didn’t fit the narrow parameters CDC issued about who should be checked for coronavirus. The agency has struggled with other missteps related to testing, and experts worry that they could have exacerbated whatever outbreak is set to come. Meanwhile, California is aggressively trying to contain the virus, now that it’s likely moved beyond just those who have traveled abroad.

California Defends Authority To Require Insurers To Cover Abortion As Protecting Women’s Rights

KHN Morning Briefing

HHS said last month that the state’s abortion coverage requirement violated federal law that banned government entities that receive HHS funding from discriminating against health-care organizations because they don’t provide abortion or abortion coverage. “The Trump Administration’s threats not only put women’s health on the line, but illegally threaten crucial public health funding that Californians rely on,” said California Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a letter to HHS.

Coronavirus In U.S.: Cases Climb But All Still Linked To Travel Abroad; White House Seeks Emergency Funding; Cities Balk At Hosting Patients

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So far there has been no community spread of the disease in the United States, which means no cases in which the source of the infection is not known. But looking ahead, community spread within the country is very possible and maybe even likely, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Other stories on the outbreak and the United States focus on self-quarantines, scientists’ work understanding the virus, drug shortages, the politics of an epidemic, and more.

On Same Day As March For Life, Trump Threatens California Over Requirement That Private Insurers Cover Abortion

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump cemented his relationship with the anti-abortion movement when he became the first sitting president to speak in person at the annual March for Life last week. On the same day, his administration announced that it would give California 30 days to lift a requirement that insurers cover abortion or that federal funds would be cut off from the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom dismissed the threat.

Soaring Homelessness In California Drives Nation’s Rates Up Again For Third Year In Row, HUD Reports

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Although there was a decline in homeless rates in 29 states and D.C., California’s skyrocketing numbers offset those gains. Senior Trump administration officials visited California in September to troubleshoot ways to minimize homelessness, after which the issue became politically fraught as President Donald Trump and California’s leaders publicly bickered over what was to be done about the crisis. Media outlets take a look at homeless issues across the country, as well.

As Health Law Enrollment Deadline Nears, Remember The Insurance That Looks Too Good To Be True Probably Is

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Some consumers in North Carolina are receiving robocalls that come across like ads for plans with names like “Trump Health Care” touting affordable coverage. But those options are often skimpy and don’t offer even some of the basic coverage Americans have grown used to under the Affordable Care Act. The deadline for signing up for a 2020 plan is Sunday. News comes out of Georgia, Florida and California, as well.

Lawmakers, Public Health Advocates Deeply Concerned Over Trump’s Apparent Reverse-Course On E-Cig Flavor Ban

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Following reports that President Donald Trump has changed his mind on the flavor ban, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.) wrote to the OMB and FDA to inquire into the status of the proposed regulation on flavors. Public advocates were also left disappointed. “If the Trump administration backs off for political reasons, it will create a public health crisis that we will live with for decades,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said. Meanwhile, California is joining the ranks of those suing Juul over its marketing.

Two Students Dead, Three More Victims Wounded At California High School In Latest Mass Shooting

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Saugus High School in Los Angeles is the latest site of a mass shooting, where a 16-year-old gunman opened fire on his fellow students and then turned the weapon on himself. There have been a total of 84 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2019, according to nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.