Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has been working with Mayor Eric Garcetti to address the city’s homeless crisis despite public tension over the issue. But the administration says that if Los Angeles accepts federal help, it will need to change the way it handles the problem. Carson’s hints were somewhat vague, but they included a directive to move toward “empowering and utilizing local law enforcement.” Meanwhile, voters might get a chance to legally demand cities reduce homeless population.
Some scientists argue that dealing with air pollutants like heavy dust even before the advent of manufacturing and cars could have shaped how humans evolved to be immune or susceptible to its negatives health effects. Other environmental health news looks at drinking water, temperatures and injuries, and lead.
“In a given individual, some systems age faster or slower than others,” said biologist Michael Snyder, who led the study. “One person is a cardio-ager, another is a metabolic ager, another is an immune ager.” In other public health news: 9/11 responders and cancer, the spread of China’s pneumonia-like virus, dry January, genetic testing and more.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter last year won a court verdict against opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and has now filed suit Monday against three mammoth drug distributors, accusing them of contributing to the drug crisis by indiscriminately sending billions of painkillers across the country. It’s just the latest lawsuit that the distributors have to contend with as states and counties take their efforts against the crisis into the courts.
The judges seemed skeptical of the Trump administration’s arguments that Congress implicitly gave HHS authority to require list price disclosure to ensure the “efficient administration” of Medicaid and Medicare. In other pharmaceutical news: drugmakers are testing new ways to pay for pricey treatments, the high cost of medicine is making patients forgo care, and more.
Only medical exemptions would have been permitted at most schools and day care centers. While similar bills have passed in four states, the New Jersey lawmakers couldn’t gather enough support after tweaking the bill and raising concerns.
The company’s internal database logged nearly 1.3 million general complaints from both adults and youth from June 1, 2015, when Juul launched its product, to Sept. 26, 2018. In other vaping news: Democrats criticize the Trump administration’s menthol exception in its flavor ban, New Jersey lawmakers pass their own ban, and a judge strikes down New York’s.
The Trump administration’s request came after a three-judge appeals panel last week kept in place a nationwide injunction entered by a federal district judge in New York. Two similar injunctions were lifted last month. Meanwhile, a federal judge in California issues a ruling reaffirming immigration officials’ discretion when it comes to separating children from their parents at the border.
West Virginia has already adopted work requirements for its food stamp program and can act as a bellwether of what to expect as the Trump administration implements the policy nationwide. Like with other safety net programs, however, it’s very rarely a lack of will that stops people from working while on benefits, but rather the reality of being poor in America. So the requirements do little other than force people to find charity programs to help.
Media outlets report on news from Oregon, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Connecticut, Mississippi, California, Minneapolis and Tennessee.
The strain of virus is related to SARS, which caused an outbreak years ago that still has public health experts waiting for the next one. Officials announced the first death from the current outbreak of the pneumonia-like disease.
The news is actually more nuanced than it may have seemed last week. And much is riding on how the results are interpreted. In other public health news: “forever chemicals,” race and medicine, genetic sequencing of measles, sickle cell disease, maternal deaths, and more.
As part of his proposed budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to give money aimed at curbing the homeless crisis directly to service providers rather than funneling it through cities and counties. “More money is not going to solve this alone,” Newsom said. “We need real accountability and transparency.” Other news from state legislatures comes out of New Jersey, Virginia, Florida and Washington.
The good news, health experts say, is flu activity dipped slightly last week, but monitoring the week ahead with children returning to school from winter holidays is key. News on the flu is from Iowa, Georgia and Oregon, as well.
The attorneys also argue that the guardians of these kids need to be grouped together in a class action lawsuit against drugmakers and distributors. “The urgency of this is, the longer we wait, the more difficult it is to help these children,” said Cleveland attorney Marc Dann, who filed the motion along with attorneys from Texas and Louisiana. In other news on the opioid crisis: chronic pain, benzodiazepines and overdose deaths.
Within the abortion debate, there’s a lot of talk over whether a person will regret their decision later on. But new research looks at the long-term emotions following that choice and finds that at the five-year mark, 84 percent reported either primarily positive emotions or none at all, while 6 percent had primarily negative feelings.
The Trump administration says the plan aims at addressing changing social factors, such as the fact that people are living longer in better health and fewer people are engaged in physically draining jobs like coal mining. And new technology allows those with disabilities to work in ways that weren’t available in the past. Other news on the Trump administration’s policies focuses on food stamps and Medicaid eligibility.
Research counters a popular conservative talking point that Medicaid expansion exacerbated the opioid crisis, in the latest study to show that the expanded program has improved health and saved lives.
The Air Force had determined that the two airmen could no longer perform their duties because their career fields required them to deploy frequently and because their condition prevented them from deploying to the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, where most airmen are expected to go.
In the lawsuit, the men also say their children, who were separated from them at the border, were abused by other kids while in U.S. custody. In other news, a different suit filed in 2015 over the conditions of detention facilities is getting its day in court.