Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Federal Funds To Help LA’s Homeless Crisis Come Bundled Up In Strings

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Scientists Want To Upend Common Belief That Aging Is Systemic, Insisting We Should Be Pinpointing Problem Areas

KHN Morning Briefing

“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 Amps Up Legal War Over Opioid Crisis With New Suit Against 3 Distributors

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Administration’s Rule Requiring Drug Prices Be Shown In TV Ads Does Not Get Warm Welcome At Appeals Court

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Burning Sensations, Blistered Lips And Vomiting: A Look At The Health Concerns Consumers Reported To Juul

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

DOJ Asks Supreme Court To Allow ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Rule To Go Into Effect As Case Works Through System

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Adding Work Requirements To SNAP Benefits Drives People To Food Pantries Not Toward Jobs

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Calif. Governor Wants To Make ‘Radical Shift’ In How State Is Addressing Homeless Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

A National Registry Is Needed To Identify Babies Who Have Been Affected By Opioid Crisis, Lawyers Argue

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Trump Administration Working On Plan To Tighten Eligibility Requirements For Disability Benefits With Focus On Age

KHN Morning Briefing

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.