Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Five Supreme Court justices rejected an appeals case from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to withhold Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood. As a result, two lower court rulings stay in place that block the states from stripping funds from the women’s reproductive health organization. Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the three dissenting judges, accused his colleagues of avoiding the case for political reasons.
Media outlets report on news from California, New York, Michigan, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Kansas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida and Minnesota.
“This strike is a clear message to Kaiser that its mental health clinicians won’t stand by silently while their patients can’t get the care they need,” union leader Sal Rosselli said in a statement. Kaiser Permanente claims the union is most interested in raising wages that are already among the best in the nation.
After the NRA said “anti-gun” physicians should stay in their lane, a growing number of doctors join the social media campaign with the hashtag “#ThisIsOurLane,” gaining support from the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Other gun violence news looks at a lack of CDC gun studies, a faulty high school active shooter drill and disturbing writings from the Sandy Hook shooter.
Experts say there are certain infection types–such as pneumonia or C. diff–that aren’t showing any progress. Meanwhile, health care executives weigh in on what a politically divided Congress will mean to the hospital industry. And other hospital news comes out of Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas.
Brandon Wentz was only 24 when he had to resign as mayor from a small Pennsylvania town because his family was moving. The day after he wrote his resignation letter, he died of an overdose. Other news on the national drug crisis is reported from Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Texas and California.
Since the Trump administration has approved work requirements in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, it’s likely that Virginia’s will also get the green light. Medicaid news comes out of Ohio and Texas, as well.
A recent investigation also found that staff at a Texas facility haven’t even undergone FBI fingerprint checks, let alone child welfare screenings. The Florida and Texas facilities can operate unlicensed and without required checks because they are located on federal property and thus don’t have to comply with state child welfare laws.
Meanwhile, in Texas, questions abound about the future of the Tornillo Immigration Center.
In the first five weeks of the enrollment period, 3.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance coverage Obamacare plans. In the same period last year, 3.6 million enrolled.
Media outlets report on news from Oregon, Indiana, California, Ohio, Texas and Florida.
ProPublica, PBS’ Frontline and The New York Times investigate the project and find that for some residents, the sudden shift from an institution to independence has “proved perilous, and even deadly.”
The federal waiver requires many adults who have joined Medicaid through the health law’s expansion to report at least 100 hours per month of work, job training, education or volunteer activities. The requirement in other states has been 80 hours. In Florida, some advocates are concerned about a change to the look-back period that applies to coverage for new Medicaid members.
The measures, which among other things will give the legislature more control of Medicaid and work requirements that the state is implementing, has raised alarm bells from the health industry and Democrats.
Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) last year reached an agreement aimed at reducing Affordable Care Act premiums, but the deal faltered amid a dispute over restrictions on funding going to abortions. Manchin, a moderate Democrat, wants to revive the deal. Also, officials in Minnesota are concerned that the Trump administration may change a funding formula for a reinsurance program that has helped reduce premiums there.
Media outlets report on news from New York, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Utah, California and Tennessee.
As foster systems are strained across the country with an influx of children whose guardians have been effected by the opioid crisis, advocates are hopeful that new guidelines will make it easier to find them homes. Meanwhile, doctors are reporting the first successful birth of a baby that was carried via a uterus transplant from a deceased donor. In other public health news: how much sleep is too much sleep?; medical schools, products that trigger puberty, head-shaping baby helmets, and more.
The CDC is also warning people to thoroughly cook meat because that’s the only way to kill salmonella and to check their freezer for meat products. The products were packaged between July and September. Illnesses have been reported in 25 states.
In the year following the surgery, close to 6 percent of patients who left their dentist’s office with a prescription for opioids had a “health care encounter” in which a diagnosis of opioid abuse was documented. That’s well over 10 times the rate at which a comparison group. In other news on the crisis: addiction counselors, life insurance and naloxone, supervised injection sites, and more.
The state lawmakers passed an extensive package of bills as they seek to rack up wins before Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul take up their positions in a few weeks. Meanwhile, in Kansas, Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, a Democrat, says she wants to roll back a work requirement and other cash assistance rules for government aid.