Happy Friday! As you mull what you’re going to binge-watch this weekend, take observe that the previous parental warning that “TV is going to rot your brain” might maintain some weight — sure, even on this golden age of tv.
Now on to what you might need missed this week!
House lawmakers received the heck out of Dodge yesterday however not earlier than passing a two-year spending invoice that lifts the federal government’s borrowing restrict. In parting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her crew a bit pep speak, urging them to “own August” and “make it too hot to handle for the Senate” to disregard their objectives with regards to well being spending and drug costs.
But by no means worry, Capitol Hill isn’t about to show right into a ghost city fairly but — the Senate is in session for one more week.
Speaking of the higher chamber, the Senate Finance Committee superior its long-awaited bipartisan laws aimed toward curbing excessive drug costs. The destiny of the measure is much from sealed, although. As with many compromises, neither aspect is especially thrilled with it. For Republicans, the controversial provision that caps some drug value will increase beneath Medicare is a nonstarter, whereas Democrats are threatening to withhold help in the event that they don’t get a provision granting Medicare the ability to barter drug costs.
Meanwhile, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is all like, You guys don’t like this? You need to see what your different choices are? Because you’re going to hate these.
On that observe, Pelosi’s workplace has already mentioned that the long-awaited House model (which is controversial in its personal proper due to how a lot intraparty bickering it has brought on) is coming in September.
And President Donald Trump is reportedly already getting ready an government order that might reduce costs on just about all branded prescribed drugs bought to Medicare and different authorities packages.
So there may be one thing to Grassley’s warning pharma and his fellow Republicans that you just get what you get and also you don’t throw a match (as my niece would say).
Pharma wasn’t the one business within the congressional crosshairs this week: E-cigarette maker Juul was hauled in entrance of a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Reform Committee for questioning about its outreach to younger individuals. Those efforts included:
• Paying a constitution college group in Baltimore $134,000 to arrange a five-week summer time camp to show youngsters wholesome life;
• Offering colleges throughout the nation $10,000 for the fitting to speak to college students in lecture rooms or after college;
• Giving a California Police Activities League $90,000 to supply the corporate’s vaping schooling program “Moving Beyond” to center college and highschool college students who confronted suspension for utilizing tobacco merchandise.
• And aiming “for influencers in popular culture with large audiences in various sectors such as music, movies, social, pop media, etc.”
While representatives for the e-cigarette firm defended their packages as instructional, lawmakers had been, as you possibly can think about, skeptical to say the least.
Lawmakers kicked any action on legislation coping with shock medical payments to the autumn. But even once they do revisit it, the measure is lacking one of many greatest sources of such shock payments: ambulance rides. There are some logistical causes for that — like the truth that ambulance providers are sometimes run by native governments — however the political realities of preventing a whole business additionally come into play.
“At a certain point you don’t want to invite another big gorilla in the room to further widen the brawl,” Chuck Bell, packages director for advocacy at Consumer Reports, tells The New York Times.
Meanwhile, unwarranted ER visits (suppose: going to the emergency division for a cough or a sore throat) price the nation an additional $32 billion in well being spending a yr. So a go to that would ring up as $167 in a physician’s workplace and even $193 at an pressing care facility finally ends up costing $2,zero32.
A choose gave the Trump administration a win by greenlighting the growth of short-term well being plans. Critics have derided the plans as “junk insurance,” however U.S. District Judge Richard Leon mentioned the “undeniable” advantages outweigh the “minimal” detrimental influence.
Supporters of the well being regulation got a brand new speaking level this week with a brand new examine that exposed the lethal penalties of “red” states refusing to develop Medicaid. If all 50 states had expanded this system, 15,600 deaths may have been averted, it estimated. The information matches right into a rising physique of proof for the long-term advantages of extra individuals having well being protection.
More than three million Americans may lose their SNAP (aka meals stamp) advantages because the USDA closes a “loophole” within the eligibility course of. Agency officers acknowledged that the choice will improve meals insecurity for some Americans, however they mentioned it’s essential to chop down on the observe of states bypassing “important eligibility guidelines.”
The Indian Health Service system is plagued with issues that probably outstrip even the mess on the VA. Everyone is aware of it, some are attempting to repair it, and but it could really feel like essentially the most Sisyphean of duties. That grim actuality was highlighted by a watchdog report this week discovering that, regardless of concerted efforts, poor medical care, untrained workers and management turnover issues continued on the long-troubled Rosebud hospital on the Rosebud Indian reservation in South Dakota.
A worldwide recall has been issued on textured breast implants linked to a uncommon form of most cancers. As just lately as May, the FDA had mentioned the implants didn’t warrant a nationwide ban, however new analysis was sufficient to steer FDA officers to behave.
In the miscellaneous file for the week:
• It’s a “slow-moving train wreck”: We have a nation filled with getting older child boomers, superior medical care that helps individuals dwell longer even with power illnesses, and most Americans don’t have long-term care insurance coverage. States are attempting to suppose exterior the field with new options earlier than it turns into a “catastrophe.”
• Documents from the large opioid court docket circumstances are a treasure trove of untamed particulars from contained in the drug firms through the time the epidemic was burgeoning. Like this e mail, which appears to sum up the state of affairs again then: “And do they really want 2520 bottles of OXYCODONE HCL 30MG TABS USP, 100 count each ??”
• The abortion debate tends to not deal with the pharma firms that make contraceptives, however drugmakers do have a monetary curiosity within the authorized consequence. Those identical drugmakers additionally give massive sums of cash to Republicans who’re dead-set on proscribing their merchandise. Is it going to come back again and chew them in the long run?
• A U.S. citizen who was touring with each a delivery certificates and a state ID was taken into custody by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection company and held for a month. Francisco Erwin Galicia says he misplaced 26 kilos whereas detained, and that he wasn’t allowed to bathe.
• The thriller deepens! New mind scans present that the diplomats who developed concussion-like signs after working in Cuba do have much less white matter now than a comparability group of wholesome individuals. Other structural variations had been discovered as effectively. Experts say the patterns had been in contrast to something she has seen from mind illnesses or accidents — which is de facto not what you need to hear out of your docs.
Have a terrific, restful weekend!