Democrats have another chance to expand Medicare

With Ben Leonard and Megan R. Wilson

WHAT DEMS SECURING THE SENATE MEANS FOR HEALTH IN AMERICAOver the weekend, Democrats cemented their control of the Senatetell us POLITICO’s Natalie Allison, Marianne Levine and Jessica Piper.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) narrowly won over her Republican opponent. Georgian Senate seats will be determined in a runoff next month, but Cortez Masto’s victory on Saturday means the upper house will have at least 50 votes – with a potential tiebreaker from Vice President Kamala Harris – for the next two years.

Democratic leaders have expressed interest in crafting another major spending bill, which could be another chance for lawmakers to tackle expanding Medicare and improving health care measures. childcare removed from previous legislation.

The House, meanwhile, remains undecided., although he leans Republican. This result, combined with the strong presence of the GOP in the Senate, would mean that we can expect to see investigations into the federal response to the pandemic and the origins of the virus.

And the fact that the Senate remains under Democratic control gives the Biden administration a key advantage: a clear path for new agency appointments. Currently, the Biden administration has 79 named positions open without appointments — including the role of director of the National Institutes of Health and associate administrator for relief, response and resilience at the U.S. Agency for International Development — and he will be responsible for filling any new vacancies. Now that Democratic control of the Senate is secure until at least 2025, the administration can comfortably make appointments to those positions without fear of GOP stalling tactics.

Additionally, if the Democrats hold their 51st seat in Georgia’s runoff election, the path to nominating any appointee won’t require the approval of all Democratic senators — especially those like Joe Manchin (DW.Va .) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) whose influence has already sunk Biden administration nominations.

WELCOME TO MONDAY PULSE – I’m Katherine Ellen Foley, I replace Daniel and Krista today. New data from the Harvard Business Review suggests that rudeness towards frontline workers, including those in the health sector, is on the rise — and it has tangible consequences for the mental health of employees. Send advice, constructive criticism and compliments to [email protected], [email protected]and [email protected].

TODAY ON OUR PULSE CHECK PODCAST: A pair of little-discussed Republican victories on Tuesday threatens to undermine abortion access in two states. Megan Messerly shares with me why this highlights a bright spot for the GOP amid an otherwise tough election night for anti-abortion groups.

GOP HOUSE E&C LEADERS REMAIN FRUSTRATED WITH PHEThe public health emergency will remain intact until mid-January, due to the lack of notice from the Department of Health and Human Services alerting states to the end of the declaration on Friday, adding to the frustration of some GOP lawmakers.

“Earlier this fall, President Biden made it clear that the pandemic was over, but he continues to exploit power reserved only for times of emergency to circumvent Congress and send mixed signals to the American people at a time when many have lost faith in our public health. agencies,” Republican Energy and Commerce Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) and Health Subcommittee Leader Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) said in a statement to PULSE.

“Instead of constantly moving the goalposts, his administration must provide the public with the metrics it will use to assess the state of Covid-19 risk and what its plan is to resolve the public health emergency,” they said. they added.

EXCLUSIVE: HEALTH GROUPS URGE CONGRESS TO ACT ON INSULIN PRICESMore than 50 public health advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, Public Citizen and T1International, sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to solve the problem of high insulin cost In Monday. The letter, sent on World Diabetes Day, specifically calls on lawmakers to stop insulin manufacturers from setting exorbitant prices and to find a way to ensure that those who are uninsured and have insurance private can access affordable insulin.

TOBACCO INDUSTRY SEEKS TO DELAY CALIFORNIA FLAVORED TOBACCO BANRJ Reynolds, the maker of menthol cigarettes Newport, and several other tobacco companies filed suit and sought a preliminary injunction against the State of California in the District Court for the Southern District of California, arguing its ban approved by the voters of flavored tobacco products. is unconstitutional, I point out.

It’s not new to the industry: It has sued local courts in several states that have banned the sale of flavored tobacco, using a similar constitutional argument. In these cases, the lower courts ruled in favor of the localities, and the courts continued to rule against the industry after appealing those decisions. But in the case against California, the companies also argue that the ban would violate provisions of the Interstate Commerce Clause by prohibiting the sale of products made outside of California – something that has not previously been disputed.

“It’s not that Reynolds thinks they can win on the dormant commerce clause, but what they need to do is get a court to stay the law while the litigation happens” , did he declare. “It’s a delaying tactic if nothing else. They [tobacco companies] have nothing to lose,” says Desmond Jenson, an attorney at the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

IS IT EASY FOR AMERICANS TO FIND A TEST TO TREAT THE SITE? A new study published in Open JAMA Network found that many Americans do not live near a Covid-19 Test to Treat site, making it harder for them to access antiviral drugs.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and other institutions report that about 15% of the US population lives more than a 60-minute drive from one of the country’s 2,227 Test to Treat sites. This number was much higher in rural areas, where about 60% of residents lived an hour or more from a site.

According to the results of the study, 17% of adults aged 65 or older lived more than 60 minutes from the nearest site, as well as 30% of American Indians or Alaskan Natives, 17% of whites , 8% of Hispanics and 8% of black individuals.

Maggie Hermann is now a health insurance specialist Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Legislation. She was previously Senior Legislative Assistant for Representative Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).

Caitlin Carroll had her last day as Director of Communications for Senator Richard Burr (RN.C.) and the Senate HELP Committee on Friday. She says she plans to announce her next move soon.

Victoria Blatter, Amgen’s senior vice president of global government affairs and policy will retire at the end of this year, the company announced. Greg Porter, who has worked at Amgen for 17 years, will be promoted to this role.

Lead plaintiff in Supreme Court case that revolutionized disability rights, Lois Curtis, has died aged 55, Sam Roberts of The New York Times writes.

For the Washington Post, William Wan documents the pressure on suicidal Yale students to leave college and then be forced to reapply.

Children living with long Covid are struggling to find care at the limited number of pediatric facilities tackling the disease in the United States, Jonathan Lambert writes for Grid.

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