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Russia’s assaults on Ukraine took the headlines for President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union deal with, however Biden made a degree to spotlight a number of of the administration’s high-priority well being points, together with covid, psychological well being, nursing residence regulation, and illnesses amongst navy personnel from poisonous burn pits.

Additionally this week, the Biden administration unveiled a program aimed toward getting the nation higher ready ought to one other covid surge happen. Congress can also be beginning work on pandemic preparation laws, though some lawmakers is likely to be reluctant to spend nonetheless more cash on the effort.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of The Washington Submit, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.

Amongst the takeaways from this week’s episode:

The Biden administration’s proposals to enhance nursing residence care are a byproduct of the covid pandemic. Practically 1 / 4 of the 975,000 deaths on this nation have been amongst folks dwelling or working in nursing houses.
However the proposed adjustments will hit a tough actuality: Nursing houses face extreme labor shortages. Recruiting workers is a problem as a result of of the tough work concerned, the dangers of covid, and the meager common pay.
Enhancements to nursing residence care might be anticipated to take time. Some proposals will want congressional funding, and though nursing residence security has normal bipartisan assist, there are various pursuits competing for federal {dollars}. As well as, making adjustments by means of regulation is a time-consuming course of.
Biden additionally emphasised in his State of the Union speech the compelling want to spice up psychological well being providers in the nation, following issues reminiscent of elevated suicides, melancholy amongst kids, and opioid dependence, all of which have been compounded by the pandemic.
Amongst the notable well being care omissions in Biden’s speech was a push for brand spanking new Medicare advantages and the enlargement of Medicaid in a number of conservative states which have held off on accepting that choice below the Inexpensive Care Act. Each controversial insurance policies are prized by Democratic stalwarts, however they had been provisions that helped stall the president’s Construct Again Higher laws.
Following the State of the Union deal with, the administration rolled out plans to struggle the covid virus long run and set the nation on a much less unstable course to deal with furture outbreaks. The plan would additionally require congressional funding, however the administration has diminished its expectations as a result of of bipartisan issues in Congress about general covid spending.
Though masks mandates are lifting throughout the nation and covid instances have fallen dramatically, the administration is nervous about spiking the soccer too quickly. Officers nonetheless are feeling repercussions from final summer season, after they steered that the arrival of a vaccine and declining sickness signaled the nation was previous the worst of the pandemic. The delta and omicron variants shortly proved them flawed.
The Senate has did not advance the Ladies’s Well being Safety Act, a invoice designed to make sure ladies have the proper to abortion if the Supreme Court docket had been to upend the landmark Roe v. Wade choice. The measure didn’t come near getting the 60 votes wanted in the Senate to cease a filibuster and didn’t draw even all the Democratic votes.
Some opponents of the Ladies’s Well being Safety Act argue it goes too far past the protections of Roe, reminiscent of permitting minors to hunt an abortion with out parental involvement.
As advocates and opponents gear up for a attainable Supreme Court docket choice later this 12 months that adjustments Roe, consideration has turned to medical abortions. Many conservative states are working to limit entry to these drugs, however a authorized battle could also be brewing over whether or not a state has the authority to restrict drugs permitted by the FDA.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you need to learn, too:

Julie Rovner: The Wall Avenue Journal’s “Why Is Everyone Standing So Close? Personal-Space Boundaries Shifted During the Pandemic,” by Alex Janin

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The New York Occasions’ “Time Is Running Out to Avert a Harrowing Future, Climate Panel Warns,” by Brad Plumer, Raymond Zhong, and Lisa Friedman

Amy Goldstein: The Washington Submit’s “Ukraine Conflict Could Spark Surges of Covid, Polio, Other Diseases, Say Experts,” by Loveday Morris and Dan Diamond

Sarah Karlin-Smith: KHN’s “Covid Expert Joins Exodus Into Business, Where Science Parlays Into Profits,” by Jay Hancock

Additionally mentioned on this week’s podcast:

KHN’s “Biden’s Promise of Better Nursing Home Care Will Require Many More Workers,” by Jordan Rau

KHN’s “Biden Pledges Better Nursing Home Care, but He Likely Won’t Fast-Track It,” by Rachana Pradhan and Harris Meyer

The Washington Submit’s “Most Americans Say the Coronavirus Is Not Yet Under Control and Support Restrictions to Try to Manage It, Post-ABC Poll Finds,” by Amy Goldstein and Emily Guskin

The New York Occasions’ “Abortion Pills Now Account for More Than Half of U.S. Abortions,” by Pam Belluck

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