The FDA this week launched a crackdown on smoking and vaping — ordering the vaping gadget Juul to be taken off the market and asserting its intention to require makers of cigarettes and different tobacco merchandise to cut back the quantity of nicotine in them.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court docket didn’t announce a ruling in a high-stakes abortion case, however it stated that non-public well being insurers may restrict the quantity of kidney dialysis care they supply, thus forcing some sufferers onto Medicare.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being and Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.
Amongst the takeaways from this week’s episode:
The FDA has ordered Juul to take away its e-cigarettes from the U.S. market as a result of the firm’s utility to the company didn’t present sufficient info for regulators to find out whether or not Juul introduced a hazard to customers. The FDA stated there have been issues about the danger of some dangerous chemical compounds leaching from the Juul pods. Juul is anticipated to attraction the FDA choice to the courts.
Juul helped ignite an explosion in e-cigarette use when it got here on the market, and officers initially thought it might support people who smoke searching for to kick the cigarette behavior. However the trade’s use of flavored tobacco and aggressive advertising helped gasoline a dramatic rise in use amongst teenagers and led to a regulatory crackdown.
The Supreme Court docket this week dominated that employers could decide to make all dialysis therapy out of community of their employees’ well being plans, a choice that will doubtless drive many sufferers to hunt Medicare protection for his or her kidney issues. The choice was a disappointment for dialysis suppliers, who obtain much less in reimbursements from Medicare than they sometimes get from personal insurance policy.
The choice leaves many particulars unresolved and additional authorized fights could possibly be coming. Dialysis suppliers may additionally flip to Congress to determine legal guidelines that will prohibit employers from such strikes.
The Senate is prone to take into account a invoice proposed by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that seeks to decrease the price of insulin. The invoice is taken into account extra pleasant to drugmakers than one other measure that handed the Home this yr. The Senate invoice seeks to get drugmakers to supply insulin at the worth they acquired from Medicare in 2021 by permitting them to bypass rebates and different expensive subsidies paid to pharmacy profit managers and insurance policy. It might additionally restrict out-of-pocket prices for insured shoppers to $35.
As the Senate strikes nearer to a vote on gun security laws, different efforts are underway to search out extra funding for applications to assist cope with psychological well being issues. These efforts may assist with campaigns to cut back suicides and home violence, that are additionally typically tied to weapons.
The Home is launching efforts to cross appropriations payments, and the preliminary funding measure for the Division of Well being and Human Providers as soon as once more doesn’t embrace the so-called Hyde Modification, a long-standing coverage named for the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Sick.) that bans federal funds from getting used for many abortions. Earlier efforts by the Home to jettison the Hyde Modification didn’t clear the Senate.
President Joe Biden has nominated Arati Prabhakar, former head of the Protection Superior Analysis Initiatives Company (DARPA), to move the White Home Workplace of Science and Know-how Coverage. She would substitute Eric Lander, who was compelled to resign after reviews of employees harassment.
Prabhakar seems to be a noncontroversial alternative and comes with a great deal of administration expertise. Her duties will doubtless embrace overseeing pandemic planning, efforts to form a brand new biomedical analysis company known as ARPA-H, and techniques to reinforce most cancers prevention.
Additionally this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey about the new KHN-NPR undertaking on medical debt, known as “Diagnosis: Debt.”
Plus, for further credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you need to learn, too:
Julie Rovner: The AP’s “At Westminster Dog Show, New Focus on Veterinarians’ Welfare,” by Jennifer Peltz
Joanne Kenen: Fern.org’s “Back Forty: How to Protect Farmworkers From Heat-Related Kidney Disease,” by Nancy Averett
Rachel Cohrs: The Markup’s “Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information From Hospital Websites,” by Todd Feathers, Simon Fondrie-Teitler, Angie Waller, and Surya Mattu
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