Overnight Health Care – Presented by the Rare Access Action Project – Advocates Press Congress to Increase Pandemic Resources

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care, where we follow the latest policy and news initiatives affecting your health. Sign up here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

During the Congress break, a important appearance in the “most exclusive committee of Congress,” ready to debate today’s important pawlitics.

Experts believe President BidenJoe BidenJudge rejects Trump’s request to postpone the release of 6. January documents on appeal On The Money – Biden’s fight against inflation Overnight Defense & National Security – Concerns over Russia grow MORE‘s social spending plan is not near enough to help the United States prepare for the next pandemic.

For The Hill We Are Peter Sullivan (psullivan@thehill.com), Nathaniel Weixel (nweixel@thehill.com) and Justine Coleman (jcoleman@thehill.com). Write to us with tips and feedback, and follow us on Twitter: @ PeterSullivan4, @NateWeixel and @ JustineColeman8.

Let’s get started.

Critics: Congress lacks pandemic preparedness

Proponents push Congress to provide more resources to prepare for future emergency pandemics President Biden‘s $ 1.75 trillion social spending and climate package were reduced.

The White House originally proposed $ 30 billion for pandemic preparedness in Biden’s Build Back Better package. In September, it lowered its proposal for a $ 15 billion payout with the goal of spending $ 65 billion over seven to 10 years.

The collapse: The $ 10 billion package includes $ 7 billion in broader public health funding to help state and local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with tasks such as updating outdated IT systems and hiring more staff.

Some groups say the remaining $ 3 billion, for areas such as upgrading laboratories and working directly with vaccines and treatments for various types of viruses, is particularly scarce.

That $ 3 billion includes $ 1.3 billion that could go to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that helps lead the work on vaccines, tests and treatments.

Anita Cicero, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said that $ 1.3 billion “has really shortened the investment needed.”

Amnesia?: Rep. Ritchie Torres (DN.Y.) said part of the problem is that there is not as much organized advocacy for pandemic preparedness as there is for other issues, saying it is not as “sexy” as issues such as climate change.

He is pushing for more funding, especially for BARDA.

“Congress may be suffering from memory loss about the worst of COVID-19,” he said, adding, “A few billion dollars is a pathetic response to the worst pandemic in U.S. history.”

read more here.


The end of innovation:

Treatments and cures for patients with rare diseases are threatened by Congress. Learn more at RareAccessActionProject.org.

Proponents of abortion rights are urging the judge to declare Texas law unconstitutional

Advocates for abortion rights on Wednesday pressured a state district judge to declare Texas’ controversial abortion ban unconstitutional, arguing that the provision, which allows private citizens to sue people who violate the law, creates a number of legal issues.

A coalition of individuals and groups with abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood, is suing the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life in an attempt to prevent the group from suing individuals under the new law.

A lawyer representing abortion rights groups said her clients have been forced to change the way they act because of the financial burden the new law has placed on them.

“Our customers’ interests are being affected right now, they have to change their behavior because SB8 unconstitutionally exposes them to financial ruin,” said Elizabeth Myers. according to The Dallas Morning News.

However, lawyers for Texas Right to Life allegedly claimed on Wednesday that the group should not be the target of the trial because it has not committed any offense.

Looking back: The Texas law, which went into effect in September, bans abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected – earlier than many women know they are pregnant. The law allows private citizens to take legal action against anyone suspected of violating abortion restrictions, and provides prizes of at least $ 10,000 for successful lawsuits.

read more here.


Australian manufacturer Ellume is recalling around 2 million home COVID-19 test kits due to concerns about “higher than acceptable” false positives.

The company first initiated the recall in October for a few thousand sets, but this week it was expanded, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Wednesday.

The agency identified the recall as Class I or the most serious type and said the use of the tests “could cause serious health consequences or death.”

The defective tests were manufactured by Ellume between February 24 and August 11 this year. There have been 35 reports of false positive results sent to the FDA and no deaths reported.

Affected tests purchased by consumers, but not yet used, will be disabled via a software update, the FDA said. Ellume will also inform customers who used an impact test and got a positive result.

The reliability of negative results has not been affected.

Link: Earlier this year, the Biden administration entered into a nearly $ 232 million deal with Ellume for mass production of rapid COVID-19 tests to increase capacity in the U.S. market. As part of the deal, the administration helped fund the opening of the company’s first plant in the United States

read more here.


Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado implements care standards crisis care in the midst of staff shortages Overnight Health Care – Democrats secure a deal on drug prices. Colorado’s governor warns of rationed care as state hits 80 percent vaccination threshold MORE (D) has signed a decree allowing any citizen 18 years of age or older to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The order, adopted Thursday, will require vaccine providers to administer shots to any adult who received their Pfizer or Moderna shots six months before, or two months before, for those who received a single Johnson & Johnson shot.

The move to expand booster access comes as Colorado handles a COVID-19 wave that is burdening hospitals. Colorado announced Tuesday that it was implementing crisis standards for care in its healthcare system, as nearly 40 percent of hospitals expect shortages within the next week.

According to data from the Colorado Hospital Association, about 720 beds are left in intensive care and acute wards due to the increase in the delta variant and shortage of hospital staff.

Federal recommendations: Nationally, only all Johnson & Johnson recipients are eligible to receive booster shots two months after the first vaccination.

However, the federal booster recommendations for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna recipients were limited to those 65 years of age or older, in long-term care facilities, with certain medical conditions, or at high risk due to their job or life situation.

read more here.


The end of innovation:

Treatments and cures for patients with rare diseases are threatened by Congress. Learn more at RareAccessActionProject.org.

Judge bans Abbott’s school mask mandate ban

A federal judge ruled late Wednesday that Texas Gov. Greg AbbottJudge Greg Abbott overturns Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in Texas schools. Texas Principal Forced to Retire Due to Critical Race Theory Controversy Greg Abbott overturns Austin over COVID-19 restrictions on Veterans Day parade MORE‘s (R) ban on mask mandates in schools violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a decision that Texas’s attorney general quickly promised to challenge.

The decision could have national consequences, as several other states are also in the middle of legal battles over whether masks in schools can be banned.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel agreed with the defendants’ argument that masking would help reduce the likelihood of disabled students who are particularly vulnerable getting coronavirus and facilitate their safe personal learning.

But because the ordinance “excludes mask requirements in schools, plaintiffs are either forced completely out of personal learning or have to take on unnecessarily greater health and safety risks than their non-disabled peers,” Yeakel wrote.

The advocacy group Disability Rights Texas challenged Abbott’s ban in August, arguing that the ban discriminated against students with disabilities by forcing them to choose to go to school at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19 or staying home. Many of the students mentioned as plaintiffs had underlying health conditions that put them at risk of developing serious illness or even dying if they became infected.

Yeakel, a nominee for former President George W. Bush, noted in his decision that more than 210,000 students in Texas have been tested positive for COVID between the beginning of this school year and October 31st.

Texas answer: Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) promised to fight on.

“I very much disagree with Judge Yeakel’s opinion, which prevents my office from giving effect to [the executive order], which bans mask mandates imposed by government entities such as school districts, “Paxton tweeted in response.” My agency is considering all legal options to challenge this decision, “he added.

read more here.



  • No ICU beds: Boston MedFlight’s operations are severely affected by capacity, staff crisis (MetroWest Daily News)
  • Boostershots are most popular in poorly vaccinated states where coronavirus rages (Washington Post)
  • Wyoming COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes highest in the country (Casper Star Tribune)

That was it for today, thank you for reading along. Check out The Hill’s health care page for the latest news and coverage. See you on Friday.


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