Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

You might have heard of the face on Mars, now prepare for the bear on Mars! Final month, a NASA orbiter made out what seems to be the face of a cartoon-ish bear on the floor of the pink planet.

Right this moment in well being, the Biden administration took one other step to enhance entry to contraception, proposing to get rid of sure exemptions enacted by the Trump White Home. 

Welcome to The Hill’s Well being Care roundup, the place we’re following the newest strikes on coverage and information affecting your well being. We’re Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi.


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White Home strikes to ease entry to contraception

The Biden administration is proposing an enlargement of contraceptive protection, together with eradicating ethical exemptions finalized beneath the Trump administration that made it simpler for non-public well being plans and insurers to exclude protection of contraception. 

The proposal, launched Monday by the departments of Well being and Human Providers (HHS), Treasury and Labor, would take away the ethical exemption however retain the present non secular exemption. Beneath the Trump administration guidelines issued in 2018, entities which have “sincerely held non secular beliefs” in opposition to offering contraceptives are usually not required to take action.  

Employers are usually not required to inform HHS if they’ve an ethical objection. The company mentioned way more employers have invoked non secular objections than ethical; about 18 employers have claimed that exemption, and round 15 workers are affected.

It could additionally set up a brand new impartial pathway for people enrolled in plans or protection supplied by non secular employers to acquire contraceptive companies for gratis immediately from a keen supplier or facility that furnishes contraceptive companies. 

HHS technique: Chatting with reporters on Monday, Becerra emphasised the Biden administration was taking actions that labored inside the “confines of the regulation.”

“The actions we took are according to the regulation, to attempt to ensure that we’re defending the rights of all People to entry the well being care they want. On the identical time, defending non secular freedoms,” Becerra mentioned.

“In the event you can present that you simply went by means of this in a really studied, methodical solution to ensure you obtained it proper — and so right here there are numerous pursuits which might be impacted and we wished to ensure we did this in a approach that was not simply compliant with the regulation, however that individuals of cheap thoughts would have a look at this and say it is smart,” Becerra mentioned relating to the timing of this rule. 

Learn extra right here. 

Biden to finish COVID public well being emergency in Might

The Biden administration on Monday introduced that the COVID-19 public well being emergency, which has been in place since January 2020, is about to finish on Might 11.

“The COVID-19 nationwide emergency and public well being emergency (PHE) have been declared by the Trump Administration in 2020.  They’re at present set to run out on March 1 and April 11, respectively.  At current, the Administration’s plan is to increase the emergency declarations to Might 11, after which finish each emergencies on that date,” the Workplace of Administration and Funds mentioned in a press release.

Because it was first declared on Jan. 31, 2020 by former Well being and Human Providers (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, the nationwide PHE has been renewed 12 occasions beneath two completely different administrations. The latest renewal was declared on Jan. 11.

Learn extra right here.

RNC urges candidates to ‘go on offense’ on anti-abortion

The Republican Nationwide Committee (RNC) is doubling down on its anti-abortion stance by urging all GOP candidates and lawmakers to “go on offense” within the 2024 election cycle and move the strictest anti-abortion laws potential. 

In a decision handed Friday throughout its winter assembly, the committee referred to as on Republicans to move legal guidelines “that acknowledge the beating hearts and experiences of ache within the unborn.” Such language has been used to move “heartbeat” payments that will ban abortions at six weeks, earlier than many individuals know they’re pregnant. 

Marketing campaign fodder: Following the Supreme Court docket’s choice overturning Roe v. Wade in June, Democrats made abortion a key situation within the midterm elections, resulting in a bigger majority within the Senate and a slim GOP majority within the Home.  

Whereas the GOP largely targeted on the three-pronged message of combating rising inflation, crime and the movement of migrants over the southern border, exit polls confirmed that abortion was a high precedence for voters on the poll field.  

The RNC decision, handed simply after Ronna McDaniel received her fourth time period as chairwoman, accused Republican candidates of failing to capitalize on the Supreme Court docket’s choice and alluded to a well-funded opposition “concealing their extremism whereas mischaracterizing and vilifying pro-life Republican candidates.”

“Polling persistently exhibits {that a} majority of People help nationwide, state, and native limits on abortion, with only a fringe minority supporting the Democratic place of no limits by gestational age, suspect classification, or different impartial attribute,” the decision acknowledged. 

Learn extra right here. 


SurgeonGeneral Vivek Murthy on Sunday cautioned that, regardless of many app tips, 13-year-olds are too younger to hitch social media.

“What’s the proper age for a kid to start out utilizing social media? I fear that proper now — in the event you have a look at the rules from the platforms — that age 13 is when children are technically allowed to make use of social media. However there are two issues I’ve about that. One is: I, personally, based mostly on the info I’ve seen, consider that 13 is just too early,” Murthy mentioned on CNN’s “Newsroom.” 

Twitter, Fb, Instagram and different high social media platforms enable customers age 13 and older to hitch, create their very own profiles and share and eat content material. 

“It’s a time, you already know, early adolescence, the place children are creating their identification, their sense of self. It’s a time the place it’s actually essential for us to be considerate about what’s going into how they give thought to their very own self price and their relationships and the skewed and sometimes distorted surroundings of social media typically does a disservice to a lot of these kids,” the surgeon basic argued. 

Learn extra right here. 


COVID-19 was the eighth main reason for demise amongst U.S. kids and younger folks between August 2021 and July 2022, new analysis exhibits, accounting for two p.c of deaths amongst folks between the ages of 0 and 19.

All through the identical interval, COVID-19 was the highest reason for demise from an infectious or respiratory illness amongst kids, whereas deaths have been the very best on this age group in the course of the delta and omicron waves. 

Findings are based mostly on data gleaned from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Large-Ranging On-line Knowledge for Epidemiologic Analysis (WONDER) database. 

“Most of the 82 million American kids and younger folks have been contaminated in the course of the huge Delta and Omicron waves, and because of this greater than 1,300 kids and younger folks have died from COVID-19 in the course of the pandemic, most within the final two years,” mentioned lead research creator Seth Flaxman, an affiliate professor within the division of pc science on the College of Oxford. 

Learn extra right here. 

WHO retains COVID alert standing however sees ‘transition level’

The World Well being Group (WHO) has decided that the COVID-19 pandemic stays a “public well being emergency of worldwide concern” whereas acknowledging the outbreak has reached a “transition level.” 

WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday relayed the findings from a latest report made by the Worldwide Well being Rules (IHR) Emergency Committee. 

“The WHO Director-Common concurs with the recommendation supplied by the Committee relating to the continued COVID-19 pandemic and determines that the occasion continues to represent a public well being emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC),” a press release from WHO learn.

“The Director-Common acknowledges the Committee’s views that the COVID-19 pandemic might be at a transition level and appreciates the recommendation of the Committee to navigate this transition rigorously and mitigate the potential unfavourable penalties.” 

Three years on: As was famous within the WHO assertion, this evaluation was made within the week marking the third anniversary for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic was first declared a public well being emergency by the group.

Beneath IHR requirements first adopted in 2005, a PHEIC is asserted by the WHO when two out of 4 set standards are met: if the emergency has a critical affect on public well being, whether it is uncommon or surprising, if there’s a danger of great worldwide unfold and if there’s a danger of restrictions being positioned on worldwide commerce and journey. 

Learn extra right here. 


‘Everyone has blood on their fingers’: A decade-long battle over Medicare Benefit audits is coming to a head (Stat) 

A child spent 36 days in an in-network NICU. Why did the hospital subsequent door ship a invoice? (Kaiser Well being Information) 

Rep. Nancy Mace warns her social gathering to undertake a extra ‘centrist’ abortion agenda or lose ladies voters (The nineteenth Information) 


Utah bans gender-affirming take care of trans minors (Axios) 

Listening to set on swimsuit introduced by former vaccine chief in opposition to Tennessee Division of Well being (Tennessee Lookout) 

Rising variety of Wisconsinites say well being care shouldn’t be inexpensive (TMJ4) 


Hillicon Valley — TikTok CEO to testify earlier than Home panel

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Ford cuts EV costs as Tesla competitors heats up

Getting vaccinated at pharmacies works: It may quickly disappear 

That’s it for at present, thanks for studying. Try The Hill’s Well being Care web page for the newest information and protection. See you tomorrow.

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