If anyone can take on Ticketmaster, it’s Taylor Swift fans. Pre-sale tickets for Swift’s tour went on sale today, and fan outrage over a myriad of issues has reignited discussions on Capitol Hill about breaking Monopoly.
In health news, Georgia’s six-week abortion ban has been ruled unconstitutional.
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Judge rules Georgia abortion ban ‘unconstitutional’
A state judge ruled on Tuesday that Georgia’s six-week abortion ban was “patently unconstitutional” and barred its enforcement.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that the ban, in effect since July, violated pregnant women’s right to privacy under the state constitution.
Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) law prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, usually about six weeks into pregnancy.
The bill was ruled unconstitutional in 2019, but that ruling was overturned after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
- McBurney said in his ruling that the LIFE Act must be viewed within the legal environment that existed when it was enacted.
- “At that time — in the spring of 2019 — across America, including Georgia, it was unequivocally unconstitutional for governments — federal, state, or local — to ban abortions before viability,” McBurney’s ruling said.
A LIFE Act provision that imposed criminal penalties on doctors who failed to report abortions performed when fetuses had detectable heartbeats but were not viable was also unconstitutional at the time it was enacted, McBurney determined. .
Ultimately, he found “no legal basis” for Georgia to ban abortions after six weeks and ruled that neither state nor local government could enforce a post-pulse ban on abortion. .
McBurney’s decision upheld a provision that requires doctors to determine if a heartbeat is present before performing an abortion. While it adds a step to the abortion procedure, it does not preclude its completion, and the Georgia judge determined it was not “unduly cumbersome.”
And after: Georgia appealed to the state Supreme Court. The ruling also puts pressure on the legislature to take action, whether to enact abortion restrictions or protections.
Learn more here.
White House seeking billions in COVID funding
If at first you don’t succeed…
The White House is asking Congress for nearly $10 billion in emergency health funding.
More than $9 billion would be earmarked for access to the COVID-19 vaccine, next-generation vaccines, long-COVID research and more.
- “While COVID-19 is no longer the disruptive force it was when the President took office, we face the emergence of new sub-variants in the United States and around the world that have the potential to cause a wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, especially as we approach the winter months,” the White House wrote in a letter to lawmakers from the Office of Management and Budget.
- About $750 million would be spent to fight the spread of monkeypox, hepatitis C and HIV.
The session of Congress before newly elected members take office is likely one of the last opportunities for the Biden administration to receive additional COVID-19 funding, as Democrats still control both chambers.
While Democrats will retain control of the Senate next year, it seems likely that Republicans will control the House.
The White House has been asking for additional COVID-19 funding since last spring, when the administration first asked Congress for $22.5 billion.
- “We’re going to be very clear with Congress, as we have been, about what happens if they don’t give us this funding,” an administration official said.
- The federal government has said it plans to run out of money to purchase and distribute vaccines as early as January and expects its supply of therapeutics to run out throughout 2023, depending on the specific product.
Learn more here.
FAUCI CANCEL MIDTERM RESULTS, GOP PROBE THREAT
Anthony Fauci says he doesn’t breathe a sigh of relief that Republicans — who have vowed to investigate him if they take over the Senate — didn’t win a majority in the upper house because he didn’t ” no problem” to testify before Congress.
“I have nothing to hide at all, despite accusations that I’m hiding something,” Fauci, the leading national infectious disease expert and President Biden’s chief medical adviser, told ITK at a gala event in Washington this weekend.
The GOP no longer provides: Sen. Rand Paul said earlier this year he planned to subpoena Fauci’s cases if the GOP recaptured the Senate in the midterm elections, as the Republican from Kentucky ran to become chairman of the Senate Committee on health.
When asked on Saturday – shortly before Democrats retained their narrow majority in the Senate following Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D) victory in Nevada – if he would consider Republicans not taking control of a ‘relief’, Fauci replied: ‘It is not. I don’t care how the elections go.
“If they have oversight hearings, I would be happy to cooperate,” said the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who announced earlier this year that he was stepping down from the government next month.
Learn more here.
HHS ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF MASK INNOVATION CHALLENGE
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Tuesday announced two winners in its mask innovation challenge launched more than a year ago, with the agency saying the effort was a success thanks to new designs. .
In March 2021, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority launched a competition to develop “the next generation of masks”. Contest participants could win hundreds of thousands of dollars if their designs were chosen.
The winners: HHS announced on Tuesday that masks developed by Airgami and ReadiMask were chosen as the ultimate winners of the government competition. Both masks have already been made available on the market, although Airgami is not currently accepting orders due to high demand.
Both masks were found to provide more than 95% filtration, HHS said in a statement. The agency cited the unique features of the masks, including Airgami’s origami-inspired design that increased the surface area of the filter material and ReadiMask’s use of adhesive to provide a snug fit.
“Overall, the Mask Challenge was a success; it supported new channels for innovative manufacturing lines, new designs, folds and materials to improve performance, new ways to increase mask fit, and the availability of masks for children and adults,” said declared HHS.
Learn more here.
Walmart agrees to $3.1 billion opioid settlement framework
Walmart on Tuesday agreed to a framework that would make the company pay
$3.1 billion to settle a nationwide lawsuit brought by states, tribes and municipalities for its role in the opioid crisis.
Walmart’s settlement follows similar announcements made earlier this month by CVS and Walgreens, which agreed to pay about $5 billion each to settle the lawsuits.
- The settlement framework does not include any admission of liability, and Walmart said it “strongly disputes” allegations that the company failed to appropriately oversee the distribution of opioids in its stores.
- Still, the company said it believes the settlement framework “is in the best interests of all parties and will provide meaningful assistance to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with assistance reaching the state and local governments faster than any other national opioid settlement to date, subject to meeting all settlement requirements.
What happens now: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D), who co-led a coalition of attorneys general in the negotiation, said the deal was now being sent to other states for review and approval.
Shapiro’s office said the parties were optimistic the settlement would gain support from all 43 required states by the end of 2022, allowing local governments to join the agreement in the first quarter of 2023. .
Learn more here.
WHAT WE READ
- Get ready for a relaunch of drug imports (Axios)
- FDA warns of rising reports of cough medicine-linked child poisonings (NBC News)
- Health insurance plan finder likely won’t note new $35 cap on reimbursable insulin costs (Kaiser Health News)
STATE BY STATE
- Kentucky Supreme Court plans to block key abortion bans at hearing (The Courier-Journal)
- California reports its first child under 5 has died of flu and RSV this season (CBS News)
- A Florida fund for injured children raided Medicaid. Now he’s paying back $51 million (ProPublica)
THE OP-ED HILL
Shame Won’t Solve America’s Obesity Crisis: How Congress Can Help
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.
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