Healthcare – Immigration dispute holds up COVID funds


Former President Obama returned to the White House Tuesday for the first time in over five years, and President Biden poked fun at his famous 2010 “BFD” remark.

Today we’ll examine why more funding for pandemic relief might not make it through the Senate while lawmakers argue about repealing Title 42, as well as a new review at the CDC.

Welcome to overnight health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news affecting your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

The fight for Title 42 threatens to hold up the $10 billion aid package

The COVID-19 funding might not go by this week after all.

A $10 billion compromise COVID-19 relief bill is threatening to stall in the Senate over partisan fighting over whether to allow a vote on an amendment to reintroduce the Title 42 restrictions that were used to reject migrant asylum applications in the United States. border with Mexico.

Majority Leader in the Senate Karl Schumer (DN.Y.) on Tuesday warned Republicans against holding the law “hostage” by insisting on a vote to amend the law with a provision to retain Title 42.

“The bottom line is a bipartisan agreement that will do a lot of good for the American people: vaccines, tests, therapeutics. It shouldn’t be held hostage over an irrelevant matter,” he told reporters when asked if Republicans’ insistence on the boundary change threatens passage of the relief bill.

Schumer has shown little inclination to give Republicans a vote on restoring Title 42, which would likely happen if set at a 50-vote threshold, as at least five Democrats have already criticized Biden’s decision to overturn it.

“As I said, this is a bipartisan law, negotiated in good faith. It should not be held hostage to irrelevant, unrelated issues,” he reiterated.

Read more here.

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OBAMA JOINS BIDEN FOR FIRST WHITE HOUSE APPEARANCE SINCE 2017

Former President Barack Obama returned to the White House on Tuesday for the first time since leaving office, where he was welcomed with open arms by scores of Democrats and members of the Biden administration.

Obama appeared alongside President Biden and Vice President Harris in a crowded East Room, where he received a standing ovation from lawmakers, Cabinet officials and public health advocates for an event touting efforts to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

Both Obama and Biden fondly joked about their tenures, with Obama referring to Biden as “the vice president” and Biden introducing himself as “Barack Obama’s vice president.”

Obama has not visited the White House at all during the Trump administration and has largely avoided the political limelight outside of a few campaign appearances since leaving office. While he was there Tuesday to highlight how the Affordable Care Act has been strengthened since it was passed 12 years ago, it was also an opportunity for Obama to celebrate his return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It’s good to be back in the White House. It’s been a while,” Obama said. “I confess I’ve heard that the current President has made some changes since I was last here.”

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CDC ANNOUNCES REVIEW OF SWEEP AGENCY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a comprehensive review of the agency in an internal email Monday.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told staff that Jim Macrae, associate administrator for primary health care at the Health Resources and Services Administration, would be conducting a month-long review of the organization that has been in the public spotlight amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Monday, Macrae will begin assessing the current COVID-19 effort and “provides me with insight into how the delivery of our science and program can be further strengthened during this critical transition period,” Walensky said.

“At the end of this collaborative effort, we will develop new systems and processes to make our science and program available to the American people, along with a plan for how CDC should be structured to facilitate our public health work.” , wrote Walensky.

The review comes more than two years after the coronavirus pandemic began, during which the CDC has come under intense scrutiny.

Read more here.

WH suggests fixing the “family bug” in ObamaCare

Biden aims to change an ObamaCare rule set by the Obama White House.

The Biden administration is proposing a rule change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to address the so-called “family blunder” that prevents millions of people who receive health care through the work of a family member from qualifying for coverage assistance .

During a press briefing, a senior administration official said the Treasury Department will release a proposal Tuesday to amend the ObamaCare rules, allowing individuals in households who spend more than 10 percent of their income on health insurance to qualify for financial assistance.

Under current rules, the ACA provides financial assistance to individual customers who spend more than 9.83 percent of their income on their company’s health insurance premium.

Spouses and children who are covered by a family member’s occupational health plan are considered affordable by the ACA, regardless of what percentage of their income they contribute to their health plan. This rule prevents an estimated 5 million people from qualifying for subsidized health plans.

Extended eligibility: Under the Treasury Court’s “modified interpretation” if coverage costs more than 10 percent of a household’s total income, then non-employee family members are eligible for financial assistance during the next open enrollment period.

Read more here.

Biden orders ramped up efforts against long COVID

President Biden on Tuesday ordered his administration to ramp up efforts to combat the long-running COVID-19 and try to address the ongoing symptoms affecting millions of people even as the overall COVID-19 situation improves.

Biden issued a presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop “the first-ever interagency national research action plan on Long COVID.”

As part of the effort, the government announced it would accelerate enrollment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) long-COVID-19 study. Statistical News reported last week that there has been frustration among experts at the slow pace of enrollment in the NIH’s lengthy COVID-19 study.

Biden also directed a report, to be issued within 120 days, detailing the resources available to government agencies to support people with long-standing COVID-19.

People with long-term COVID-19 may experience a range of lingering symptoms, including fatigue and trouble concentrating, months after contracting the virus.

Read more here.

WHAT WE READ

  • Shanghai extends lockdown to city-wide as tests show Covid is spreading (ABC)
  • Federal funding for the uninsured to receive COVID-19 vaccines ends tonight (ABC 4)
  • ‘All the splinters that’s in my back’: Defiant Robert Redfield blasts former CDC directors for criticism during Covid-19 (Stat)

STATE BY STATE

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt passes law making abortion illegal in Oklahoma (The Oklahoma)
  • Colorado now guarantees abortion rights in state law (The Denver Post)
  • Massachusetts reports zero new COVID deaths for first time in nine months (Mass Live)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s health page for the latest news and reports. Until Wednesday.

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