Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup
Here’s something you don’t see every day: The makers of a device that repairs ice-cream machines are suing McDonald’s in a $900 million lawsuit.
The fate of health care policy is tied up with Build Back Better, and the debate in the Senate over how to proceed is still a bit muddled.
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Let’s get started.
Dems frustrated with Manchin’s BBB pitch
The fate of a host of health care reforms, from lowering drug prices to extending Affordable Care Act premium help, rests on what becomes of President BidenJoe BidenFire breaks out at major nuclear plant in Ukraine while fighting Russia inflames political war over gas prices, oil drilling On The Money — Push to block Russian imports hits wall MORE‘s Build Back Better agenda.
But the latest pitch from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Push to block Russian imports hits wall Overnight Energy & Environment — White House says no to Russia oil ban Manchin, Murkowski lead bipartisan bill to ban Russian energy imports MORE (DW.Va.) is not leaving everyone happy.
Senate Democrats are feeling exasperated with Manchin’s latest proposal on a scaled-down version of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that would leave out big social spending initiatives like expanded child care, universal pre-kindergarten, national paid family leave and long-term home health care.
Manchin is proposing that his colleagues choose one 10-year program to focus on and devote the other half of revenues raised from tax reform and prescription drug reform to deficit reduction and fighting inflation.
He is suggesting limiting new spending to climate programs instead of an array of social spending initiatives that he says would likely get baked into the federal budget baseline for years to come.
Manchin says the country has to “get its fiscal house in order” before embarking on new grand spending plans, but his colleagues aren’t ready to let go of big, ambitious reforms they’ve talked about for more than a year, such as direct federal support for expanded access to child care.
“If he wants to focus on an economic package, then he needs to remember child care is an economic issue,” said Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley — DOJ slams Senate cyber bill The Hill’s Morning Report – Russia-Ukraine war enters second deadly week Democrats look for offramp from masking in public MORE (D-Mass.) when asked about Manchin’s pared-down proposal.
Read more here.
NYC lifts school mask mandate, other rules
New York City will end its school mask mandate and vaccination requirement for businesses like restaurants starting Monday, Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced.
The move in the country’s largest city is a sign of the push to return to normal life and part of a parade of recent announcements by governors and local officials lifting rules on masking and other areas.
“Two years ago, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, but thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated and getting boosted we have made tremendous progress,” Adams said in a statement.
He urged people to go out and take advantage of the city’s offerings.
“New Yorkers should be getting out and enjoying our amazing city,” he said. “The fight may not be over, but we’re clearly winning the war. We are open for business and New York City has its groove back.”
Under the new rules, businesses like restaurants and gyms will still be able to require vaccination if they choose to.
However…Masks will still be required for children under 5, for whom no vaccine is yet available, the mayor said.
Read more here.
Newsom unveils plan to help homeless
California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomDeSantis fundraises off video of him chiding students for wearing masks Berkeley forced to slash enrollment after court ruling Equilibrium/Sustainability — 3 tons of ‘space junk’ to slam into moon MORE (D) announced a new plan Thursday to help homeless people with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
The Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court would require all California counties to provide free comprehensive treatment to homeless citizens suffering from a list of ailments.
“CARE Court is about meeting people where they are and acting with compassion to support the thousands of Californians living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders,” Newsom said at a mental health treatment center in San Jose. “We are taking action to break the pattern that leaves people without hope and cycling repeatedly through homelessness and incarceration.”
The program will allow community members, including family members, first responders and mental health service providers, to refer homeless people struggling with disorders to community-based services in an effort to treat people before they are “hospitalized or arrested.”
The plan includes local court-ordered individualized interventions and services, stabilization medication, advanced mental health directives and housing assistance, with service plans that last up to one or two years.
Read more here.
A MESSAGE FROM ALEXION
BIRD FLU CONFIRMED IN MISSOURI
Federal inspectors confirm that the bird flu, or avian flu, has been found in Missouri, making it one of multiple states where the disease has recently been detected among birds.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Friday the disease was found in a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Stoddard County, The Associated Press reported.
All the birds on the affected properties will be killed and disposed of to prevent the disease from spreading further, the department said.
The samples from the flock of chickens were first tested at University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and checked at a USDA veterinary lab.
Avian flu is easily spread among birds as it can be contracted through contact with infected poultry, equipment and on outfits of human caretakers, the AP noted.
Read more here.
Florida lawmakers pass 15-week abortion ban
The Florida state Senate on Thursday evening passed legislation banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, sending it for consideration to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida legislature passes 15-week abortion ban, DeSantis expected to approve legislation Overnight Health Care — Presented by Alexion — Battle lines drawn over COVID-19 funding DeSantis fundraises off video of him chiding students for wearing masks MORE (R), who has already signaled he will support it.
In a 23-15 vote, Florida’s upper chamber passed the 15-week abortion ban after the Florida House of Representatives approved the bill last month.
The legislation contains several exceptions to the ban, including in cases in which a fatal abnormality is found on a fetus or an abortion is needed to save the life or prevent serious injury to the pregnant person, according to The Associated Press. There are no exceptions in the case of incest, human trafficking or rape.
The legislation shortens the time period during which a person can receive an abortion in Florida, which was previously up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.
The development comes as the Supreme Court is set to rule on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which Florida’s legislation was modeled after, that directly challenges the landmark case Roe v. Wade. The justices on the high court seemed to indicate during arguments in December that they could be open to upholding the law.
Read more here.
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WHAT WE’RE READING
- ‘Something is off here’: Black biotech entrepreneurs still struggle for funding as the industry pledges to diversify (Stat)
- Senate Democrats are planning another drug price hearing (Washington Post)
- End of the pandemic could usher in spike of uninsured (Axios)
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STATE BY STATE
- Texas big-city schools are dropping their mask mandates in response to new CDC guidelines (Texas Tribune)
- Massachusetts will close 30 of its free COVID testing sites this month (WBUR)
- Big cities drop more COVID-19 measures in push for normalcy (Associated Press)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health care page for the latest news and coverage. See you Monday.