Mental Health

Supreme Court agrees to review Trump rule on immigrants needing government aid

The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will review a Trump administration limit on accepting immigrants considered likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs.

The Department of Homeland Security announced in 2019 that it would expand the definition of “public charge” to be applied to people whose immigration could be denied because of a concern that they would primarily depend on the government for their income.

In the past, that was largely based on an assessment that an immigrant would be dependent upon cash benefits. But the Trump administration proposed to broaden the definition to include non-cash benefits, such as Medicaid, supplemental nutrition aid and federal housing assistance.

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Doctor with vaccine

HEALTH CARE BRIEFING: Pharmacies to Get Direct Vaccine Shipments

President Joe Biden’s administration will begin to test a program to provide Covid-19 vaccines directly to pharmacies, as officials seek to increase the pace of U.S. inoculations.

Biden’s team announced yesterday that they will ship roughly one million doses per week to about 6,500 pharmacies across the U.S. as a trial run, beginning Feb. 11. They also will boost shipments to states by 5% to 10.5 million doses per week, up from the 10 million doses that were announced a week earlier.

“This pharmacy program will expand access in neighborhoods across the country,” Jeff Zients, who serves as Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, said at a briefing with reporters. The shipments will increase as supply permits, but “due to the current supply constraints, this will be limited when it begins next week,” he said.

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Medical Syringe & Vaccine

PA. Health Officials Say They Haven’t Received Enough COVID-19 Vaccines From Federal Government

(WKBN) – Pennsylvania’s new acting Secretary of Health talked about vaccine shortages during a press conference Tuesday to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Secretary of Health Alison Beam recently took over for Dr. Rachel Levine, who was tapped by President Joe Biden for a job in his administration.

Governor Tom Wolf said he is frustrated by the limited supply of doses from the federal government.

“Pennsylvania has not received enough doses to vaccinate the number of Pennsylvanians who need it, and that’s frustrating to all of us,” Wolf said. “The Trump Administration asked states to give more doses to more people, but the national stockpile was depleted.

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Rainbow Flag

Joe Biden Picks Transgender Woman As Assistant Health Secretary

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

A pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general, Levine was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, making her one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide. She won past confirmation by the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Senate and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Stethoscope

What Democratic Control of Government Means for Health Care Policy

Following the two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia on Jan. 5, the chamber is split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans, but with Democrats in control (and with an effective majority) since incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, as Senate president, can break tie votes. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats also have a five-seat majority.

SHRM Online has gathered the following articles that look at how U.S. health care policy may be altered with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling Congress.

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Covid Vaccine

Washington Department of Health Partially Blames Slow Vaccine Rollout on Federal Government

SPOKANE, Wash.– Washington’s vaccine rollout has been a mess, much like it has been across the rest of the United States.

Many of you have reached out to us every day, asking when you and your loved ones could get the vaccine.

We took those questions straight to local and state health officials, but they haven’t really given us an answer.

Just as we’re asking for more transparency from our local and state health officials, the Washington Department of Health is doing the same.

The state’s Secretary of Health said it’s on the federal government to not only send more doses to states, but to also create a better a plan.

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White House

What Democratic Control of Government Means for Health Care Policy

Following the two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia on Jan. 5, the chamber is split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans, but with Democrats in control (and with an effective majority) since incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, as Senate president, can break tie votes. In the U.S. House of Representatives Democrats also have a five-seat majority.

SHRM Online has gathered the following articles that look at how U.S. health care policy may be altered with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling Congress.

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COVID-19 Virus

To Help Combat COVID-19, Federal Government Should Enforce Health Data Rules

Breaking COVID-19’s chain of transmission requires effective physical distancing, contact tracing and rapid analyses of demographic data to reveal illness clusters and populations at high risk, such as people older than 65, Latinos and Blacks. Now, as the latest and largest wave of infections surges through the country and hospitalizations reach record numbers, it’s more important than ever that federal officials use the 21st Century Cures Act — which won overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress before being signed into law by President Barack Obama in late 2016 — to speed the flow of patient data to state and local health departments.

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Airport

TSA Predicts Record Travel Weekend at SFO Despite Government Health Warnings

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Emmanuel Perez arrived home to the Bay Area after visiting his young children in Florida.

“I got two kids on the East Coast. I (have) to see them. I traveled to them, so they don’t have to come over here,” says Perez.

Like many, Perez says this is the first time he flew since the start of the pandemic – and the first time he has seen his kids.

He admits that he was worried. He had a full flight and faced large crowds at airports.

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Nurse with gear stressed out

More Than 2,900 Health Care Workers Died This Year — And the Government Barely Kept Track

More than 2,900 U.S. health care workers have died in the COVID-19 pandemic since March, a far higher number than that reported by the government, according to a new analysis by KHN and The Guardian.

Fatalities from the coronavirus have skewed young, with the majority of victims under age 60 in the cases for which there is age data. People of color have been disproportionately affected, accounting for about 65% of deaths in cases in which there is race and ethnicity data. After conducting interviews with relatives and friends of around 300 victims, KHN and The Guardian learned that one-third of the fatalities involved concerns over inadequate personal protective equipment.

Many of the deaths — about 680 — occurred in New York and New Jersey, which were hit hard early in the pandemic. Significant numbers also died in Southern and Western states in the ensuing months.

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