Morning Consult Health will be off Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The weekday newsletter will resume Tuesday.
The Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s vaccination-or-testing mandate for large private employers but allowed a vaccine requirement for most health care workers to stay in place, with the court’s conservative majority saying that Congress had not given a federal agency the authority to impose such broad workplace rules. The mandate for health care workers covers about 10 million people, while the rule for private employers would have applied to 84 million. (The Washington Post)
President Joe Biden said his administration will buy 500 million more rapid COVID-19 tests to distribute to U.S. households for free, doubling an earlier commitment amid a surge in cases tied to the omicron variant. Biden also said he will detail a plan next week to offer free masks to people. (The Wall Street Journal)
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13-8 to advance Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination to lead the Food and Drug Administration, with four Republicans voting in his favor. Califf’s full Senate confirmation vote, which has not yet been set, is expected to be close given that several Democratic lawmakers and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have indicated they will vote against him. (The New York Times)
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will recommend that traditional Medicare cuts its payments to nursing homes, home health agencies and inpatient rehabilitation facilities by 5 percent next year. MedPAC’s recommendations to Congress are nonbinding, but lawmakers rely on the group’s expertise to make funding decisions for health providers. (Bloomberg Law)
Several corporate leaders said they would scrap plans to impose vaccine requirements for their workers after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s mandate for large private employers. Others said they would move ahead with their plans to require shots.
The omicron coronavirus variant causes less severe disease than the delta strain even in those who are unvaccinated or who haven’t had a prior Covid-19 infection, a study from South Africa’s Western Cape province showed.
Unvaccinated pregnant people who get Covid-19 are at much higher risk for complications from the disease and death of their babies than their vaccinated counterparts, according to a new study from Scotland.
More than 100 leading American doctors and scientists — including four Nobel Prize winners and a former Republican leader — have signed an open letter in support of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, calling Republican attacks on him “inaccurate, unscientific, ill-founded in the facts and, increasingly, motivated by partisan politics.”
Hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses purchased by wealthy countries are at risk of going to waste, a new analysis shows, while large parts of the world remain unprotected amid the spread of the omicron variant.
Rachana Pradhan and Hannah Recht, Kaiser Health News
Two months after Pfizer’s covid vaccine was authorized for children ages 5 to 11, just 27% have received at least one shot, according to Jan. 12 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 18%, or 5 million kids, have both doses.
If you were to ask any of the 1 million Americans living with multiple sclerosis, they’d probably say their disease started with changes so small they almost didn’t notice them: a wobbly step, a weakening grip, sight going soft around the edges. But MRI scans of their brains — dotted with ghostly white scars — would tell a different story.
A person’s right to an abortion in New Jersey is now enshrined in state law, as lawmakers there bolstered protections for the procedure months ahead of a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision that could upend federal abortion rights.
More than 14.2 million people have bought a plan on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges as of Jan. 8, as the Biden administration makes a last-second sprint to boost awareness of the Jan. 15 deadline.
Real estate developers Hicks Ventures and Artemis Real Estate Partners signed a $100 million joint venture to develop around 20 inpatient rehabilitation and behavioral health hospitals, the companies announced Thursday.
The draft guidance, which is open for comments until March 11, is intended to help manufacturers provide timely information about disruptions during public health emergencies and thereby cut the risk of shortages.
A group of House Democrats is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reassess its current blood donation policy that limits gay and bisexual men from donating blood as the nation struggles with a severe shortage.
Biogen, desperate to reverse the turmoil surrounding its controversial Alzheimer’s treatment Aduhelm, has a shopping list of potential acquisitions, STAT has learned. And the company’s risk-averse board, which has repeatedly rejected potential deals, could be increasingly receptive.