Health Care – The GOP is divided on potential benefit cuts

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Today in health news, childhood vaccination rates have fallen for the third year in a row. But first, House Republicans are divided on whether to try to cut spending on Medicare and Social Security

you welcome in Hill Healthcare ReportWhere we keep up with the latest moves related to politics and news affecting your health. they were Nathaniel Wicksell And Joseph Choi. Someone send you this newsletter?

The GOP’s divisions over the cuts point to tough fights ahead

House Republicans are divided over cuts to Medicare and Social Security, leading to what could be a fierce internal clash over the future of the nation’s best safety net programs when Congress delves into budget battles later in the year.

Entitlements have long been a third policy pillar, but some in the GOP say everything is on the table and are eager to use the upcoming debt-ceiling negotiations to extract promises of reduced government spending, including entitlement funding.

That could pit the strongest deficit hawks in the GOP against other conservatives who insist that Medicare and Social Security be left alone and cuts will come from elsewhere.

  • “The one thing I will tell you as a Republican, is we will always protect Medicare and Social Security. We will protect it for the next generation into the future,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday.
  • Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), one of the conservative leaders who extracted a promise from McCarthy to limit the new discretionary spending, also insisted that the benefits are safe.
  • “It took about 2 seconds for everyone to say, ‘You’re going to slay the defense… you’re going to hurt Social Security and Medicare.'” Everyone calm down,” Roy said in an interview with conservative radio host Jesse Kelly.

Other Republicans, however, worry that excluding rights from the debate creates a greater threat to defense programs, which conservatives pledge to protect.

The official rules package Republicans passed earlier this week calls for equal or greater cuts to offset any new spending, but did not specify where those cuts should come from.

Members are also walking a fine line by calling for reforms in the name of keeping entitlement programs perishable, without actually calling them “cuts.”

  • Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) said Republicans should “absolutely” make vesting changes as a condition of raising the debt ceiling later in the year. But he said the goal should be to “secure” those programs, not get rid of them.
  • “Do you realize that Medicaid and Medicare will be insolvent by 2026? That Social Security will be insolvent by 2033? But our goal, our mission, should be saving and stability, not interruption,” he said Wednesday.

Read more here.

Childhood fax rates are dropping again, which has experts worried

Federal health officials said Thursday that the percentage of kindergarten students who did not receive the routine immunization of children rose again during the 2021-22 school year.

Overall immunization rates among kindergartners remain high, but coverage fell by two percentage points from 95 percent in the pre-pandemic 2019-20 school year to 93 percent in 2021-22, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ).

For example: Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage during both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 study years was the lowest in a decade.

  • But there has been a decline in other routine childhood vaccinations, too, such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and chickenpox.
  • “While this may not seem significant, it means that approximately 250,000 kindergarteners are likely not protected against measles alone,” said Georgina Peacock, director of the Division of Immunization Services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

why? This is due at least in part to the disruptions associated with the pandemic. Parents have missed or skipped pediatrician visits and are still trying to catch up.

There were also disparity issues. According to a second Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday, children who are poor, live in rural areas, who lack health insurance and who are Black or Hispanic are more likely to not be vaccinated by the time they are two years old.

but also: Controversy and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine has spilled over into routine childhood shots.

“We’ve seen some hesitation with vaccines during the pandemic mostly associated, I think, with the COVID vaccine. That may in some cases translate into routine vaccinations and that’s something we’re watching very closely,” Peacock said of the CDC.

Read more here.

A temporary deal is reached in the New York nurses attack

On Monday, 7,000 nurses from Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx went on strike after negotiations for a new contract between the management of those two hospitals and the nurses’ union, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), fell through.

The union has emphasized staffing levels as one of the nurses’ top concerns, saying they are stressed by too many open positions, forcing them to work overtime, dealing with twice as many patients as they have to and skipping meals and bathroom breaks. .

Conditions: The union said the hospitals established tangible staffing ratios as part of the deal, and Montefiore also agreed to create nurse-student partnerships to hire local nurses in the area.

  • She said the nurses were expected to return to their jobs on Thursday. They need to vote to approve the deal before it can officially take effect.
  • “Today, we can go back to work with our heads held high, knowing that our victory means safer care for our patients and more sustainable jobs for our profession,” said NYSNA President Nancy Haggans.

Read more here.

Study: Youth asthma rates are increasing in countries with legal recreational cannabis use

A new study finds that the legalization of recreational cannabis may contribute to increased rates of asthma in teens and children.

The investigators compared asthma rates in states with entertainment programs to rates in states where the substance was illegal from 2011 through 2019.

  • Although the incidence of asthma in children decreased during this time frame, the prevalence of asthma increased slightly among adolescents ages 12 to 17, and among children in certain racial and ethnic minority groups in states with recreational use laws, compared to states in which cannabis is fully prevalent. illegal.
  • The data showed that Hispanic youth experienced the largest increase in childhood asthma rates in states with recreational laws.

Writing in the journal protective medicine, Researchers said evidence suggests the legalization and commercialization of adult cannabis may have downstream effects on children’s respiratory health.

Read more here.

Long-term COVID symptoms may abate within a year: research

Prolonged COVID, a condition with a wide range of persistent symptoms that occurs after infection with COVID-19, is still poorly understood, but Israeli researchers recently completed a study that suggests the disease may resolve relatively quickly.

the study Published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, the BMJ looked at the health outcomes of nearly 2 million COVID-19 patients who developed mild disease after infection. These patients tested positive for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October of 2021 and included both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

  • Common health conditions that researchers found to be associated with cases of COVID-19 included the well-documented loss of smell. Breathing problems and affects concentration and memory.
  • The majority of reported health conditions, such as hair loss, heart palpitations, chest pain, and memory impairment, resolved or regressed to baseline levels within a year.

The researchers wrote: “Although the long-term coronavirus phenomenon has been feared and discussed since the beginning of the pandemic, we noted that most health outcomes that appeared after a mild disease course remained for several months and returned to normal within the first year.”

Symptoms that persist: However, some other cases were noted to persist for more than a year after the patient’s initial coronavirus diagnosis. It found that the loss of smell and changes in patients’ ability to taste were still significantly higher than in uninfected people a year after the patients tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more here.

what we read

  • Drugstore addiction treatments can help fight the opioid crisis (NPR)
  • How medical schools are missing the mark on artificial intelligence (stat)
  • Diabetics struggle to find Ozempic as it grows in popularity as a weight loss aid (NBC News)

State by state

  • Despite doctors’ concerns, UCLA renews ties with religious institutions (Kaiser Health News)
  • Syphilis cases in Missouri have jumped 259% in the past few years. Here’s what you need to know (KCUR)
  • Health care advocates rally in Connecticut to expand HUSKY coverage to undocumented immigrants (WSHU)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Health care page For the latest news and coverage. see you tomorrow.

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