KAISER HEALTH NEWS – The Biden administration’s covid shot requirement had been overturned by a Texas federal judge in January, but a new ruling has reinstated the mandate.
In other news, the Health and Human Services Department is looking for input on new environmental health proposals.
The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Reinstates Biden’s Vaccine Mandate For Federal Workers: A federal appeals court on Thursday reinstated the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement for federal employees, overturning a nationwide injunction by a Texas federal judge in January.
In a 2-1 ruling, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans held that it wasn’t the judiciary’s role to adjudicate the dispute but said unvaccinated workers seeking to avoid discipline first had to pursue their grievances through administrative channels. (Gershman, 4/7)
The Hill: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Biden Vaccine Mandate For Federal Workers: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’s 2-1 ruling reversed an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, a Trump appointee in Texas, who in January blocked the mandate for federal workers.
The 5th Circuit Court further ordered that the district court dismiss the case. Judge Carl Stewart, writing for the majority opinion, said plaintiffs in the case could have challenged the vaccine mandate through the federal government’s internal process for federal workers. (Vakil and Dress, 4/7)
In other news from the Biden administration —
Modern Healthcare: HHS Seeks Input On Plan To Address Environmental Health Disparities: The Health and Human Services Department is seeking comments on whether its newest environmental health proposals adequately addresses the risks climate change poses to the health of underserved communities.
In a notice published Thursday, HHS outlines six strategies to tackle environmental health and climate-related hazards among low-income and historically marginalized communities. Those include expanding linguistic capabilities and cultural competence within the healthcare delivery system, developing community partnerships to coordinate social services organizations, funding research and measuring impact. (Hartnett, 4/7)
Stat: Cities, States Lobby For New ARPA-H Headquarters: The Biden administration’s new high-stakes research office has a name, an official place within government, and a billion dollars in funding.
But ARPA-H still lacks a home. Now, with a bonanza of federal cash at stake — and lawmakers making clear they want the new agency’s headquarters located far from the Beltway — cities and states across the country find themselves in a bidding war. (Facher, 4/8)
On the Affordable Care Act —
Axios: Affordable Care Act Subsidy Cliff Hits Southern States Hardest: A disproportionate share of young adults, low-income, Black Americans and residents of Southern states will lose health coverage if Congress doesn’t extend enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies, according to a new analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
...article continued below
- Advertisement -
The analysis estimates that 3.1 million Americans would become uninsured when the subsidies expire beginning next year, and millions more would face much higher premiums than they currently pay. But those effects wouldn’t be felt evenly across the country. (Owens, 4/8)
KHN: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Finally, A Fix For The ‘Family Glitch’: The Biden administration this week moved to fix the so-called family glitch in the Affordable Care Act, which has prevented dependents from getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance even if the insurance offered by the employer is unaffordable.
It remains unclear, however, whether this is something that can be done by regulation or instead requires congressional action. (4/7)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.