Gun-toting protesters against Michigan’s coronavirus lockdown have rallied in the state capitol building. Hundreds of demonstrators, a few of them armed, gathered in Lansing and many did not wear masks or socially distance. Police checked their temperatures before some were allowed into the capitol, where lawmakers were debating. Michigan has been hard hit by the coronavirus, with 3,788 deaths.
A top New York City doctor who was on the front line of the fight against coronavirus has taken her own life. Dr Lorna Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, died on Sunday, police said. Colleagues have described her as a “hero”. “She tried to do her job, and it killed her,” her father, Dr Phillip Breen, told The New York Times.
Trump administration officials are asking India to lift restrictions to give the U.S. access to pharmaceutical ingredients to produce a range of drugs amid fears of a U.S. drug supply shortage prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. The two governments are holding discussions aimed at easing new restrictions on pharmaceutical exports from India, which New Delhi introduced to ensure that the country would have medicine needed to handle the pandemic inside its borders.
It was reported, Thursday, that Trump’s administration is moving to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. The legally controversial decision prompted critics to highlight potential harm to the poor. Politically, the decision is less divisive, as a recent poll showed 70% of Americans favor allowing states to impose work restrictions on non-disabled, adult Medicaid recipients.
The Trump administration has drafted a rule that would allow religious employers to stop covering birth control in employee health plans. One of the most controversial components of the ACA, signed in by Barack Obama in 2010, was the free contraceptive mandate. Supporters argue that it is a basic issue of women’s rights and suggest that the increased availability of safe contraceptives contributed to a decline in teen births and abortions. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the plan “sickening” and said it would deny millions of women “access to basic, preventive health care.”
The long-awaited Senate healthcare bill became public on Thursday. The draft repeals Affordable Care Act taxes and provides more subsidies for low-income families than the House bill which was passed in May. Despite the updates to the bill, four conservative senators, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, announced that they would still oppose the bill. They said the bill, in its current form, does not bring healthcare costs down and repeal Obamacare.
Jimmy Kimmel created the discussion on the current topic of whether people with pre-existing medical conditions should get financial coverage by asking the question, “Why should being born with any sort of defect raise your insurance costs all your life? Why should the babies of well-off people, including comedians, have a better shot at surviving that newborns whose parents lack the money to buy health insurance?”
Senate Republicans officially gave up repealing Obamacare in fear of going short on votes. The decision came after Sen. Susan Collins of Maine declared her opposition to the proposal. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Republicans would move on to overhauling the tax code, their next big legislative goal.
The healthcare plan Senate Republicans have been working on in secret will be released on Thursday. There isn’t much information on what exactly the plan is. However, it is expected to be a version based on the current law and a bill passed by the House in May. Republicans can only afford to lose two of the 52 seats they hold in the Senate to pass the bill.
On Monday, congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare returned in full swing with Senate Republicans pushing for a new legislation. Senator John McCain insisted to Republicans that they should hold hearings and consider amendments, rather than ramming the bill through the Senate in order to get a better reaction and outcome.