Friday, Mar 05, 2021 - 23:30:41
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Committee on Health:

    Fresh off President Biden withdrawing Neera Tanden's nomination for head of the Office of Management and Budget, Republicans are now looking to prevent the confirmation of Health and Human Services nominee Xavier Becerra. Hours after Tanden requested to be removed from consideration due to opposition from both sides of the aisle, the Senate Finance Committee will vote on Becerra's nomination Wednesday morning. A number of Republicans have already voiced concern over Becerra's professional background, believing the California attorney general is not qualified to lead HHS. WHITE HOUSE PULLS EMBATTLED NEERA TANDEN'S NOMINATION AS BUDGET CHIEF "I would've been willing to vote for somebody, absolutely, but you've got to at least know something about the subject matter," Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said after Becerra's confirmation hearing, according to The Hill. "If I as a doctor was appointed to be the attorney general of the United States of America, what would you think?...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – In a bipartisan vote, a House panel on Wednesday agreed to move forward with a bill that would make it harder to sue nursing homes, hospitals and physicians because of alleged negligence related to COVID-19. Members of the House Health & Human Services Committee voted 17-3 to introduce a proposal (PCB HHS 21-01) for the 2021 legislative session, which will begin March 2. The move was a first step in delivering on the Republican-led Legislature’s priority of shielding health-care providers from COVID-19 lawsuits. RELATED: Bipartisan Group Of Elected Officials Calling For Review Of Current US-Cuba Policy Four of the seven Democrats on the committee supported introducing the proposal as a bill, based on Chairwoman Colleen Burton’s assurances that she will keep an open door and work with lawmakers who have concerns. “It’s a complicated issue, and it’s an emotional issue, and it’s only a six-page bill,” Burton, ...
    Lawmakers on a financial oversight committee questioned Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey and other officials Thursday about a $26.5 million no-bid contract for COVID-19 testing supplies that turned out to be unusable. The contract, signed by state officials May 1, was with Utah-based health care startup Nomi Health. The state withdrew from the contract June 12 after the coronavirus test kits did not measure up to state standards. Tennessee remained responsible for $5.9 million to pay for some personal protective equipment, technology and a management fee. The legislative Fiscal Review Committee, led by Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, and Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, met Thursday to question Piercey, Tennessee Emergency Management Director Patrick Sheehan and state procurement officers about the contract. Piercey said the contract was struck amid significant national and international competition for COVID-19 testing supplies and personal protective equipment. Nomi Health, Piercey said, was the only...
    Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base McConnell aims for unity amid growing divisions with Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, on Saturday issued a call for New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoTravel industry calls on Trump administration to prevent the need for quarantines by creating a testing plan State officials plead for more info on vaccine distribution plans Overnight Health Care: NIH chief: Trump has not met with task force in 'quite some time' | CDC reports 300,000 more deaths than expected this year | UK to start challenge trials for vaccine MORE (D) and California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomJudge dismisses lawsuit of alleged...
    Tuesday, during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticized the tack taken by Senate Democrats during the opening portion of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing. Cotton said that given the focus on the Affordable Care Act by Democrats, one might mistake it for a Senate Health Committee hearing. “You know, as I saw in the hearings yesterday, though, I’ve got to say, Ainsley, I thought I’d stumbled into a hearing of the Senate Health Committee, not the Senate Judiciary Committee,” he said. “The Democrats kept talking about Obamacare and pre-existing conditions as if the Supreme Court’s job is to make health care policy. It’s not their job. It’s the job of Congress and the president. One reason that they’re focusing on that is they want to cover up the continued failures of Obamacare and higher premiums or what the individual mandate did...
    (CNN)Senate Democrats were united in driving home one message in the opening day of Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing: President Donald Trump's nominee could threaten the future of the Affordable Care Act. In a series of statements Monday, Democrats stuck to a script that was crafted by members of leadership and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden weeks ago, a message that Democrats hope will win them political support at the polls even if it cannot keep Barrett off the bench. The Supreme Court hears a challenge from GOP-led states and the Trump administration to Obamacare one week after Election Day. "Republicans finally realized the ACA is too popular to repeal in Congress, so now they are trying to bypass the will of voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work," Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said. "If Republicans succeed in striking down the ACA, insurance companies will...
    U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the committee's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2020.Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters A sharply divided Senate Judiciary Committee opened confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, with little doubt about the eventual outcome and both sides looking to score political points as Election Day nears. Republicans, led by Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., defended holding the hearings despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and touted Barrett's qualifications. They warned that Democrats would focus inappropriately on Barrett's Catholicism and seek to turn the process into a battle resembling the one fought over Justice Brett Kavanaugh two years ago. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, quickly sought to turn the focus of the hearings to health care. Surrounded by large posters of individuals...
    (CNN)A top health expert warns US needs a "comprehensive approach" to the Covid-19 pandemic, following a week of several states reporting alarming trends."Testing does not replace safety measures including consistent mask use, physical distancing, and hand washing," Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday in a statement. His remarks came as a response to the President's and the first lady's positive Covid-19 tests. Their diagnoses, Frieden said, serve as "a reminder that Covid-19 is an ongoing threat to our country and can happen to anyone." At least 24 states are now reporting more new cases than the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country is averaging about 41,781 new cases daily and showed no progress last month in lowering its baseline -- something that could have potentially helped combat the surge that health officials say is...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Aldermen on Friday backed an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored vaping products in Chicago, after an earlier effort to prohibit all flavored tobacco of any kind stalled in the face of opposition from retailers who feared losing customers to the suburbs and northwest Indiana. The City Council Health Committee voted to approve a measure that would ban all flavored vaping products, except those that taste or smell like tobacco. Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th), the chief sponsor, originally wanted to ban any kind of flavored tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, but couldn’t get enough support from fellow aldermen, many of whom sided with retail groups who argued smokers would simply go outside city limits to buy those products, and increase the black market for so-called “loosies” – unregulated cigarettes. Health Committee Chair Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said the goal of banning flavored vaping products...
    DENVER (CBS4)– A committee on RTD’s board will vote on a resolution to replace its contract security guards on buses with social workers and mental health professionals. That vote is scheduled to happen Tuesday. RTD has proposed service cuts to address an ongoing operator shortage. (credit: CBS) The resolution would put $27 million toward mental health and homeless outreach. The main driver’s union said eliminating all contracted guards could put passengers’ and drivers’ lives in danger. If the resolution passes the committee, the full RTD board will vote on the proposal at the end of the month. The proposal does not cut funding for RTD’s own police force.
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday thanked the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules for upholding his order allowing local authorities to fine establishments that fail to enforce the rules on wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I have always put the health and safety of Illinoisans first, and I’m gratified that local governments now have an additional way to keep their communities safe,” Pritzker said in a statement. On Sunday, Pritzker gathered with a group of public health experts to emphasize the importance of wearing masks. He noted that 82 percent of Americans are under a mask mandate as it is, and all public health professionals support the enforcement of both mask use and social distancing. Pritzker said the rule is also for the benefit of “the businesses that are following the rules while their competitors flout them. We’re doing this for the people...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci and two other top public health officials will testify next week to a House subcommittee that’s been investigating the federal response to a coronavirus pandemic still inflicting a relentless toll on Americans, officials with the panel said Wednesday. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become the government’s most visible face in the battle against the virus, and polls show him as its most trusted authority as well. That’s in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump, who gets low marks from the public after ceding much of the U.S. response to the nation’s governors, resulting in an inconsistent hodgepodge of restrictions and a resurgence of the disease in many states. The July 31 hearing will focus on “the urgent need for a national comprehensive plan” to address the virus, committee officials said in a statement announcing the...
    Sen. Lamar Alexander criticized President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic. The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released a statement on Tuesday in which he acknowledged that the WHO botched some of its response to the health crisis but said he disagrees with the president's choice to abandon the organization. "I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly, there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it," Alexander said. "Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States, as well as others in...
            by Todd DeFeo  A bill to allow schools in Ohio to open this fall is prompting more questions than answers. “Any decision on reopening schools next year must be driven by guidance from public health officials,” Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, told members of the Senate Education Committee. “The coming school year is unlikely to look like anything that has preceded it. Schools will and should reopen when public health standards can be met.” The comments came during a hearing on Senate Bill 320. The legislation generally places the authority about whether to open in the hands of local school boards and governing bodies. According to a Legislative Service Commission (LSC) review of the bill, elected or appointed officials at the state level would not be able to stop a school from opening or force a school system to close. The officials...
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