Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes – Lompoc Record

Posted: October 11, 2019 at 4:51 pm


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The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! Yours truly is back from beautiful Vietnam and it seems I missed one or two ahem minor news events while traipsing around.

Now enough mother-henning. (You missed me, didnt you?) On to the news of the week!

The Supremes are back in action, and a look at the high courts docket reveals a potentially doozy of a politically charged term (with rulings expected to land as the general election heats up in 2020).

In the health care sphere, a big case to watch is the Louisiana abortion suit. An essentially identical Texas law which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals was ruled unconstitutional by the court in 2016, but that means little with two new justices appointed by President Donald Trump weighing in.

Oral arguments in two other health-related cases were held this week. The justices grappled with the moral and legal complexities of the insanity defense. The case prompted questions such as this one from Justice Stephen Breyer: One defendant kills a victim he thinks is a dog. The second defendant knows its a person but thinks the dog told him to do it, Breyer said. They are both crazy. And why does Kansas say one is guilty, the other is not guilty?

Tuesday was all about LGBTQ rights. Although most of the justices were divided along ideological lines on whether federal civil rights legislation applies to sexual orientation and gender identification, Justice Neil Gorsuch hinted his vote might be in play. As an avowed believer in textualism, he suggested that the words of Title VII are really close, really close to barring employment discrimination for those workers. But dont go placing bets on the outcome yet. He also noted that he was worried about the massive social upheaval that would follow such a Supreme Court ruling.

Want a roundup of the must-read stories this week chosen by KHN Newsletter Editor Brianna Labuskes? Sign up for The Friday Breeze today.

On that note, the 2020 Democratic candidates participated in an LGBTQ forum on the eve of National Coming Out Day. There were a handful of notable moments through the night (including a zinger from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that was met with loud applause), but much of the spotlight was on protesters who demanded the candidates pay attention to violence against black transgender women. We are hunted, said one member of the audience.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail this week, controversy over a pregnancy discrimination talking point from Warrens stump speech prompted women including Warren rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar to speak out on social media about their own and their mothers experiences.

Sanders campaign confirmed that the health scare from last week was indeed a heart attack. The 2020 candidate who promised to return full blast to the race said he hopes people learn from his dumb mistake of ignoring the warning signs. In true politician-running-for-office style, he also was able to use the scare as a way to emphasize the importance of his signature policy proposal, Medicare for All.

In a sign of whats to come for Big Pharma, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the fields more moderate candidates, released a drug pricing plan that is decidedly not moderate. The move falls in line with a broader sense that theres an ever-growing appetite among even middle-ground Dems for action to rein in drugmakers.

And for you political wonks out there, this was an interesting read on the shifting political dynamics of doctors, who once used to be a sure thing for the GOP.

A key ruling on the health law is expected in the next few weeks, but officials (on condition of anonymity, mind you) said that if the ruling is against the ACA, the Trump administration will ask the court to put any changes on hold possibly until after the election. The reports further support the idea that the law, which has been, uh, politically fraught (to say the very least) over its entire life span, is at the moment viewed as an Achilles heel for Republicans.

Two other major news items out of the administration this week to pay attention to:

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Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes - Lompoc Record

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October 11th, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Health and Fitness