The fate of the abortion pill mifepristone remains in jeopardy, as an appellate court panel during a hearing this week sounded sympathetic to a lower court’s ruling that the FDA should not have approved the drug more than two decades ago. No matter how the appeals court rules, the case seems headed for the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, in the partisan standoff over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, a key sticking point has emerged: whether to add a work requirement to the state-federal Medicaid program. Republicans are adamant about adding one; Democrats point out that, in the few states that have tried them, red tape has resulted in eligible people wrongly losing their health coverage.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KFF Health News, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Victoria Knight of Axios.
Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:
Hopes among abortion rights advocates for continued access to mifepristone dimmed as the three judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals signaled they are skeptical of the FDA’s decades-old approval of the drug and of the Biden administration’s arguments defending it. Lawyers debated whether the Texas doctors challenging the drug had been harmed by it and thus had standing to sue. If the original ruling effectively revoking the drug’s approval is allowed to stand, the case could open the door to future legal challenges to the approval of controversial drugs.
Two more states in the South are moving to restrict abortion, further cutting access to the procedure in the region. In North Carolina, a new Republican supermajority in the state legislature enabled the passage this week of a new, 12-week ban, as lawmakers in South Carolina consider a six-week ban.
In Congress, the top Senate Republican said he will not back one senator’s months-long effort to hold up Pentagon nominations over a policy that supports troops and their dependents who must travel to other states to obtain an abortion.
Envision Healthcare — which spent big in 2019 to fight legislation prohibiting some surprise medical bills — has filed for bankruptcy protection more than a year after the law took effect and cut into its bottom line. But a federal lawsuit from a group of emergency room physicians against Envision may move forward. The lawsuit claims the private equity-backed company is in violation of a California law banning corporate control of medic …
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