Health Care — Graham says abortion access a federal issue

Conducting a social experiment during a national period of mourning seems like a normal thing. So the Financial Times asked people in the kilometer-long line how much it would cost to give up their place in a line that took days to reach the top.

In an apparent about-face – although he says otherwise – Sen. Lindsey Graham
(RS.C.) said access to abortion was “not a matter of states’ rights.”

Welcome to overnight health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news affecting your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Graham: Abortion ‘not a matter of states’ rights’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) on Tuesday said abortion is “not a matter of states’ rights” as he continues to promote his legislation that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks.

In an interview with Fox & Friends, Graham acknowledged that his legislation violated conservative notions of federalism and let individual states decide their own laws.

  • “This is not a matter of states’ rights. This is a human rights issue,” Graham said. “So no matter what California or Maryland are going to do … I will advocate for a minimum national standard.”
  • Graham’s comments come a week after he introduced the bill, the most serious attempt yet by congressional Republicans to pass a nationwide abortion restriction after the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade had picked up.

Abrupt reversal: Graham, who just last month said the Supreme Court made the right decision by leaving abortion decisions to states, said last week he sees no contradiction and is motivated to act on Democrat attempts to enshrine abortion protections in federal law.

Graham said elected officials have the power to define and regulate abortion, including in Congress.

“Abortion is not illegal in America. It is up to elected officials in America to define the problem. States have the ability to do this at the state level. And we have the opportunity in Washington to speak on this issue if we wish to,” Graham said at a news conference introducing his bill. “I have chosen to speak.”

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CVS and Walmart reach $147 million opioid settlement

CVS and Walmart have agreed to pay more than $147 million to settle lawsuits related to their alleged role in West Virginia’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) announced Tuesday.

The state claimed that pharmacies had failed to maintain effective controls as distributors and donors against diversion that contributed to the state’s opioid oversupply.

“These settlements will not restore the lives lost to the opioid epidemic, but hopefully these and other settlements will provide significant assistance to those most affected by this crisis in our state,” Morrisey said in a statement.

Morrisey said Walmart agreed to a $65,070,000 settlement and CVS agreed to an $82.5 million settlement. The two were part of a larger study involving other pharmacies yet to be established.

The lawsuit against the pharmacy’s remaining defendants — Walgreens and Kroger — continues before the Mass Litigation Panel with a hearing date of June 5, 2023.

Read more here.


A key federal body recommended Tuesday for the first time that all adults under the age of 65 be screened regularly for anxiety.

A draft recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force is not yet final, and comments are open until October 17, but the panel’s recommendations are normally adopted.

The task force also recommended screening for major depressive disorder in adults.

The recommendation comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a wave of new forms of anxiety and depression in many Americans.

“The good news is that screening all adults for depression, including those who are pregnant and postpartum, and screening adults under 65 for anxiety can help identify these conditions early so that people living with the disease can care,” said Lori Pbert, a task force member and co-author of the recommendations.

Read more here.

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A growing number of Americans are struggling with depression, and most are not seeking treatment or are not treated for the mental disorder, a new study finds.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that nearly one in 10 Americans experienced depression in 2020, with rates of the mental health disorder being higher in adolescents and young adults.

  • Researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York analyzed 2015-2020 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey of Americans ages 12 and older.
  • Researchers found that in 2020, more than 9 percent of Americans ages 12 and older experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. The study’s authors note that depression has increased in recent years, rising from 6.6 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2015.

Distort Disciples: Depression, which is the most common mental disorder
in the nation, was most prevalent among young adults aged 18 to over at 25
17 percent, up from 10.3 percent in 2015.

Read more here.

Fauci: We’re not where we need to be in a pandemic

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Monday the US is not where it needs to be regarding the coronavirus pandemic, a day after an interview with President Biden aired, in which Biden said, that the “pandemic is over”.

Speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fauci, Biden’s top COVID-19 adviser, who last month announced his imminent departure from government, said much depends on how the country deals with future virus variants.

“How we react and how prepared we are for the development of these variants will depend on us. And that brings us to the other contradictory aspect of this — the lack of a unified acceptance of the interventions available to us in this country, where even now, more than two years, almost three years into the outbreak, we only have 67 percent of ours population are vaccinated and only half of those have received a single booster,” Fauci said.

  • He noted that the country is still seeing more than 400 deaths a day due to COVID-19, although that number is down from last year.
  • “But we’re not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to live with the virus because we know we’re not going to eradicate it. We’ve only done this with one virus, which is smallpox, and that was very variable because smallpox doesn’t change from year to year, decade to decade, or even century to century,” Fauci added.
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  • Some people are finally getting their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Wall Street Journal)
  • Ad spend shows Dems have medium-term abortion hopes (AP)
  • Doctors say Graham’s abortion ban would force women to have transvaginal ultrasound (NBC) scans


  • Nearly 1 in 4 Flint residents could suffer from PTSD after water crisis, study finds (ABC News)
  • NYC Private Sector COVID Vaccine Mandate Ends November 1, Stays for Public Workers (NBC New York)
  • Texas fights teen pregnancy, reformulates sex education standards (Kaiser Health News)


That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and reports. See you tomorrow.


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