Health Care — Blue states brace for wave of patients after Roe ruling
Bruce Springsteen announced a long-awaited tour…. but it doesn’t start until February.
Today in health care, blue states are preparing for patients traveling from red states once abortion restrictions hit following an expected Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Blue state abortion providers plan for rush of patients
Abortion providers and reproductive rights advocates in Democratic-controlled states are preparing for a wave of patients traveling from conservative neighbors when the U.S. Supreme Court releases an opinion that is expected to strike down the federal right to an abortion enshrined half a century ago by Roe v. Wade.
In interviews, those providers say they have already seen an increased number of patients traveling across state lines since Republican-controlled legislatures passed new limits on abortion access. But they say those figures will surge when the high court’s decision allows so-called trigger laws barring abortion to take effect.
“Our own data models predict in the first year after Roe is overturned, we’re expecting to see over 14,000 additional patients to turn to Illinois,” said Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, vice president of strategy and communication at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. “We’re now trying to figure out how to have the manpower, enough hands to help the patients that are going to be turning to us soon.”
Lee-Gilmore’s chapter of Planned Parenthood includes clinics in southern Illinois, a Democratic-controlled state that is surrounded by several other states in which abortion would become illegal or severely restricted if Roe falls.
The draft opinion leaked last month would, if it stands, create a patchwork nation of states where abortions are either protected under state law or completely banned. Women living in parts of Montana would have to travel to Washington, Minnesota or Colorado to receive an abortion. Women who live on the Gulf Coast would have to travel to North Carolina, Illinois, New Mexico or Kansas to seek care.
Long COVID symptoms can last more than a year
A new study published on Tuesday found that long COVID-19 symptoms can last 14.8 months after initial infection.
The study comes as researchers try to better understand the effects of long COVID-19.
A study published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology looked at 52 people who were a part of an initial subset of 100 long COVID-19 patients surveyed last year. Patients participated in the study between 11 and 18 months since they initially tested positive for COVID-19.
Of those who participated in the follow-up study, 77 percent were vaccinated between the first clinic visit and the second.
Seventy-three percent of those who were surveyed were female and the overwhelming majority — 90.3 percent — were white.
The study determined that there was no “significant” change in the frequency of neurologic symptoms between the first and second evaluations. Neurologic symptoms enumerated in the study included “brain fog,” numbness and tingling, headache and dizziness, among others.
Patients who participated in the survey reported “improvements in their recovery, cognitive function, and fatigue, but quality of life measures remained lower.”
The researchers noted that there were significant increases between the initial evaluation and follow-up evaluation in variation in heart rate, blood pressure and gastrointestinal symptoms.
WHO SAYS MONKEYPOX ‘CONTAINABLE’
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said the monkeypox outbreak is still “containable” in nonendemic countries, or those without significant spread of the zoonotic virus.
The organization’s director for global infectious hazard preparedness, Sylvie Briand, said at a WHO assembly the monkeypox virus could be controlled by pragmatic measures like raising awareness, detecting cases early and isolating contacts to halt the chain of transmission.
“It’s also very important for this, again, limited outbreak to have excellent global coordination and collaboration,” Briand said. “We need to share information, share diagnostic resources [and] share data.”
As of Tuesday, the WHO has identified 131 confirmed cases across the globe and 106 suspected cases. The bulk of the cases were reported in Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The WHO has confirmed two cases in the U.S., including a man in Massachusetts, as well as seven possible cases.
BIRTHS INCREASE IN US FOR FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS
The U.S. birth rate increased for the first time in seven years in 2021, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Tuesday.
The National Center for Health Statistics analysis of 99.94 percent of registered birth records from last year found that births rose by 1 percent compared to the 2020 numbers, the first upswing since 2014.
From 2014 to 2020, births declined by approximately 2 percent every year, according to the numbers processed by the National Vital Statistics System.
A total of 3,659,289 births in 2021 puts the U.S. population back on track for normal levels of growth, although the total fertility rate last year remained below “replacement” level, the rate necessary to fully replace the number of people in the current adult generation.
The total fertility rate has remained consistently below replacement level since 2007 and has experienced a downward trend for the past half-century since 1971.
The total fertility rate increased by 1 percent, rising to 1,663.5 births per group of 1,000 American women.
We need work accommodations for long COVID: activists
Some people disabled by long COVID are struggling in the workplace, with employers refusing to make accommodations for the new condition, disability activists told a House committee on Tuesday.
During a hearing for the House Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, witnesses detailed the challenges that disabled people continue to face in accessing financial services, equitable housing and work opportunities.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) spoke of one of her constituents who developed long COVID and experienced symptoms that caused him to struggle at his job. She asked Vilissa Thompson, co-director of the Disability Economic Justice Collaborative, what barriers for long COVID sufferers she has observed.
According to Thompson, many employers have refused to make accommodations for employees who are disabled due to long COVID.
Thomas Foley, executive director of the National Disability Institute, told the committee that it was “pretty common” for disabled workers to work with no accommodations at all.
Last year, the Biden administration released new guidance that stated long COVID could be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thompson told the subcommittee that these new guidelines have not brought about a “smooth transition.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
- As reports of ‘Paxlovid rebound’ increase, Covid researchers scramble for answers (Stat)
- Tedros re-elected as head of World Health Organization (Reuters)
- Sweden recommends 5th shot for people at risk of severe COVID (Axios)
STATE BY STATE
- Monkeypox ‘likely’ in Sacramento County patient who recently traveled to Europe, health officials say (KCRA)
- A new clinic offering abortions is set to open in Wyoming, despite a looming ban (Kaiser Health News)
- Delaware governor vetoes marijuana legalization bill, setting up historic showdown with legislature (Delaware Online)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and coverage. See you tomorrow.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.