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Biden signs into law Democrats’ wide-ranging climate change, health care and tax bill

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably. Flanked by a handful of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, Biden sharply contrasted his outlook for the country with that of Republicans, who unanimously voted against the package. 

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Congress Health News Top Story

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term, personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both a U.S. senator and as vice president.

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: As U.S. states struggle with post-Roe abortion laws, a look at public opinion around the globe

A lot has happened since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. Republican-led states have made moves to revive previous abortion restrictions or enact new and sweeping ones. Democratic-led states have rushed to enshrine the right in state law.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Members of U.S. Senate panel fight over effects of abortion ruling on Black patients

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began wading through the dozens of state laws that have taken effect in the two weeks since the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, and heard from witnesses who said the effect on Black patients will be especially harsh. “People of color, specifically Black people, will feel the impact of the court's decision in Dobbs more than any other racial group,” said Khiara M. Bridges, professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law, referring to the decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

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News Top Story

Rural healthcare providers feel the pain of North Carolina’s Medicaid gap

On her morning commute to work, Dr. Laura Ucik, a rural family physician in the northern Piedmont of North Carolina, thinks about the frustrating memories of patients who could have avoided serious illness and injury had they qualified for Medicaid years ago. One such patient with severe stomach pain couldn’t afford an ultrasound to identify whether or not they had gallstones.

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Congress News Top Story

VA eyes major changes in health care system as veterans flock to the South, Southwest

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday began the years-long process of restructuring its nationwide health care network, an endeavor that will require the president and Congress to sign off before it could begin. The restructuring would mean the closures or consolidations of some medical facilities, likely provoking opposition from communities and members of Congress.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Some specifics are new, but the tactics and objectives underlying the new Texas abortion law are quite familiar

Abortion is a common and normal part of the range of reproductive healthcare services that people have been using for centuries, and the people who access that care are our family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and co-workers. The recent passage of the Texas anti-abortion law SB 8, like all restrictions, will not stop people from seeking abortions... ...

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Thom Tillis: Doing the bidding of insurance companies while pretending otherwise

You must admit, Sen. Thom Tillis is in a tough spot. After saying time after time that the Affordable Care Act is the root of virtually all that is wrong in the world, and voting repeatedly to repeal it, Tillis now finds himself face-to-face with an electorate that supports the ACA...

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Folwell, State Health Plan swim against rising tide with denial of insurance coverage to transgender individuals

North Carolina is not the only state whose transgender state employees and dependents are without insurance coverage under their state’s health plan. But the state’s blanket exclusion of treatments for gender dysphoria—from counseling and hormone treatment to gender confirmation surgery—puts it firmly in the minority.

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Billy Ball Commentary Original Commentary Top Story

With the supermajority doomed, North Carolina should reconsider Medicaid expansion

Despite the manufactured panic of the migrant caravan, despite the midterm’s so-called “referendum on Trump,” despite the nation’s nonsensical gun laws, despite an election that often seemed a direct rebuke of misogynist GOP leaders and policies, the pollsters told us the 2018 election would begin and end with healthcare.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

8,019,763—number of people in the United States who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in this year’s enrollment period ...
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