Healthcare - Graham says access to abortion is a federal issue

Healthcare – Graham says access to abortion is a federal issue

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

In an apparent about-face – despite saying otherwise – Senator Lindsey Graham
(RS.C.) said access to abortion was “not a state rights issue.”

Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

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

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

In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Graham acknowledged that his legislation goes against conservative ideas of federalism and lets individual states decide their own laws.

  • “It’s not a matter of states’ rights. It’s a human rights issue,” Graham said. “So no matter what California or Maryland does…I’m going to advocate for a minimum national standard.”
  • Graham’s comments come a week after he introduced the bill, the most serious effort yet by Republicans in Congress to pass a nationwide restriction on abortion after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

Sudden reversal: Graham, who said last month that the Supreme Court made the right decision in leaving abortion decisions to the states, said last week that he saw no contradiction and was motivated to act on the Democrats’ 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 the United States. It is up to the elected Americans to define the problem. States have the ability to do this at the state level. And we have the ability in Washington to talk about this issue if we want to,” Graham said at a press conference introducing his bill. “I chose to speak.”

Learn more here.

CVS and Walmart reach $147 million opioid deal

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

The state alleged that pharmacies failed to maintain effective controls as dispensers and distributors against diversion that contributed to the oversupply of opioids in the state.

“These colonies will not bring back the lives lost to the opioid epidemic, but these colonies and others will hopefully provide meaningful relief to those most affected by this crisis in our state,” said Morrisey in a statement.

Morrisey said Walmart agreed to a $65,070,000 settlement and CVS agreed to an $82.5 million settlement. Both were part of a larger trial involving other pharmacies that have yet to settle.

Litigation against the other pharmacy defendants — Walgreens and Kroger — continues before the Mass Litigation Panel with a trial date of June 5, 2023.

Learn more here.


A key federal panel first recommended on Tuesday that all adults under 65 be routinely screened for anxiety.

A draft recommendation from the US Task Force on Preventive Services is not final and comments are open until Oct. 17, but the group’s recommendations are generally adopted.

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

The recommendation comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a new wave of anxiety and depression among 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 can be connected to care,” said Lori Pbert, a task force. member and co-author of recommendations.

Learn more here.


A growing number of Americans are struggling with depression, and most either do not seek treatment or are undertreated for the mental health disorder, according to a new study.

The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that nearly one in 10 Americans reported suffering from depression in 2020, with higher rates of mental health disorders among teens and young adults.

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

Tilt younger: Depression, which is the most common mental disorder
in the country, was most prevalent among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 to over
17%, an increase from 10.3% in 2015.

Learn more here.

Fauci: We’re not ‘where we need to be’ on pandemic

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

In an interview with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fauci, Biden’s top COVID-19 adviser who last month announced his impending retirement from government, said a lot depends on how the country handles future virus variants.

“How we respond and prepare for the evolution of these variants will be up to us. And that brings us to the other divisive aspect of that – that’s the lack of uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country where even now, more than two years, almost three years, after the start of the epidemic, we only have 67% of our population have been vaccinated and only half of them have received a single boost,” Fauci said.

  • He noted that the country is still seeing more than 400 daily deaths from COVID-19, although the number is down from the previous year.
  • “But we’re not where we need to be if we want to be able to, I quote, ‘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 it was very different because smallpox doesn’t change from year to year, or decade to decade, or even century to century,” Fauci added.

Learn more here.


  • Some people are finally getting their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (Wall Street Journal)
  • Ad spend shows Democrats pinning hopes on midterm abortion (AP)
  • Doctors say Graham’s abortion ban would force women to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds (NBC)


  • Nearly one in four Flint residents may suffer from PTSD after water crisis, study finds (ABC News)
  • NYC’s COVID vaccination mandate for the private sector ends Nov. 1, stays for public workers (NBC New York)
  • Texas, which is fighting teen pregnancy, is overhauling sex-ed standards (Kaiser Health News)


That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.


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