Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood

a large white building: Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood

© Provided by The Hill
Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the South Carolina Department of Health from cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The high court’s rejection means that last year’s ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will remain in effect, prohibiting the state from terminating Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider.

While it takes four justices to approve a petition, the court doesn’t publish the vote totals and it declined to hear the case without comment.


Load Error

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an executive order in 2018 prohibiting abortion clinics from participating in Medicaid.

Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, generally doesn’t pay for abortions, but conservatives have long pushed to cut any state

Read More

Chicago Coronavirus Positivity Rate Declines To 4.3%

CHICAGO — New regional COVID-19 mitigations lifted on one area of Illinois this week and imposed on another, as rising coronavirus positivity rates in neighboring regions risk triggering additional restrictions.

Chicago has the lowest coronavirus positivity rate in the state of any of the state’s 11 effective mitigation regions. The positivity rate fell from 4.6 percent to 4.3 percent during the week ending Tuesday, the most recent day where data is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

During the same period, daily new hospitalizations of patients with “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI, fell from a rounded rolling average of 24 people a day to 23 people a day on Oct. 6.

Only one region is currently subject to increased restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus as part of the 11-region Restore Illinois COVID-19 resurgence plan, as of Friday. It is the third region where public health officials have

Read More

Trump’s physician declines to provide key information on his health

White House physician Sean Conley on Monday ducked repeated questions from reporters about President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s health and the timeline of his COVID-19 infection, even as he insisted the president is well enough to leave the hospital and return to the White House.

Conley, who has come under scrutiny for offering conflicting statements about the president’s health in recent days, briefed reporters hours before Trump is expected to depart Walter Reed hospital, where he’s been treated for the virus for three days.

Conley noticeably refused to answer multiple questions about when Trump last tested negative for the virus, something White House officials have similarly declined to share

Read More

COVID-19 hospitalizations at Baystate Health declines despite uptick of cases in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD —  Despite an increase in COVID-19 infections that pushed the region’s largest city into the high- risk category, the number of patients admitted for the virus at Baystate Health hospitals has declined from the previous week.

Officials reported eight people who have tested positive for the disease are hospitalized with one in the critical care unit. That is a decline from 12 being treated on the previous Sunday and 13 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 on Sept. 20.

The numbers have declined dramatically from April when a high of 179 patients were being treated at Baystate Health facilities.

The decrease comes even though Springfield reported a spike in cases last week after previously seeing the daily rates of infection drop into the single digits.

Data released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health put Springfield in the state’s “red” or highest risk category for spread of the virus.

Read More

‘Contentious’ Scenarios Arise For Ballot And Presidency If Trump’s Health Declines

Updated at 12:51 p.m. ET

President Trump’s positive coronavirus test has set off contingency possibilities that center on some key questions: What if COVID-19 renders the president incapable of executing the duties of his office? How would that affect the government — and the election that is now just one month away?

“There are some significant concerns if things were to worsen,” says John Fortier, the former executive director of the Continuity of Government Commission, a group set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Some scenarios are clear, such as the president possibly invoking the 25th Amendment to briefly transfer power to Vice President Pence, as many presidents have done with their second-in-command before an elective surgery. But others are very murky.

“What would be a little harder is if the president got sick enough that he wasn’t able to make the determination,” Fortier tells

Read More

D.C. region records highest coronavirus count in two weeks after recent declines

D.C.’s infection totals apparently won’t include President Trump’s positive diagnosis, as city leaders noted the president has declared his residency in Florida. City health officials said they won’t be involved in White House contact-tracing efforts.

“The White House physician will do their own contact tracing and provide guidance to impacted individuals,” said LaToya Foster, spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. “As has been the practice throughout the pandemic, state health agencies only include its own residents within its case total.”

The Washington region’s jump in cases Friday comes after the area this week recorded its lowest average number of daily infections since mid-July. The seven-day rolling average had fallen to 1,293, down from 1,679 at the start of the two-week decline.

The seven-day average stood at 1,340 cases Friday.

Health experts have applauded the efforts of local leaders and residents in battling the pandemic in recent days, but cautioned

Read More

American consumption of sugary drinks declines, study finds

Sept. 24 (UPI) — Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the United States declined significantly between 2003 and 2016, according to a report published Thursday by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The percentage of American children who were “heavy consumers” of the drinks, including sodas and chocolate milk, declined to 3% from 11% over the 14-year period, the data showed.

For adults, the percentage dropped to 9% from 13% over the same period.

“Heavy consumers” were defined as those who drank more than 500 calories of sugar-sweetened beverages — about 3 1/2 cans of soda — daily.

“We found that the percentage of children and adults in the U.S. who are heavy sugar-sweetened beverage drinkers has declined significantly over time,” study co-author Kelsey Vercammen told UPI.

“This is promising because we know that excessive sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is related to poor health,” said Vercammen, a doctoral student

Read More