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Health Care — Supreme Court temporarily pauses end of Title 42

Like most everyone else in Washington, D.C., we are eagerly awaiting text of the omnibus funding bill. It could come tonight, but we may be waiting for a while.

Today in health, the fight over ending the Title 42 migrant policy hit the Supreme Court.

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. For The Hill, we’re Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up here or in the box below.

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End of Title 42 policy paused (for now)

The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending the pandemic-era Title 42 immigration policy, granting a request from a group of conservative states that filed an emergency appeal on Monday.

The move pauses a ruling that required the administration to end the policy by midnight Wednesday, though it doesn’t necessarily signal which direction the court will ultimately rule.

  • The attorneys general for the GOP-led states on Monday argued their states would suffer irreparable harm if Title 42 ends, as it is expected to lead to a surge in already high levels of migrant encounters along the border. 

  • “Getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly and needlessly endanger more Americans and migrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is occurring at our southern border,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) said in a statement. “Unlawful crossings are estimated to surge from 7,000 per day to as many as 18,000.”

Title 42, which was first rolled out by the Trump administration as the pandemic shut down normal life, has been met with harsh criticisms from the left and immigration advocates who argue that the policy gutted the nation’s asylum system and is being used by the Biden administration for reasons not related to public health.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan last month ordered the end of the policy, ruling it was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

Read more here.

Gottlieb: Drug shortage not like baby formula issue

Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said a shortage of antibiotic drugs in the U.S. is the result of pharmaceutical companies not expecting a surge in demand rather than any disruptions in the supply chain.

Gottlieb told CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan on Sunday that distributors made estimates for the year based on lower demand in the past two years, which stems from Americans taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Demand went up this year, they anticipated some increase in demand, but not as much as we’re seeing and not this early in the season,” Gottlieb said. “So it’s not any kind of disruption in supply. This isn’t like what we had with baby formula where manufacturers have been taken out of the market.

Supply should catch up soon, he said, “and there are alternatives for things that are in shortage.”

Read more here.


The U.S. Supreme Court overturning the constitutional right to abortion was the top health care story on voters’ minds this year, according to a Morning Consult analysis published Monday.

The survey firm reported about 71 percent of voters said they heard “a lot” about the high court’s controversial ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade in June after nearly 50 years of precedent protecting the right to an abortion.

Another 60 percent of voters said they heard a lot about the baby formula shortage in the spring, the second top story on the minds of Americans this year, Morning Consult poll noted.

And 41 percent of voters said the same for President Biden testing positive for COVID-19 in the summer.

Read more here.

Senate GOP faces politics vs. policy battle on marijuana

The omnibus package is on the path to passage, but the expected exclusion of marijuana banking reform has spawned a battle in the Senate GOP.

  • For months, top Democrats and a number of Republicans had high hopes that legislation allowing banks to offer services to cannabis businesses in states where it has been legalized would be part of either the year-end National Defense Authorization Act or the omnibus package. 

  • Those dreams were dashed when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took a two-by-four to the plan, likely leaving the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act on the cutting room floor this year.

Proponents of the legislation are upset, as they maintain the bill has enough support to clear procedural hurdles and win at least 60 votes on the Senate floor.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) the newly minted chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is the lead Republican on the SAFE Banking bill, and is in a tough position.

But differences over the legislation have not done damage to the Daines-McConnell relationship.

“It’s got to be addressed. Guys like me have been trying to make the case to my conference that this is not some kind of crazy bill. It’s a bill about safety and small businesses,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), who, along with Daines and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have led the GOP’s SAFE Banking effort.

Read more here.


  • New drugs to battle obesity: What you need to know (Washington Post)

  • More people are relying on abortion funds 6 months after the fall of Roe v. Wade (Time)

  • Early flu season in U.S. may be peaking early, too (Stat)



The reality of oxygen therapy in 2022

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.

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