Harris to mark Roe’s 50th anniversary with speech

19 January, 2023
Harris to mark Roe’s 50th anniversary with speech
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In health news, the Biden administration is going to audit nursing homes’ use of antipsychotic medication and inappropriate diagnoses of schizophrenia.  

But first, a look at how the White House will mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  

Welcome to The Hill’s Health Care roundup, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. We’re Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forward you this newsletter?

Harris to commemorate Roe’s anniversary
Vice President Harris will deliver remarks in Florida on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, aiming to put the spotlight back on abortion rights following last summer’s ruling that struck down the precedent set by Roe. 

The vice president has taken a leading role in the Biden administration in pushing back on the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, and her speech will be the main way the White House notes the anniversary of the original ruling.  The Supreme Court ruling largely kicked the issue back to the states, though some conservatives have argued there should be federal legislation establishing a minimum cutoff for abortions.  

  • Florida previously allowed abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last year signed a 15-week ban into law.   
  • DeSantis has since come under fire from conservatives and allies of former President Trump, like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), for not being stricter and banning all abortions in the state.  
  • The White House has been working at the margins where it can, including by expanding access to abortion pills in states without restrictions.  

The administration and Democrats have pushed for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade. But with control of Congress split, any federal legislation is unlikely to pass. 

Feds to target antipsychotics use in nursing homes
The Biden administration is planning a crackdown to reduce the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes and the misdiagnosis of schizophrenia in patients, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday. 

Beginning this month, CMS will conduct targeted audits to determine whether nursing homes are accurately assessing and coding individuals with a schizophrenia diagnosis, the agency said. 

The initiative is part of a larger administration effort to improve the safety and quality of nursing home care, ensure adequate staffing levels and hold nursing homes accountable if they provide unsafe care. 

  • There has been growing evidence from nursing home safety advocates that facilities inappropriately diagnose patients and overprescribe antipsychotic drugs to sedate patients. 
  • Antipsychotic medications are especially dangerous among the nursing home population due to their potential devastating side effects, including death. 
Source: thehill.com
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