Documents obtained by Politico reveal that the Trump White House is weighing millions of dollars in federal funding cuts to Covid-19 relief, newborn screenings, and other crucial healthcare programs in Democrat-led cities, a move critics decried as politically motivated “retribution” that could have a devastating impact on poor and sick Americans amid the ongoing pandemic.
Politicoreported late Tuesday that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has “identified federal grants covering… nearly 200 health programs that could be in line for cuts as part of a sweeping government-wide directive the administration is advancing during the final weeks of the presidential campaign and amid an intensifying pandemic Trump has downplayed.” Continue reading →
Reporting from Politico Wednesday revealed that a Trump-allied official within the Department of Health and Human Services tried to censor Dr. Anthony Fauci from communicating to the press dangers the coronavirus may pose to school children.
According toPolitico, the messaging directives came from Paul Alexander, a Trump administration appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services. Alexander is a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, a Trump ally and assistant HHS secretary for public affairs. Continue reading →
Public health experts on Friday raised alarm over a new policy unveiled by the Health and Human Services Department blocking the Food and Drug Administration from regulating a number of laboratory tests including those that test for Covid-19.
The administration announced on the HHS website that it wants many tests for the coronavirus and other diseases to reach the market without the regulatory process which ensures the tests are accurate and not fraudulent. Continue reading →
Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate are demanding that the Trump administration immediately reverse an order requiring hospitals to send Covid-19 patient information directly to a Health and Human Services database instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a change that threw the data-collection process into chaos as states struggle to cope with soaring infections.
NPRreported Friday that “hospital data in Kansas and Missouri is suddenly incomplete or missing” following the Trump administration’s directive, which took effect on July 15 to the dismay of experts and local officials who previously relied on the CDC system to track the coronavirus and allocate resources. Continue reading →
Ethics watchdogs on Wednesday slammed a ruling by the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general, who decided this week that Moncef Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical executive now heading the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine task force, does not have to disclose or divest his investments in the industry.
As the co-director of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership aimed at finding a vaccine for Covid-19 by the end of 2020, Slaoui is in the position to award contracts to pharmaceutical companies researching potential vaccines and treatments. Continue reading →
“It would have created a logistical nightmare for health insurers and individual enrollees and pushed abortion even further out of reach in the midst of a global pandemic that has upended our economy.”
A federal court late Friday struck down the Trump administration’s attempt to erect new barriers to abortion care, this time using the for-profit insurance industry.
US District Judge Catherine Blake in Maryland blocked the administration from implementing the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Exchange Program Integrity rule, after Planned Parenthood of Maryland joined several individual plaintiffs in suing the Department of Health and Human Services over the regulation. Continue reading →
Coronavirus Task Force press briefing – March 2, 2020. Photo: White House/flickr
The Trump administration issued policy guidance this week telling health insurance companies that they are not required by law to cover the Covid-19 tests employers may compel workers to undergo as a condition for returning to their jobs.
The announcement (pdf) Tuesday by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services alarmed healthcare advocates and lawmakers who warned the move gives profitable insurers a green light to push the costs of potentially expensive coronavirus screenings onto workers. Continue reading →
LGBTQ Americans and allies rallied outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s effort to ban trans people from military service. (Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr/cc)
In a move widely decried by LGBTQ, reproductive, and human rights advocates, the Trump administration late Friday finalized a healthcare rule that revokes Obama-era nondiscrimination protections for transgender and nonbinary people, patients seeking abortions, and those who do not speak English.
“This is deadly and all of us should be outraged,” declared ACLU deputy legal director Louise Melling. “This is beyond heartless.” Continue reading →
Service members assigned to the Javits New York Medical Station perform an X-ray scan on a COVID-19 patient in the facility’s intensive care unit, April 18, 2020.. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Deonte Rowell)
Public health experts, state officials, and frontline medical workers are sounding the alarm and demanding an urgent change of course as the Trump administration disproportionately allocates Covid-19 relief funds to higher-revenue hospitals while restricting the flow of aid to providers that primarily serve low-income people.
The Los Angeles Times reported late last week that the Trump administration’s “program to aid hospitals and doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis is leaving behind the nation’s Medicaid safety net—the pediatricians, mental health providers, and hospitals that serve the poorest patients. Continue reading →
Members of National Nurses United, the largest nurses union in the United States, protest in front of the White House April 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Amirah Sequeira/Twitter
President Donald Trump’s attacks on oversight continued late Friday as he announced his intention to replace the official serving as the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General.
According to the White House announcement, Trump wants to have Jason Weida, who’s currently serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, take on the role currently filled by acting HHS Inspector General Christi A. Grimm. Her office’s report (pdf) last month—which reflected hundreds of hospitals’ reports of “widespread shortages” of personal protective equipment and “severe shortages of testing supplies” contributing to difficulties in responding to the coronavirus pandemic—left Trump fuming. Continue reading →