Aug 7, 2023 - Podcasts

FDA approves the first postpartum depression pill

The FDA approved the first pill for postpartum depression on Friday. The drug is called zuranolone, and unlike other antidepressants, it's specifically designated for postpartum depression, a condition that affects around 1 in 7 new mothers.

The big picture: Zuranolone is taken daily for two weeks. Clinical trials showed that the drug could ease depression in as little as three days.

Guests: Axios' Felix Salmon, Arielle Dreher and Marina Franco.

Credits: Axios Today is produced by Erica Pandey, Alexandra Botti, Fonda Mwangi, Robin Linn and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at [email protected]. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.


ERICA PANDEY: Good morning! Welcome to Axios Today! It's Monday, August 7th. I'm Erica Pandey in for Niala Boodhoo.

Here's what you need to know today: young workers are redefining the American dream. Plus, Spanglish is making a comeback. But first, the FDA has approved the first pill for postpartum depression. That's today's One Big Thing.

FDA approves the first pill for postpartum depression

Here are some headlines we've been following…the FDA approved the first pill for postpartum depression on Friday.

The drug is called zuranolone and unlike other antidepressants, it's specifically designated for postpartum depression, a condition that affects around 1 in 7 new mothers. Clinical trials show that the drug could ease depression in as little as three days.

In a heartbreaking penalty shootout, the U.S. women's soccer team was knocked out of the World Cup by Sweden. This is the team's earliest exit ever at a major tournament and marked the final World Cup for two-time champion Megan Rapinoe.

Also, today is Purple Heart Day honoring members of the military who were wounded or killed in service. According to the VA, there are an estimated 1.8 million Purple Heart recipients in the U.S.

And, uninsured rates have hit an all-time low. But, according to Axios' Arielle Dreher, we shouldn't expect this trend to stick. Here she is with more.

ARIELLE DREHER: The COVID-19 pandemic came with one silver lining. The number of uninsured Americans continued to drop throughout the pandemic, and in the first quarter of 2023, the CDC released new data this week that shows that just 7.7% of Americans don't have health coverage. That's an all time low, but some experts are worried that that trend might reverse soon.

That's because during the COVID-19 pandemic, states weren't allowed to disenroll people from their Medicaid plans. But starting in April, states were allowed to begin reevaluating who was on their Medicaid rolls and disenrolling people who were no longer eligible or who they couldn't get a hold of. So far, nearly 3.8 million Americans have been kicked off Medicaid rolls, and those numbers are just the beginning. So while the number of uninsured adults kept falling even as the pandemic subsided, that trend will probably reverse soon.

Regionally, the South has the highest uninsured rate at 16%, and Hispanic and multiracial individuals have the highest uninsured rates in the country. Federal officials are hoping states will work to keep people on health coverage, but some experts are concerned that people who live in states that have not expanded Medicaid yet might actually fall into the coverage gap called the Medicaid gap if they can't qualify for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans and they can't qualify for Medicaid.

We won't know for several months exactly how many Americans will be impacted by Medicaid disenrollments, but early estimates show that millions likely will be.

ERICA: That's Axios Healthcare reporter Arielle Dreher.

In a moment…why the American Dream may have lost its hustle.


Young workers are redefining the American dream

ERICA: Welcome back to Axios Today. I'm Erica Pandey.

You've probably heard us talk about the trend of "quiet quitting" and other ways American work culture has shifted after the pandemic. But even before the pandemic, young Americans have felt disillusioned with capitalism and the traditional way of working.

Axios' Felix Salmon has been covering how hustle culture is on its way out. And a new American dream is on its way in. Hey, Felix.

FELIX SALMON: Good morning, Erica.

ERICA: So Felix, how exactly has the American Dream shifted, especially for Gen Z or young Millennials?

FELIX: I think the old American dream was that if you work hard, you can be anyone you can imagine, you know, like anyone can rise to whatever heights, if only they just put the right effort in maybe get a bit lucky and most importantly, work at it. And the new American dream is maybe a little bit more realistic, or a little bit less work focused. And it's about being happy without necessarily embracing capitalism, without embracing the rat race, and being okay with having a successful life that doesn't involve necessarily having an enviable career.

ERICA: And is this a COVID thing?

FELIX: So COVID was a part of it. What has happened since COVID is that even more than before COVID, are always on. Before COVID, we had the internet at home, we were always on our phones, we were always reachable. After COVID, it became normal to work from home. People worked from home full time for years. And so...this idea that you are always working or always in your work space wound up kind of seeping into us and people felt more of a need to sort of place boundaries and say, "no, I'm not always working. I am working to live. I am not living to work." And besides, I don't even like capitalism. I want to reject this idea that what I should be doing is concentrating first and foremost on work. And the American dream is... about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's not about the pursuit of wealth. So I'm just gonna go out and pursue happiness, and if I don't become wealthy doing it, that's fine.

ERICA: And to put this in context of how big this has gotten, in your story, Felix, you mention an anti-work forum on Reddit that has over 2 million members. How did this attitude catch on and spread?

FELIX: So to be clear, what I'm saying is not that suddenly there's a whole bunch of people who are working less than they used to, right? I go back to 1938 in my article and talk about people complaining about, "phoning it in," right? This is not a new thing. What's new is that it is something to aspire to and to be proud of, rather than something to be ashamed of. The thing about the anti-work Forum is not that people are phoning it in, or quiet quitting, or whatever you want to call it, lazy girl Mondays, or whatever. The thing that's new is that people are proud of it, open about it, and they're saying like, yeah, this is me. I am not someone who places my job front and center, and they're willing to say that not only to their friends, but even in some cases to their employers.

ERICA: Felix Salmon writes the Axios Markets newsletter. Thanks for joining us, Felix.

FELIX: A pleasure.

Spanglish is making a comeback

ERICA: Spanglish is making a comeback. After years of being taught to assimilate to English, around 20% of Gen Z Latinos say they're most comfortable speaking Spanglish. That's according to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the marketing agency Chemistry Cultura.

Niala spoke with Axios Latino's Marina Franco about this Spanglish revival.



NIALA: So I will say as a Miami native, I always say that I'm perfectly fluent in Spanglish, but what exactly categorizes Spanglish?

MARINA: Spanglish is categorized mostly by fluently being able to jump from one to the other in a way that isn't necessarily code switching. It's more about, because you're somewhat fluent in both English and Spanish. you can immediately jump into another one. But it's also about certain terms that have become more common when used in the mixture of both languages. So, instead of saying, "I'm going to park here," you could say, "me voy aparcar." "Estacionar" would be the Spanish term for it, but it's just much more fluid for a lot of people who are bilingual to just say aparcar.

NIALA: Can you take us back a bit? Just 5% of boomers say they are most comfortable speaking Spanglish most of the time. Why did Latinos in the US stop speaking Spanish?

MARINA: They were sort of told to be very discreet, just out of fear of being harassed or yelled at, or, you know, being attacked by one of those people who, say, you're in the U.S., speak English. For a lot of people that we've spoken with at Axios Latino, their grandparents changed their last names, or did not fight back when their names were changed in official documents just to make them more easily pronounceable by English speakers. So for example, you would have a last name like Peña, and that means "cliff," but it was changed to Pena for a lot of them with just the "n" and that means "sorrow." So, for a lot of people that would mean actually losing the point of their name. But now people are in fighting back and trying to regain that.

NIALA: How else are Latinos in the U.S. staying connected to their language and heritage?

MARINA: So from the poll, regarding the using Spanglish, we also got a lot of data points about how frequently they're still interacting with media and culture in Spanish. At least a third of all respondents said that at least once a week they will watch something on TV or in streaming that is in Spanish. A lot of people listen to more music that is in Spanish or in both Spanish and in English than just in English. I personally think that it has a lot to do with how several artists like Bad Bunny or Peso Pluma from Mexico, Karol G from Colombia. Being just very overt about, I do speak English, I could speak English, but I want to sing, and I want to speak in Spanish. I think that's become much more common and maybe cool, so to speak, for younger generations to do that as well.

ERICA: That's Niala speaking with Marina Franco. And, that's all we've got for you today! You can reach our team at podcasts at axios dot com or text us at (202) 918-4893.

I'm Erica Pandey. Niala will be back with you tomorrow. Thanks for listening.

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