Jun 27, 2017

Senate Dems: GOP health bill is a disaster for opioid addiction

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A group of Democratic senators from around the country came together this morning to highlight the impact that they believe the Senate GOP's health care bill would have on those in their states suffering from opioid addiction.

They argued the bill's $2 billion grant funding for opioid addiction is a distraction from its Medicaid cuts that so many suffering from opioid addiction rely on — especially when their addiction is caused by other underlying health conditions that also necessitate Medicaid coverage.

"This Senate Republican health care bill would be a death sentence for those patients suffering from opioid addiction," said Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

What other Dem senators had to say:

  • Joe Manchin (WV): "Mr. President, if the House bill didn't have a heart, the Senate bill doesn't have a soul…there's gotta be some compassion and empathy somewhere."
  • Chris Murphy (CT): "There is evil in taking money from people with addiction and handing that same dollar bill to a millionaire or a billionaire who doesn't need it."
  • Richard Blumenthal (CT): "[Opioid addiction] is a disease, not a moral failing — what is a moral failing is this bill."
  • Bob Menendez (NJ): "It's about as heartless as you can get."
  • Maggie Hassan (NH): "If we are not committed to a health care system for which every American — citizens in a democracy — has access, then we are not a democracy at all."
  • Martin Heinrich (NM): "I sincerely hope enough of my Republican colleagues hit the pause button this week to actually take a look at what's in this disastrous bill."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 65,691 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 139,263.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 119,748 — Total deaths: 1,991 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health