Health

Biden signs massive climate and health care legislation

President Joe Biden has signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill. It's the “final piece” of the president's pared-down domestic agenda as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters ahead of midterm elections. Biden says, “The American people won, and the special interests lost.” The legislation includes the biggest federal investment ever to fight climate change — some $375 billion over a decade. It also caps prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients, and helps an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

NJ gambling revenue up 6.7% in July, but 5 casinos still lag

New Jersey’s casinos, horse tracks that offer sports betting and the online partners of both types of gambling outlets won over $480 million in July, an increase of 6.7% from a year ago. But the resort's nine casinos continue to struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of the amount won from in-person gamblers, with five of them winning less in July 2022 than they did in July 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic began. Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show that the casinos collectively won just under $299 million from in-person gamblers.

Abortion ban goes to S. Carolina House floor for big fight

A near total abortion ban in South Carolina that doesn't include exceptions for pregnancies’ caused by rape or incest was sent to the state House floor Tuesday but not without hints and warnings that the lack of exceptions could cause a big legislative fight in a few weeks. The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 to approve the ban. All yes votes were from Republicans and all votes against the bill from Democrats. But three Republican committee members who were at the meeting did not vote. South Carolina currently has a six-week ban passed in 2021 that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The full House will likely debate the bill at a special session called by House Speaker Murrell Smith in the next few weeks.

What's in big Biden bill? Health, climate goals become law

President Joe Biden arrived at the White House promising to “build back” America, and now he has signed into law legislation with a slimmer version of that idea. It includes the biggest U.S. investment ever to fight climate change, a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on prescription drug costs for people in the Medicare program and a new corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions will be leftover to pay down federal deficits. All told, the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act” may not do much to immediately tame inflationary prices hikes.

Elvis death anniversary increases tourism at his birthplace

The Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum in Mississippi is welcoming an increasing number of visitors as fans commemorate the 45th anniversary of Presley’s death. The king of rock ‘n’ roll died Aug. 16, 1977, at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Birthplace director Roy Turner says the small home in Tupelo has seen more visitors this year because people are starting to travel more than they did previously during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the “Elvis” movie that came out this year also has boosted tourism. Before the pandemic, the Birthplace saw about 60,000 visitors a year. It's about 94 miles from Graceland, where Presley died.

Monkeypox can spread to pet dogs, doctors report

Health officials are warning people who are infected with monkeypox to stay away from household pets, since the animals could be at risk of catching the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had the advice in place as monkeypox spreads in the U.S. It gained new attention after a report from France, published last week in the medical journal Lancet, about an Italian greyhound that caught the virus. Infections have been detected in rodents and other wild animals. But the authors called it the first report of monkeypox infection in a domesticated animal like a dog or cat.

NFL looks like old self entering 3rd season in COVID-19 era

The NFL essentially is back to normal entering its third season amid COVID-19. Derrick Henry has been seen jogging on the field with his daughter after practice. Green Bay Packers are once again borrowing kids’ bicycles for the ride to practice. Fans are up close to their favorite players getting autographs, high-fives and handshakes. There are no more trailers or tents for testing and masks are rare.  All the protocols devised and tweaked by the league and the NFL Players Association implemented in 2020 and 2021 were suspended last March with the NFL citing trends showing the spread of the coronavirus declining.

Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has 'mild' symptoms

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The White House announced it on Tuesday. The first lady has been vacationing with President Joe Biden in South Carolina and began experiencing symptoms Monday. She has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the vacation home for at least five days. Joe Biden tested negative for the virus on Tuesday morning but will wear a mask indoors for 10 days in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. The president recovered from a rebound case of the virus Aug. 7. The Bidens have been twice-vaccinated and twice-boosted with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Inflation Reduction Act may have little impact on inflation

With inflation raging near its highest level in four decades, President Joe Biden is poised to sign into law his landmark Inflation Reduction Act Tuesday afternoon. Its title raises a tantalizing question: Will the measure actually do what it says? Economic analyses suggest that the likely answer is no — not anytime soon, anyway. The legislation, which now heads to the White House for Biden's signature, won’t directly address some of the main drivers of surging prices — from gas and food to rents and restaurant meals. Still, over time, the bill could save money for some Americans by lessening the cost of certain prescription drugs for the elderly, extending health insurance subsidies and reducing energy prices.

USPSTF Continues to Recommend Against Genital Herpes Screening

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did not find new evidence that could result in a change to the 2016 recommendation on screening for genital herpes and consequently continues to recommend against routine serologic screening. This conclusion forms the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Aug. 16.

Gout More Prevalent Among Black Versus White U.S. Adults

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Gout is more prevalent in adults self-reporting Black versus White race, but these differences are attenuated after full adjustment for all risk factors, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Network Open.

COVID-19 Risk for Dialysis Patients Tied to Antibody Response to Vaccine

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- During the omicron-predominant period, three doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were associated with improved protection against infection for patients receiving dialysis, but patients with low circulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies have increased infection risk, regardless of vaccination status, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Actinic Keratosis Diagnosed in Almost One-Third of Older Adults

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly three in 10 Medicare beneficiaries have at least one actinic keratosis diagnosis encounter over five years of follow-up, according to a research letter published online July 27 in JAMA Dermatology.

Pregnancy Does Not Affect Survival in Women With Melanoma

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy status does not affect survival after melanoma, according to a study published online July 23 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Over-the-counter hearing aids expected this fall in US

U.S. regulators have finalized a long-awaited rule that's expected to allow millions of Americans to buy hearing aids without a prescription. The rule announced Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration goes into effect this fall. It creates a new class of hearing aids that don’t require a medical exam, a prescription and other specialty services. Instead the devices will be sold online or over-the-counter at pharmacies and other retail stores. The move follows years of pressure from medical experts and consumer advocates to make the devices cheaper and easier to get. Devices for more severe hearing loss will remain prescription only.

Ezra Miller seeks treatment for 'mental health issues'

After a string of arrests and erratic behavior that spanned Hawaii to Vermont, “Flash” actor Ezra Miller said they have begun treatment for “complex mental health issues.” The 29-year-old Miller, who identifies as non-binary, issued a statement late Monday. On Sept. 26, Miller is due to appear for arraignment in Vermont Superior Court after being cited for felony burglary in Stamford, Vermont. Authorities last week said Miller had taken several bottles of alcohol from a residence while the homeowners weren’t present. Miller was also arrested twice earlier this year in Hawaii, including for disorderly conduct and harassment at a karaoke bar. The second incident was for second-degree assault.

Dupilumab Studied in Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Early research suggests that dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody used to treat asthma and eczema, may benefit patients hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, according to a study published in the August issue of Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Diet High in n-3-PUFAs Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A diet high in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer among women in China, according to a study published online July 26 in Menopause.