Legal battle over herring fishery has big impact on health care

Legal battle over herring fishery has big impact on health care

Good morning. I’m Julie Rovner, KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent and host of the weekly news podcast “What Is Health?” Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, and send tips to [email protected]. Not a subscriber yet? Register here.

Today’s version: The Supreme Court has set a date for arguments in a major case involving abortion. A Dutch manufacturer will stop selling its devices in the United States after a major recall. But first…

Supreme Court looks likely to overturn ruling, with broad implications for health care regulation

What do herring fishing and sanitation policies have in common? As it turns out, a lot of it is due to a case currently before the Supreme Court.

If the justices make their expected rulings based on oral arguments this month, they could dramatically change how federal health agencies operate. “The upheaval … would be enormous,” said a friend of the court brief filed on behalf of the court. American Cancer Society and a dozen other health groups.

on its face, Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo (The two cases were heard together) were about whether commercial herring fishermen should pay for government observers assigned to their boats. But those filing the case are fishing for a bigger fish: overturning 40 years of Supreme Court precedent that underpins modern federal regulation.

Under the “Chevron Doctrine”—named after the 1984 case Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council – In cases where a statute is ambiguous, federal courts should defer to the executive agency’s interpretation of the law as long as that interpretation is “reasonable.”

Fishing groups (supported in part by groups funded by anti-regulation crusaders) Charles Koch) hopes the court will overturn Chevronthus shifting much of the power to interpret federal law from the administrative bureaucracy to Congress and federal judges.

This could lead to real chaos in the healthcare systemaccording to the group that filed the amicus brief. That would suddenly subject longstanding regulations governing drug safety, public health and Medicare and Medicaid, the insurance plans that cover more than one-third of Americans, to new legal challenges.

“It’s just a matter of stability and certainty,” said Sarah SummersLegal Director National Health Law Program and the author of the briefing in an interview KFF Health News podcast”what is health? “

For example, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services“Having the expertise, the time, the resources and the responsibility to figure out what these specific provisions and regulations mean and how these programs are supposed to work,” Summers said.

While federal bureaucrats are often viewed as punching bags by politicians and voters, many are hired because of their expertise in areas that most Americans would likely agree require regulation, such as drug safety.

“The idea that the courts, every drug being challenged in every forum, has to dig into what it means without respecting the agency is really just going to lead to confusion,” Summers said.

Cases challenging federal health care policies are likely to arise across the country.under the lack of Chevron“If hundreds of district and appellate courts come up with different interpretations of these terms, you’re going to run into a lot of problems,” Summers said.

It is also possible to reopen cases that have already been decided.Without requiring lower courts to abide by agency-interpreted rules, “litigants will suddenly seek to make these rulings public and claim that they did not actually address what they now say are relevant issues,” said Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelog he told the court during oral arguments on Jan. 17.

Summers said this ability to look back, especially by “large interests that have a lot of time and resources to devote to litigation,” could lead to “a lot of uncertainty, a lot of disruption and a lot of questions.” the courts and all entities operating under these systems. “

A decision in the case is expected later this year.

KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health issues as one of the agency’s core operating programs Cave —An independent source of health policy research, polling, and news.

Supreme Court hears high-stakes abortion rights case

Just announced: The Supreme Court will hear arguments on March 26 in a case that could restrict access to prescription drugs used in more than half of abortions in the United States.

In December, the high court said it would hear a case brought by a conservative group alleging Food and Drug Administration It failed to follow proper procedures when it began to relax rules for access to mifepristone, which was first approved more than 20 years ago. The changes allow the drug to be prescribed online, mailed directly to patients and dispensed in brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

The bigger picture: The case marks the first time the Supreme Court has returned to reproductive rights since the conservative majority overturned the court Roe v. Wade 2022. The case is expected to be decided by the end of June, further polarizing the abortion issue during the 2024 campaign season.

The court also held hearings in two other cases with major implications for health care. Here is a snapshot:

  • March 18: The court will hear the following arguments Murthy v. Missouri. The case involves whether the Biden administration acted inappropriately when it pressured social media companies to remove posts from their platforms that the government deemed misleading.
  • March 25: The justices will hear arguments in two cases that will determine whether Native American tribes that manage their own health care plans can sue the federal government over administrative costs associated with third-party insurance companies such as Medicare and Medicaid.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered lower courts to hear a challenge to a decades-old state law that bars Medicaid from covering most abortions but does not recognize the right to terminate a pregnancy.Philadelphia Inquirerof Jeremy Roebuck, Sarah Ganz and Gillian McGoldrick Report.

yesterday 3-2 The ruling overturned a 1985 decision that upheld the state’s ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. The case was a high-profile topic during last November’s election to fill a vacant state Superior Court seat.

The bigger picture: Pennsylvanians on both sides of the abortion debate are watching the case closely because some believe the justices could use it to set a precedent on whether the state constitution guarantees the right to terminate a pregnancy.

Yesterday’s ruling does not resolve the issue. Instead, three of the five justices said they might be willing to rule that way in the future but first deferred the issue to lower courts. The messy disagreement has sparked a bitter legal battle over abortion access in Pennsylvania, where the procedure is legal up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Philips agrees to stop U.S. sales after comprehensive recall

The Washington Post reports that the Dutch manufacturer responsible for one of the largest medical device mishaps in decades has agreed to stop selling its ventilators and CPAP machines in the United States after reaching a settlement with federal regulators. Aaron Gregg Report.

The announcement comes more than two years after Philips Respironics The company is recalling millions of popular respiratory devices after reports that the device’s internal foam can break down over time, blowing debris and chemicals into users’ airways while they sleep.

look carefully: Multi-year agreement with FDA and Ministry of JusticeThe agreement, which is still to be finalized by a U.S. court, stipulates that the company will continue to repair machines already in use while halting new sales until certain conditions are met.

The final settlement amount has not yet been determined, but the company has set aside approx. $392 million It told investors it expected more costs in 2024 to pay for remediation and other punitive changes. Securities and Exchange Commission Archive.

  • Just announced: this senate finance committee A vote will be held on Wednesday President Bidennomination Rebecca Lee Khafaji Serve as Assistant Secretary Department of Health and Human Services.
  • On the move: this Health Policy Alliance clicked Claire Sheahan serves as the new President and Chief Executive Officer.Sheehan, a longtime health policy adviser and communications expert, will start next Thursday, replacing Sarah DashAccording to the nonpartisan advocacy group.
  • Biden administration to forge partnerships with Instacart, Rockefeller Foundation and Feeding America ahead of first-ever Food as Medicine Summit on Wednesdaywhich aims to eliminate hunger and nutrition-related health disparities nationwide.

Records show Publix’s opioid sales are growing even as addiction crisis prompts other chains to pull back (By Ian Hodgson and Christopher O’Donnell | Tampa Bay Times and KFF Health News)

Musk’s Neuralink implants brain chip in its first human subject (Kelsey Ables | The Washington Post)

Biden brings pharmaceutical companies back in global pandemic treaty talks (By Carmen Paun | Politico)

U.S. Justice Department opens health care probe into AI tools stemming from Purdue Pharma case (By Ben Penn | Bloomberg Law)

thanks for reading! See you tomorrow.

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