Biden bill to help millions escape higher health care costs

Millions of people in the United States will be spared from big increases in health care costs next year after President Joe Biden signed legislation extending generous subsidies for those who buy plans through federal and state marketplaces. The climate, tax and health care bill sets aside $70 billion over the next three years to keep out-of-pocket premium costs low for roughly 13 million people. And that money comes just before the reduced prices were set to expire in a year beset by record-high inflation. The bill will extend subsidies temporarily offered last year in a coronavirus relief bill that significantly lowered premiums and out-of-pocket costs for customers purchasing plans through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.

Arizona judge to hear state request to enforce abortion ban

An Arizona judge is set to hear arguments on the state’s request to allow it to enforce a near-total ban on abortions under a law that has been blocked for nearly 50 years. Abortion-rights advocates are fighting the request from Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich. He wants prosecutors to be able to charge doctors who provide abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger. That law was first enacted decades before Arizona was granted statehood in 1912 and blocked following the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. The nation's high court overturned Roe in June and said women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion. A judge in Tucson will hear the Arizona case on Friday.

Court: Extraordinary damages OK in 'wrongful life' case

The Washington Supreme Court says that under state law, it’s OK for judges to award extraordinary damages in so-called “wrongful life” cases where a child has birth defects that require extensive care. The unanimous decision Thursday came in the case of a woman who became pregnant after a federally funded health clinic mistakenly gave her a shot of flu vaccine instead of contraceptive. Her child was born with severe disabilities and a federal judge awarded the family $10 million. The Justice Department appealed, saying it should only be liable for the cost of the birth — not for care required after it — but the state's justices rejected that.

Browns' Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, fined $5 million

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension, pay a $5 million fine and undergo required professional evaluation and counseling following accusations of sexual misconduct by two dozen women. Watson was accused of sexually harassing and coercing women during massage therapy sessions while he played for the Houston Texans. The league had sought to ban him for at least one year for violating its personal conduct policy. Watson's suspension begins Aug. 30, when he won't be allowed at the team’s facility. He may return for the Browns’ game on Dec. 4 in Houston. Cleveland traded for the three-time Pro Bowler in March, signing him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract

CDC Characterizes National Incidence of Fungal Infections

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, and blastomycosis cause substantial illness, with about 20,000 cases of coccidioidomycosis reported in 2019, according to research published in the Aug. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Surgical Procedure Volumes Dropped During COVID-19 Peak

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- There was a substantial decrease in surgical procedure volumes during the COVID-19 peak, and volumes recovered partially during the post-COVID-19-peak period, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Baseline Knowledge Uneven Among Cannabis Dispensary Personnel

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis dispensary personnel are committed to their profession, but baseline cannabis knowledge is uneven and workplace training in cannabis therapeutics is unstandardized and weak, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in JCO Oncology Practice.

CDC Investigating E. Coli Outbreak in Michigan, Ohio

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials said Wednesday that they are investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli that has infected 29 people in Michigan and Ohio.

Brain-eating amoeba suspected in 2nd Midwest death

Health officials say a child likely died from a rare infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Elkhorn River in eastern Nebraska on Sunday. If confirmed, it would be the second death in the Midwest this summer from primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a usually fatal infection caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba. The Douglas County Department of Health reported the child's death and the probable cause Wednesday. Researchers believe climate change may be contributing to an increase in infections since 2000. Officials have not identified the child who died. Health officials say a Missouri resident died in July after likely ingesting the amoeba at a southwestern Iowa lake.

US offers extra monkeypox vaccine doses for gay pride events

U.S. health officials are making extra monkeypox vaccine available to places with upcoming gay pride events. The government on Thursday announced the launch of program that sets aside a pool of 50,000 doses for different cities and states. At least a dozen U.S. pride events are scheduled over the next two months, including large gatherings in Atlanta and New Orleans in early September. There have been more than 39,000 monkeypox cases reported in countries that have not historically seen the disease. The U.S. has the most of any country, more than 13,500. The vast majority have occurred in men who have sex with men, but health officials stress that anyone can get monkeypox.

Wilson back with Jets after surgery, eager to begin rehab

Zach Wilson returned to the New York Jets’ facility and is eager to begin rehabilitation on his surgically repaired right knee. The second-year quarterback had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles to repair a torn meniscus. He also has a bone bruise in the knee and is expected to be sidelined the next few weeks as he recovers. Coach Robert Saleh said Wilson is already walking and in really good spirits. The Jets haven’t ruled out the possibility Wilson could play in the regular-season opener against Baltimore on Sept. 11. But New York also will not rush the quarterback back. Joe Flacco could start a few games in his place.

RFK Jr.'s anti-vaccine group kicked off Instagram, Facebook

Instagram and Facebook have suspended Children's Health Defense for repeated violations of policies on COVID-19 misinformation. The nonprofit led by Robert Kennedy Jr. is regularly criticized by public health advocates for its misleading claims about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. Kennedy objected to his group being kicked off, but under Facebook and Instagram's policies, anyone can be suspended indefinitely if they repeatedly spread potentially harmful misinformation. Kennedy himself remains active on Facebook, though he was kicked off Instagram last year. Both platforms are owned by parent company Meta.