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The Health 202: Abortion foes showcase newfound momentum before March for Life


As the annual March for Life approaches on Friday, abortion foes are showcasing the momentum they’ve gained beneath President Trump. But their good points have not actually come from the president fulfilling his marketing campaign pledges however by means of his GOP appointees shifting federal coverage in an antiabortion course.

This morning, the Department of Health and Human Services will announce the creation of a brand new conscience and non secular freedom division, housed inside the company’s civil rights workplace, which might be charged with making certain health-care staff are allowed to choose out of any process to which they’ve an ethical or spiritual objection akin to abortion or gender transition.

The transfer builds on a collection of comparable steps taken by the Trump administration over the previous 11 months to both crack down on abortion suppliers or increase the spiritual freedom umbrella giving Americans more room to refuse to take part in sure insurance policies.

For instance, HHS has excused nearly any employer with a spiritual objection from the requirement to cowl contraception for staff. And Trump has signed a bill permitting states to withhold federal household planning dollars from abortion suppliers and has enacted an much more dramatic reversal of the “Mexico City policy” than past Republican presidents by withholding virtually all U.S. international health help from overseas teams that present or promote abortion.

Most of those strikes weren’t initiated by Trump, however by the various conservatives he has appointed to prime roles at HHS and the White House. Yet the president can also be making an effort to shore up his antiabortion constituency, with March for Life saying yesterday that the president will tackle the pre-march rally.

Trump will converse by way of reside stream from the White House Rose Garden, marking the primary time a sitting president has spoken by way of satellite tv for pc to the gathering of activists protesting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that established a lady’s proper to an abortion. (Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each phoned into the rally). House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and a number of other different House members are also scheduled to talk.

“Since his first day in office, President Trump has remained steadfast on his campaign promises to the pro-life cause and has actively worked to protect the unborn,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini stated in a press release. “Over the past year, the Trump administration has significantly advanced pro-life policy, and it is with great confidence that, under his leadership, we expect to see other pro-life achievements in the years to come.”

But as marchers return for this yr’s 45th gathering, solely one of many 4 core marketing campaign vows Trump made has been fulfilled — nominating conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch — and there’s no clear pathway to attaining the others anytime quickly.

During the marketing campaign, Trump signed onto a letter spearheaded by antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser promising to make everlasting the Hyde Amendment banning taxpayer-funded abortions normally, block Medicaid dollars from Planned Parenthood and signal a regulation banning abortions halfway via being pregnant.

But all these actions hinge on Congress. The House handed the 20-week abortion ban final yr, however Senate Democrats have stated they’d block it. House Republicans additionally handed a invoice making Hyde everlasting, however it will meet the identical destiny within the Senate because the abortion ban. And efforts to defund Planned Parenthood died when the GOP’s health-care payments floundered final summer time.

My colleague Michelle Boorstein has a great piece exploring how conservatives really feel about Trump’s maybe unavoidable however nonetheless checkered document on what for lots of them is a prime situation. Many acknowledge the sensible political realities and at minimal agree the president welcomes their motion again into the White House and treats them with respect.

But that could be the place the settlement about Trump’s influence on the antiabortion motion ends, Michelle writes.

“Some antiabortion leaders describe him as a ‘pro-life hero’ and pose grinning with him and their children. Others say the vulgarity of the president is poisoning the future of the movement, which has worked to change its anti-woman caricature by advocating for things like paid family leave and maternal health care,” Michelle writes.

“Still others say Trump’s changes are more of tone, and remind them of other GOP presidents who said the right things but never prioritized fighting abortion on a large scale,” she provides.

“As someone who loathes the administration, the short-term report card [it] has to be said is not bad … those of us who said: ‘He’s just playing you,’ we were wrong about that — in the short term,” stated Charles Camosy, an ethics and theology professor at Fordham University who writes books and articles about abortion. “But when we said that, we meant we’re not fighting for the next five years but for the next 50. And what will our children think of the pro-life movement when it’s headed by the ‘Grab ‘em by the p — y’ guy?”

Dannenfelser acknowledged that Trump hadn’t fulfilled all 4 guarantees, however informed Michelle that all the things “is still in progress” and referred to as the president a “pro-life hero.”

“It’s a completely different atmosphere than four years ago,” Dannenfelser stated. “We are inspired, hopeful, the difficulty isn’t buried, candidates discuss it, it’s not a motion within the ghetto. After eight years within the wilderness, eight years of getting no capacity to affect the president after which strolling into the White House initially of the administration — I felt like I was the pro-life motion strolling in, in any case these years.”


AHH: Nearly half of Americans favor legalizing leisure marijuana — at a time when the Justice Department is enabling U.S. attorneys to implement federal regulation banning pot in states which have made it authorized. The Washington Examiner reports on a brand new Mason-Dixon survey discovering 49 % of individuals help making pot authorized whereas 16 % help maintaining present federal coverage.

OOF: For the primary time in recorded U.S. historical past, accidents (that’s, preventable accidents) are the third-leading reason for demise — a rise fueled largely by the steep rise in opioid overdoses.

A new report from the National Safety Council finds unintentional deaths rose 10 % between 2015 and 2016, killing a report 161,374 individuals. Unintentional opioid overdoses have been accountable for 37,814 of these deaths, ensuing from using prescription opioid ache relievers, heroin, and illicitly made fentanyl. By comparability, there have been 40,327 motor vehicle-related deaths in 2016. Ohio led the nation in opioid overdose deaths, with three,495, adopted by New York with 2,752 and Florida with 2,622.

Preventable deaths truly declined for years before beginning to rise once more in 2009. Accidents path solely coronary heart illness and most cancers with regards to the variety of lives misplaced yearly, in accordance with the group. Still, Americans are safer than within the early 1900s. In 1903, the unintentional standardized demise fee was 99.four per 100,000 individuals – twice as excessive as the present dying price of 47.2. 

OUCH: Loneliness is so widespread amongst British residents that Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a minister for it, the New York Times reports. May introduced yesterday that Tracey Crouch, presently underneath secretary for sport and civil society within the tradition ministry, will lead a governmentwide group to determine insurance policies on the issue. At the identical time, the Office for National Statistics will assist arrange a way of measuring loneliness, and a fund might be established to assist the federal government and charities to develop a wider technique to deal with the issue, Ceylan Yeginsu studies.

“Government research has found that about 200,000 older people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month,” Ceylan writes. May cited a 2017 report from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness discovering greater than 9 million individuals within the nation typically or all the time really feel lonely.

“For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life,” she stated in a press release. “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”


–Yesterday, the flurry of response to Trump’s bodily examination continued following the extraordinary evaluation White House physician Ronny L. Jackson gave the president on Tuesday. The Post’s Des Bieler compiled a number of the comparisons sports activities followers made on-line, juxtaposing photographs of the president with photographs of athletes with comparable heights and weights:

The New York Times’s Katie Rogers homed in on the steps the president must take following Jackson’s evaluation that he is in nice health — partially due to “incredible genes” — and mentally sharp, however might stand to train extra, eat higher and lose a bit weight.

“The next challenge for Dr. Jackson and members of the first family will be convincing Mr. Trump — a dedicated homebody, know-it-all and creature of habit — that a new fitness routine will be crucial to helping him shed a recommended 10 to 15 pounds this year,” Katie writes. “Mr. Trump will be encouraged to lower the fat and carbohydrate content of his diet, and will be encouraged by his wife, Melania Trump; his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump; and his doctor to get moving.”

The Times interviewed Denise Evans, who labored on the White House Athletic Center through the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. She steered the president take Pilates courses to strengthen his core, maybe to enhance his golf recreation. “I don’t assume it needs to be something loopy,” Evans informed Katie. “We want to keep him around at least for the next seven years. I’m a big Trump fan.”

In an interview with Reuters, Trump insisted he will get “extra train than individuals assume.

“I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that,” Trump stated. “I run over to a building next door… A lot of people go to the gym and they’ll work out for two hours and all. I’ve seen people … then they get their new knees when they’re 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don’t have those problems.”

While a lot of the continued dialog has targeted on the president’s weight, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta suggested Wednesday the info offered by Jackson show Trump has coronary heart illness. And the New York Times’s Michael D. Shear and Gina Kolata report on specialists with comparable considerations about Trump’s cardiac health.

The Post’s opinion author Dana Milbank even wrote a column questioning whether or not the physician himself is okay, contemplating how effusively he praised Trump’s health throughout his press briefing. “Jackson has been a well-regarded physician. But since discovering himself in Trump’s orbit, he has adopted the hyperbolic fashion and extreme flattery of the boss that we see in different, beforehand respectable members of Trump’s courtroom,” Dana writes.

But our colleague Aaron Blake argues a number of the theories surrounding Trump’s health have gotten a bit out of hand. While acknowledging the president’s health is of clear curiosity to the general public — and that Trump principally introduced the continued debate upon himself — Aaron says the continued obsession feels “gratuitous.” He provides it is particularly dumb to match Trump to athletes, as a result of they train for a dwelling.

“Yes, it’s kind of funny that people are comparing Trump to athletes with similar measurements to Trump’s reported 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds,” Aaron writes. “But quibbling with an inch right here or a couple of kilos there in all probability doesn’t suggest an entire lot within the grand scheme of issues — Jackson even admitted Trump wanted to lose some weight and would try to assist him achieve this — and it positive makes it appear to be Trump’s opponents, and even the media, are anxious to forged him as ‘the fat guy,’ as mentally unfit and even as dying.”


–The short-term spending invoice Republicans have been making an attempt to rally round — which might have reauthorized CHIP for six years and delayed two unpopular Obamacare taxes — seems on the cusp of failure, The Post’s Mike DeBonis, Erica Werner and Ed O’Keefe report. Bitter divisions in each events threatened Wednesday to derail Congress’s effort to maintain the federal authorities absolutely working previous the top of the week, as Republican protection hawks stated the plan did not dedicate sufficient cash to the army and Democrats started opposing it amid strain from immigration activists to make use of the price range talks as leverage to legalize many younger immigrants referred to as “dreamers.”

A authorities shutdown is wanting extra possible than ever. It can be the primary shutdown since 2013, when GOP opposition to the Affordable Care Act sparked a 16-day standoff your writer won’t ever, ever overlook. Republicans are already laying the groundwork accountable a shutdown on Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell famous Democrats have referred to as for a renewal of the youngsters’s health program and stated, “We have a good chance of passing it.” House Speaker Paul Ryan stated it was “baffling” and “unconscionable” that Democrats would vote towards the invoice. “Good-faith negotiations are underway, and to push that aside and try and jeopardize funding for things like [children’s health insurance] and our military, to me, makes no sense,” Ryan stated.

But Trump himself undercut Hill Republicans on the CHIP concept in a tweet this morning:

Insurers, who’ve been pushing closely to get the ACA’s health insurance coverage tax (HIT) repealed or delayed, can be deeply disillusioned if their precedence is not included in no matter spending invoice Congress comes up with. UnitedHealth is promising to return financial savings from a HIT delay to affected clients:

–Alex Azar, Trump’s decide to steer the Department of Health and Human Services, has gotten the thumbs-up from the Senate Finance Committee, which signed off on his nomination yesterday with a 15-to-12 vote. A lone Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, joined majority Republicans to advance Azar’s nomination to the complete Senate for consideration.

Despite the principally party-line vote, Azar’s affirmation hearings weren’t almost as contentious as these for his predecessor, Tom Price. “Azar told Finance members…that prescription drug prices cost too much but that he was not in favor of broad government action to curb price,” The Post’s Lenny Bernstein reports. “His other priorities, he said, would be making health care more affordable, rewarding Medicare providers for promoting good health and combating the opioid epidemic.”

“Mr. Azar is well-credentialed to lead such a critical department at a time America’s health care system is facing difficult challenges,” Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch stated in a assertion. “He continues to demonstrate that he has what it takes to help alleviate problems caused by Obamacare, all while bolstering and improving Medicare and Medicaid.”

Carper defined his vote in a press release late Wednesday afternoon, saying he is nonetheless evaluating Azar’s nomination. “While I am concerned about his perspective on Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and his knowledge on women’s health issues, I believe he is qualified for consideration by the full Senate,” Carper stated.

–A number of extra good reads from The Post and past:


Most women would wish to attract the road at two drinks, and males at two or three if states comply with a blueprint by a prestigious scientific panel for eliminating the “entirely preventable” 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths within the United States annually.






  • The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittees on Health and on Economic Opportunity maintain a joint hearing on addressing veteran homelessness.
  • The Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018, consists of a keynote address on “Misdiagnosing the Opioid Crisis.”

Coming Up

  • Kaiser Health News holds an event on what’s in retailer for health care in 2018 on Thursday.


Here’s an ongoing listing of White House employees, Cabinet members, and federal appointees who give up or have been fired underneath Trump:

President Trump introduced the “2017 Fake News Awards” however tweeted a hyperlink to an inactive Web web page:

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, a pretend Wolf Blitzer accepts Trump’s pretend information award: 

Seth Meyers talks a few attainable authorities shutdown: 

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