Tagged Courts

State Highlights: Texas Bill To Curb ‘Surprise Medical Bills’ Now In Effect; Blue Cross Will Continue To Run N.C.’s State Health Plan

Media outlets report on news from Texas, North Carolina, Maine, Florida, California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Louisiana and Minnesota.

The Associated Press: Lawsuit Challenges Law That Only Doctors Perform Abortions
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that challenges a Maine restriction common across most of the U.S. that abortions be performed solely by physicians. The two groups were joined by four nurses and abortion provider Maine Family Planning in challenging the law that prevents advanced practice registered nurses, such as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, from performing the procedure. (9/20)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Southern Nevada Medicare Dilemma: Pay More Or Switch Doctors
The recent decision by Southwest Medical Associates to stop covering traditional Medicare patients in Southern Nevada makes 66-year-old Anne Zarate sick to her stomach. That queasy feeling is not just because, as the Las Vegas woman puts it, she’s being “thrown out with 7,000 others in a city where access to medical care is weak at best.” She also sees Southwest’s action as an example of the inability of government to deliver quality health care in the United States. (Harasim, 9/18)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

Health Warnings On Soda Ads Suppresses Free Speech, Judges Rules

A San Francisco ordinance would have required a warning on sodas and sugary beverages, but Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sandra Ikuta writes in the ruling that the label is “not purely factual” and “unduly burdens and chills protected commercial speech.”

The Associated Press: Appeals Court Blocks San Francisco Warning Law For Soda Ads
A federal appeals court on Tuesday blocked a San Francisco law requiring a health warning on soda ads, saying the measure was misleading and would suppress free speech. A unanimous, three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped the 2015 ordinance from going into effect until a lawsuit filed by the American Beverage Association and other groups is resolved. (Thanawala, 9/19)

The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Blocks San Francisco Law Requiring Soda Health Warnings
The three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the ordinance stifles commercial speech and unfairly targets soda over other potentially unhealthy food and drinks. The panel blocked the rule from going into effect. The San Francisco ordinance, passed in 2015, requires advertisements for certain sugar-sweetened drinks to include a disclaimer that says “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.” (Randazzo, 9/19)

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Lawsuit Renews Concerns Over Link Between Antidepressants And Suicide In Adults

It is known that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide in young people, but new data revealed after a lawsuit may demonstrate dangers for older patients as well.

The New York Times: Lawsuit Over A Suicide Points To A Risk Of Antidepressants
The last dinner Wendy Dolin had with her husband, Stewart, he was so agitated that he was jiggling his leg under the table and could barely sit still. He had recently started a new antidepressant but still felt very anxious. “I don’t get it, Wen,” he said. The next day, Mr. Dolin, a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, paced up and down a train platform for several minutes and then threw himself in front of an oncoming train. (Rabin, 9/11)

The New York Times: Suicide Data Incorrectly Reported In Drug Trials, Suit Claimed
For many years GlaxoSmithKline and its predecessor, SmithKline Beecham, marketed Paxil as an antidepressant that would reduce the risk of suicide in depressed patients. The results of the company’s clinical trials, presented to the Food and Drug Administration in 1989, suggested Paxil was far safer than a placebo. Back then, the company reported that among nearly 3,000 patients treated with Paxil in the worldwide clinical trials, five committed suicide — a rate of about one in 600. By contrast, there were two suicides in a much smaller group of 554 patients randomly assigned to take a placebo pill — a rate of about one in 275, more than double that of the Paxil group. (Rabin, 9/11)

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