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Daily News

January 22, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday (Jan. 21) to set up a national public health job corps aimed at COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and vaccine outreach.

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The White House Office of Management and Budget pulled six FDA guidances and rules from its review, a move prompted by President Joe Biden’s freeze on all regulations issued by the Trump administration that have not yet gone into effect.

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One of President Joe Biden’s executive orders out Thursday steps into the still smoldering issue over coverage of non-diagnostic COVID-19 testing, demanding that HHS clarify insurers’ responsibilities.

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Friday (Jan. 22) the Defense Production Act has been invoked and processes to ramp up COVID-19 response supplies, including vaccine and test supplies, are “rapidly ongoing,” coming as New York officials say the state is on the verge of running out of its first-dose batches.

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President Joe Biden on Friday (Jan. 22) revoked the Trump administration’s controversial executive order setting up a new category of federal employees that would have made it easier to terminate or transfer civil servants and career scientists and replace them with employees friendly to administration policies.

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Eli Lilly will pursue an expanded emergency use authorization for its monoclonal antibody, bamlanivimab, the company said Friday (Jan. 22) as it revealed that data from an ongoing trial suggest the therapy reduced long-term care facility residents’ risk of contracting symptomatic COVID-19 by 80% compared with those who did not receive the therapy.

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Democratic congressional health leaders have pledged to work with the Biden administration to reverse the 11th-hour final exchange rule issued by Trump’s HHS that aims to unravel key elements of the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

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The National Health Law Program says its petition this week asking Biden’s HHS to scrap an 11th-hour memo by former CMS Administrator Seema Verma that aims to protect controversial Trump-era Medicaid 1115 demonstrations stands, even though one of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders scrapped the groundwork for the petition process.

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January 21, 2021

The Biden administration's COVID-19 response strategy boosts funding for community health centers and offers more help to safety net providers and nursing homes, and it asks CMS to consider increasing its pay rate for vaccine administration and to take any steps necessary to promote coverage of safe and effective COVID-19 treatments and care.

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The Biden administration wants HHS and other federal agencies to assess whether COVID-19 vaccinations could be linked to international vaccination certificates developed by the World Health Organization.

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In its new COVID-19 national strategy released Thursday (Jan. 21), the Biden administration commits to a transparent, science-based, equitable COVID-19 response and outlines specific actions it will take to help rebuild trust between Americans and the federal government, which has severely diminished in the past year.

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President Joe Biden signed two executive orders Thursday (Jan. 21) aimed at increasing interagency coordination to gather more demographic data that can be used to drive a COVID-19 response that targets high-risk groups.

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President Joe Biden unveiled a national COVID-19 testing strategy that aims to dramatically increase the number of Americans tested as part of a new seven-pronged massive public health effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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HHS is freezing for 60 days an 11th-hour final rule from the Trump administration that makes certain health clinics pass 340B discounts on insulin and epinephrine to patients -- but health clinics say the rule might raise prices for some patients.

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President Joe Biden on Thursday (Jan. 21) signed an executive order directing HHS and other agencies involved in COVID-19 response to take immediate action using all available authorities, including using the Defense Production Act, to fill vaccine, testing and personal protective equipment supply gaps and to take steps to address the pricing of pandemic response supplies.

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The House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee, and possibly the oversight subcommittee, are expected to hold coronavirus hearings the week of Feb. 1, according to lobbyists.

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Experts at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities urge the Biden administration, as part of an expected opening of a new special enrollment period for healthcare.gov, to consider several tweaks that could boost enrollment in the exchanges without causing adverse selection, including allowing certain people to enroll year-round.

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On Thursday morning (Jan. 21), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, tapped by President Joe Biden to head the U.S. delegation to the World Health Organization, laid out the Biden administration’s plans to reverse the Trump-initiated withdrawal from WHO and to reform the organization from the inside.

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President Joe Biden will revoke the Trump administration’s so-called Mexico City Policy, which bans foreign aid from going to entities that provide abortion services, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told the World Health Organization Thursday morning (Jan. 21).

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While Democrats’ new control of the Senate has upped the chances that President Joe Biden can make strides on his health policy agenda through Congress, heath care experts and actuaries point out that one of the new president’s priorities -- raising the value of the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits by benchmarking them to gold-level, rather than silver-level, plans -- can be done administratively.

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