What We’re Reading: Biden Aims to Limit Health Care Costs; Obesity Drug Targets Liver Fat; Earth’s Hottest Day


A new proposal from the Biden administration would place more restrictions on certain health insurance plans as part of an initiative to cut costs; Eli Lilly’s obesity treatment retatrutide appears to help lessen liver fat content; Earth’s hottest day on record calls into question what temperatures humans can safely tolerate.

Biden Administration Acts to Limit Health Insurance Costs

The Biden administration is predicted to propose a new regulation restraining short-term health insurance plans Friday, according to Politico. It reportedly intends to limit short-term health policies that are usually less inclusive than Affordable Care Act plans, partially because of concerns the products weaken the Obama-era health law and don’t offer robust coverage, said The Wall Street Journal. This action is one of several Biden will be touting as part of his efforts to cut health care costs, as well as guidance to prevent surprise medical bills and reduce medical debt, reported the Associated Press.

Obesity Drug Targets Liver Fat

Eli Lilly’s investigational weight-loss drug retatrutide helped lessen liver fat content in a subset of patients, with potential implications for other companies creating drugs for fatty liver disease, reported The Wall Street Journal. The drug is nicknamed a “triple G” because it targets 3 key hormones, and in trials it has provided as much as 24% weight loss, higher than others in the obesity medication class. If obesity-targeting drugs also reduce liver fat, there might not be as much opportunity for companies developing drugs that aim to reduce liver inflammation and scarring.

Earth’s Heat Record Carries Health Implications

The hottest day on earth ever recorded was July 4, 2023, prompting the question of what temperature humans can safely tolerate, according to Healthline. Research findings from Lewis Halsey at the University of Roehampton suggest that the upper critical temperature is probably between 40°C and 50°C (104°F and 122°F). Understanding the temperatures that increase the metabolic rate and how temperature varies for different people can have substantial consequences for workers, athletes, travelers, and medical practitioners.

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