President Joe Biden is anticipated to sign the $750 billion climate, health care, and tax legislation into law today; the United Kingdom is first to approve Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine targeting both the original and Omicron variants; nearly 2000 mental health employees of Kaiser Permanente are on strike over staffing shortages.
President Joe Biden is anticipated to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law today, The Hill reported. The $750 billion climate, health care, and tax legislation was passed by the House in a party-line vote Friday, after Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tiebreaking vote in favor of the legislation in the Senate. The act aims to reduce the cost of energy, prescription drugs, and other health care for American families, as well as extend subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and reduce the deficit. The White House announced that in the coming weeks, Biden will hold a Cabinet meeting on the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and travel across the United States to highlight the benefits of the bill.
The United Kingdom is the first country to approve Moderna’s new COVID-19 vaccine that targets both the original strain and the Omicron variant, The New York Times reported. The booster vaccine works by having half the dose target the original variant while the other half targets the Omicron variant, and it was shown in clinical trials to provoke immune response to the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants as well. In the United States, the Biden administration plans to initiate a COVID-19 booster campaign next month with updated vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.
Nearly 2000 psychologists, therapists, social workers and other mental health employees of Kaiser Permanente have been on strike since Monday in Northern California over staffing shortages that have caused patients to wait months to get mental health care, the Associated Press reported. These employees are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which is negotiating a new contract with Kaiser Permanente and explained that the goal of the strike is for Kaiser to hire additional mental health care professionals to ease the burden on the existing staff and therefore provide better and faster care for patients. According to Kaiser, the shortage of mental health care professionals is a nationwide issue, and the company has recently hired hundreds of employees.