What We're Reading: Senate to Vote on Abortion Rights Bill; Hospitals Raising Treatment Costs; Baby Formula Shortage Worsening

US Senate to vote this week on legislation seeking to codify abortion rights into law; hospitals aiming to raise treatment prices in response to increasing nurse salaries; shortage of infant formula worsening nationwide.

US Senate to Vote on Bill Seeking to Codify Abortion Rights into Law

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday that the US Senate will vote Wednesday, May 11, on legislation seeking to codify abortion rights into law. Reuters is reporting that the move is in reponse to the leaked​​ draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the Supreme Court will likely overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision. A poll by CBS News and YouGov showed that a majority of Americans favored making abortion legal, including 76% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans.

Hospitals Increasing Treatment Prices Amid Rising Nurse Salaries

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some hospitals aim to raise prices by 7.5% to 15% in response to increasing nurse salaries. With demand for nurses having risen substantially amid the pandemic, hospitals are asking for more than the 4% to 6% price increases typically sought, which would result in higher premiums for employers and their respective workforce. Insurer and employer groups were noted to have rejected the requests, citing that the most expensive hospitals can absorb the higher labor costs without raising their rates. Hospitals currently account for a large proportion of US health spending per year, with an estimated $1 trillion in costs.

Nearly 40% of Popular Baby Formula Brands Sold Out Nationwide

USA Today is reporting that the infant formula shortage is worsening nationwide as nearly 40% of popular brands were sold out during the week of April 24, compared with 31% in the 2 weeks prior. The shortage was exacerbated by the voluntary recall of popular Abbott baby formulas, including select batches of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare, in February 2022. Severe supply shortages higher than 50% were cited in 6 states, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota, with San Antonio reporting the highest out-of-supply rate for a metro area across the United States.