A federal appeals court rejected a request to delay next week's hearing on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA); Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, is calling on former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, to immediately resign from Pfizer's board of directors; Maine is joining a handful of other states in expanding access to abortion.
The hearing on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act will remain set for next Tuesday at the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, after a federal appeals court rejected a request to delay the hearing. According to the Associated Press, 18 Republican-led states said they needed more time to prepare answers to complex issues raised by the appeals court in a recent filing. States opposing the delay argued that prolonging the hearing would contribute to uncertainty for insurance companies, regulators, and consumers who need healthcare coverage.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, asked former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, to step down from Pfizer’s board of directors, reported Reuters. In a letter to Gottlieb, Warren wrote, “this kind of revolving door influence-peddling smacks of corruption.” She added that the Gottlieb’s move from the FDA to the pharmaceutical company’s board could make Americans cynical and distrustful about whether high-level officials from the Trump administration are working for the people or for future corporate employers. In a tweet, Gottlieb wrote that he had a productive relationship with Warren while at the FDA and that he would respond to her letter privately.
Joining a handful of other states, Maine has expanded abortion access through 2 new laws, one of which requires all insurance and Medicaid to cover the procedure. The other law allows physician assistant and nurses with advanced training to perform the procedure, according to Kaiser Health News. Maine has recently seen a power shift, with Democrat Nicole Clegg taking over as governor after Republican Paul LePage’s 2 terms. LePage had blocked Medicaid expansion in the state despite voters approving it in a referendum. Other states that have ramped up efforts to ensure abortion access include New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont.