Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 18, 2021

Iowa news

Can employers mandate vaccines in Iowa? Controversial Senate bill would say no

Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, volleyed several debunked antivaccination talking points at Iowa Department of Public Health’s Dr. Caitlin Pedati during a Tuesday afternoon meeting. Carlin asked why there were so many vaccinations now, noting he only got three or four shots as a child. He asked why more children seem to be sick with chronic diseases and whether vaccines could contribute to sudden infant death syndrome. He brought up the long-disproven theory that vaccines could cause autism. The extensive discussion of vaccines sprang from consideration of Senate File 193, a bill that would prohibit employers, schools, health care providers and other organizations from discriminating against people who are not vaccinated or requiring them to be vaccinated. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Health department to change reporting method for COVID-19 testing

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced it will change the way it reports COVID-19 test results on its website. The health department says changes are being made to try to improve public reporting. State epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati and Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia said the state will change the way it reports statistics to show total tests instead of individual tests. That means the positivity rate will go down. This approach is what they use to track the flu. Health officials said they’re making the change to prevent duplications as more people are being tested over and over again and as people will be able to do at-home tests. (KCCI)

State halts University of Iowa plans for new hospital in North Liberty

Given fervent opposition to a proposed $230 million University of Iowa Health Care hospital in North Liberty — including the economic threat posed to community providers like Mercy Iowa City — the State Health Facilities Council on Wednesday narrowly denied permission to proceed. Despite UIHC arguments that it is too full and desperate for more space, the five-member council charged with granting a certificate of need for the project sided by a slim 3-2 vote with opponents who argued a new 300,000-square-foot, 36-bed hospital is unnecessary and detrimental to existing care. (The Gazette)


National news

Biden to pick Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to run Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sources say

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, two sources familiar with the decision told CNN. Brooks-LaSure, whose nomination to be CMS administrator would need Senate confirmation, was a top official at the agency during the Obama administration and worked to implement the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Before joining the Obama administration, she was part of the Democratic staff for the House Ways and Means Committee, where she also worked on the landmark health reform law. (CNN)

States to receive biggest boost yet in vaccine doses, White House tells governors

States will receive their biggest boost yet in coronavirus vaccine doses this week, a 23% increase over the previous week and a 57% increase since President Joe Biden took office, administration officials told governors. The White House announced that it’s doubling to 2 million the number of doses sent directly to pharmacies. (Des Moines Register)

Biden pitches COVID-19 relief plan, makes vaccine promise during town hall

President Joe Biden took questions on several topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines and a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan at a town hall event in Milwaukee Feb. 16 hosted by CNN. The president said COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Americans within six months. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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