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North Dakota May Ban Mask Mandates

The North Dakota House of Representatives doesn't like face mask mandates. In fact, its members dislike them so much they have approved a bill that would prohibit such mandates in the state.

 

Under this legislation, the state government could not require that individuals wear face masks, nor could local governments or school districts. Gov. Doug Burgum imposed a mask mandate in November.

 

According to the bill's sponsor, requiring that people wear masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus is "silliness." He says that a mask-wearing mandate restricts liberties. Supporters of a mask mandate, such as the governor, counter that they are based on science and are a vital part of the effort to save lives.

 

The debate over masks in North Dakota is part of a larger national debate over coronavirus-related rules and restrictions. Legislators and governors are battling in various state capitals over how state and local governments should respond to the pandemic. On the one side are those arguing for aggressive government action to stop the virus's spread. These include mask mandates, lockdowns, and restrictions on gatherings. On the other side, primarily driven by legislators, are those who argue that governors have overstepped their authority and imposed restrictions on individual liberty and economic freedom.

 

The House approved the mask mandate ban legislation by a vote of 50-44. It now heads to the Senate.

 

Do you think that states should prohibit local governments and schools from requiring the wearing of face masks?

Biden Administration to Revoke Medicaid Work Requirement

Under the Trump Administration, states began to require some Medicaid recipients to seek work. This week, the Biden Administration is planning to revoke federal permission for states to do this.

 

These work requirements differed across the states, but they generally mandated that individuals  eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, must meet certain work requirements or undertake work-related activity. These requirements applied only to those recipients in the Medicaid expansion population – able-bodied adults without children who are between 18 and 62. There are also exceptions for people who are unable to work.

 

States had asked the Obama Administration for permission to enact Medicaid work requirements, but the Department of Health and Human Services at the time did not approve them. The Trump Administration did. However, federal judges have blocked many of these requirements from going into effect. This spawned court battles, with lower courts ruling against the Trump Administration.

 

The legal issues center on whether federal law permits states to add a work requirement to Medicaid recipients. Medicaid is funded in part by the federal government, but states opt into it and have some leeway to design their programs. The Trump Administration supported states that said they have the authority to require work for some able-bodied recipients. Federal courts have ruled that Congress must amend the program to allow this. The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up this argument in March. 

 

While no states have Medicaid work requirements that have gone into effect because of these legal battles, they are still approved by the federal government. The Biden Administration is set to revoke these approvals, which may make the Supreme Court case moot.

 

Supporters of work requirements argue that they are helping Medicaid recipients by giving them an incentive to go to work, where they may be able to obtain private health insurance eventually. They also argue that childless, able-bodied adults -- the group covered by the work requirement -- should be working. Opponents, however, see these requirements as a way to limit participating in Medicaid, noting that 18,000 people lost eligibility once Arkansas put its requirement in place. They also contend that the work verification rules are too difficult for many to comply with.

 

Do you support requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work or seek work?

 

Pharma Company Pleads Guilty to Federal Opioid Charges

Purdue Pharma has pled guilty to three federal criminal charges related to the opioid epidemic.

 

Steve Miller, who chairs Purdue's board of directors, pled guilty this week on behalf of the company to charges that the company had not effectively tried to stop illegal diversions of its opioid drugs, that it misled the Drug Enforcement Administration, and that it stonewalled efforts by the DEA to investigate the opioid epidemic.

 

These charges are part of broader legal fights trying to place responsibility for the nation's opioid crisis onto drug companies. States, local governments, and the federal government have filed suits alleging that Purdue and other companies pushed doctors to prescribe heavy doses of the drug even after it knew the dangers it posed. Many of these suits are seeking money from these companies for these governments’ expenses in dealing with the opioid crisis.

 

According to the legal theory being put forward in these suits, opioid manufacturers made and marketed these drugs knowing that they were addictive and dangerous. They encouraged doctors to prescribe the drugs regardless of the harm it would cause to users. They say that the high rates of opioid addition and overdoses we are seeing today is a direct result of these companies’ actions. The guilty plea by Purdue bolsters these cases.

 

This legal argument is not universally accepted, however. Critics of these cases note that opioids are tightly controlled by the federal government. They said that the companies complied with federal laws and regulations regarding opioids, and should not be blamed for people who misuse their products. They point out that the vast majority of overdoses are due to heroin or fentanyl, not prescription opioids.

 

Do you think that drug companies contributed to the opioid crisis?

Court Rules States Can Defund Planned Parenthood

States do not have to allow Planned Parenthood to participate in the Medicaid program, a federal appeals court ruled today.

 

The case involved efforts by Texas and Louisiana to label Planned Parenthood affiliates as "unqualified" to participate in the Medicaid program, which would remove the ability of women who go there to have their services paid for by the government. Planned Parenthood supported women who wanted to use Planned Parenthood in those states. The federal court held that these women did not have the ability under federal law to sue over the state's actions to end Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.

 

Some states have received permission from the federal government to offer certain reproductive services through their Medicaid program but exclude Planned Parenthood from participating. The Trump Administration has supported these efforts. This is part of the wider efforts to remove state and federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

 

Those who oppose this funding argue that taxpayer dollars should not go to an organization that provides abortion. They contend that women have other alternatives for their health care. Supporters of government funding for Planned Parenthood say that the organization offers a range of services beyond abortion, and that cutting off funding hurts poor women. They also point out that no federal dollars can go to pay for abortions.

 

Planned Parenthood has vowed to appeal this case.

 

Do you think that state governments should cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood?

Supreme Court Hears New Obamacare Case

Supreme Court justices today heard arguments in one more case seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). From their questions to lawyers on both sides of the case, it appears unlikely that they will do so.

 

Eighteen states and two individuals brought the case to the high court. They argued that when Congress removed penalties for the individual mandate to obtain health insurance, it rendered the entire law unworkable. They say that this mandate is the key to the entire law, and it that part is effectively repealed, then the law should be overturned. 

 

Justices seemed skeptical about that argument. They pointed out that Congress could have repealed the ACA when it eliminated the individual mandate penalty. Chief Justice John Roberts appeared skeptical that the Supreme Court should be doing the job of Congress. Others noted that it the mandate penalty were zero, then no one was harmed by the mandate and thus did not have standing to bring the case.

 

Another argument hinged on what is called "severability." That is the idea that if one section of a law is found to be illegal or unconstitutional, then the rest of the law can stand. Plaintiffs in this case argued against that idea for the ACA, saying that the individual mandate is the key to the entire law. Justice Brett Kavanaugh disagreed, however, saying that the individual mandate could be ruled unconstitutional but that this decision would not affect the rest of the law.

 

The justices will likely issue an opinion in this case next year.

 

Do you think that the Supreme Court should overturn the Affordable Care Act?

Utah Governor Issues Mask Mandate

With coronavirus cases surging in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a mask mandate and limit on gatherings.

 

Utah's coronavirus cases reached a record high last week, with Gov. Hebert saying, "our hospitals are full." To deal with the rising cases, the governor issued an order requiring that masks be worn in public places. He also limited gatherings to individuals in the same family. 

 

This order is controversial. There have already been numerous anti-mask mandates across Utah, with protestors saying that masks are ineffective and any mandate to wear them is an infringement upon individual rights. Gov. Hebert dismisses these objections, noting evidence that masks work to stop the spread of coronavirus. He also said that laws exist to protect the public, and likened a mask mandate to the requirement that drivers wear seatbelts.

 

Thirty-five states have some form of a mask mandate. These mandates vary by jurisdiction. Some mandates apply to the whole state, while others, such as the one in Montana, only apply to counties that have a certain number of coronavirus cases.

 

President-elect Joe Biden supports mask mandates, while President Trump has not embraced this idea. Biden has said he would work with state governors to implement a mask mandate that would apply nationwide.

 

Do you think that governors should require that masks be worn in public?

Obamacare Takes Center Stage at Barrett Hearings

The Senate Judiciary Committee is spending a lot of time discussing health care this week.

 

The issue of whether the Supreme Court could overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has become a centerpiece of Democratic opposition to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats fear that if the Senate confirms Barrett, she will vote with four other justices to invalidate the ACA. Judge Barrett has responded that she has not made up her mind on the fate of the controversial health care law.

 

Democrats point to Barrett's criticism of the 2012 Supreme Court decision that upheld the individual insurance mandate as a tax. Barrett countered by noting that the current cases dealing with the ACA involve completely separate issues. She also said that she is "not hostile" to the ACA.

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering Barrett's nomination this week. Democrats on the committee have been pressing her on various issues, from gay rights to abortion. However, the fate of the ACA is one of their biggest topics of discussion. They see this as a pertinent issue during the runup to the November election.

 

The committee hearing is likely to conclude this week. There is little chance that any Democrats on the committee will vote for Barrett. But with Republicans in control of the chamber, there are few obstacles to a supportive committee vote and Senate confirmation before the end of the month.

 

Do you think the Supreme Court should overturn the ACA?

Missouri Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion

On Tuesday, voters in Missouri voters approved expanding the state's Medicaid program by a margin of 53%-47%.

 

Starting on July 1, 2021, Missourians who are able-bodied, childless, and younger than 65 will be able to enroll in Medicaid if their household incomes are below 133% of the federal poverty level. The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand eligibility to include these individuals. Medicaid is a joint state-federal health coverage program, with the federal government providing some funding as well as setting certain rules for how the states can operate. 

 

Medicaid expansion has been a controversial topic in many states, especially ones where Republicans have the majority in the legislature. These states have largely been reluctant to expand the program, fearing long-run costs. Skeptics of expansion note that while the federal government funds 90% of the new enrollees, it still leaves state with a financial burden that will grow over time. They argue that the people covered by this expansion do not have disabilities or children to care for, so they should be seeking jobs that would have private health insurance.

 

 

Backers of expansion -- which included health groups, hospitals, and business interests in Missouri -- counter that Medicaid expansion is an effective way of helping those who cannot afford insurance. They say that it will save lives and reduce the use of emergency rooms. In some states where legislators refuse to vote in favor of expanding Medicaid, these advocates have gone directly to voters through ballot initiatives.

 

This is the second voter-approved Medicaid expansion in a Republican Midwest state this summer. In June, Oklahoma voters also voted in favor of a similar measure. There have also been successful citizen-initiated measures to add more enrollees to Medicaid in other GOP-controlled states. These include Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, and Utah. However, in both Missouri and Oklahoma, the initiative amends the state constitution; voters in the other states have only amended statutes. A constitutional amendment change prevents legislators from reversing the outcome or changing the program eligibility.

 

Do you support expanding eligibility in the Medicaid program?

Trump Administration Urges Court to Uphold Medicaid Work Requirement

This week, the Trump Administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging it to support an Arkansas program requiring some able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work.

 

Under the Arkansas Works program, individuals newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, must meet certain work requirements. These include engaging in work or work-related activities for 80 hours a month. Only those in the Medicaid expansion population – able-bodied adults without children who are between 18 and 62 – face this requirement. There are also exceptions for people who are unable to work.

 

While the Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama had not approved Arkansas’s work requirement (or similar requirements in other states), the Trump Administration did. However, federal judges have blocked many of these requirements from going into effect. The Trump Administration’s legal filing urges the Supreme Court to overturn these rulings.

 

The legal issues center on whether federal law permits states to add a work requirement to Medicaid recipients. Medicaid is funded in part by the federal government, but states opt into it and have some leeway to design their programs. The Trump Administration and states say that states have the authority to require work for some able-bodied recipients, but courts have ruled that Congress must amend the program to allow this.

 

Supporters of work requirements argue that they are helping Medicaid recipients by giving them an incentive to go to work, where they may be able to obtain private health insurance eventually. They also argue that childless, able-bodied adults -- the group covered by the work requirement -- should be working. Opponents, however, see these requirements as a way to limit participating in Medicaid, noting that 18,000 people lost eligibility once Arkansas put its requirement in place. They also contend that the work verification rules under Arkansas Works are too difficult for many to comply with.

 

Do you support requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work or seek work?

Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion

Voters in Oklahoma cast their ballots yesterday, and by a very narrow margin approved an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

 

With a 1% margin of victory, voters supported State Question 802. This ballot measure amends the Oklahoma constitution to provide Medicaid coverage for more lower-income state residents. Medicaid is a joint federal-state health coverage program. Under the Affordable Care Act, states could provide coverage for lower-income adults without disabilities who did not have children.

 

Medicaid expansion has been a controversial topic in many states, especially ones where Republicans have the majority in the legislature. These states have largely been reluctant to expand the program, fearing long-run costs. Skeptics of expansion note that while the federal government funds 90% of the new enrollees, it still leaves state with a financial burden that will grow over time. They argue that health policy should be focused on placing people on private insurance, not enrolling them in a government program.

 

Backers of expansion counter that Medicaid expansion is an effective way of helping those who cannot afford insurance. They say that it will save lives and reduce the use of emergency rooms. In some states where legislators refuse to vote in favor of expanding Medicaid, these advocates have gone directly to voters through ballot initiatives.

 

These ballot initiatives have been successful in Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, and Utah. Oklahoma’s expansion is different, however, since the initiative amends the state constitution, while the other states have only amended statutes. A constitutional amendment change prevents legislators from reversing the outcome or changing the program eligibility.

 

Do you support extending Medicaid coverage to able-bodied adults who have no children?

States, Counties Mandating Masks to Battle Coronavirus

From Washington to Florida, governments across the nation are mandating that residents wear masks in public to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

 

As governors ease shutdown requirements that were aimed at stopping coronavirus cases from climbing, they are considering other ways to stop the pandemic. In some states and counties with cases that are climbing, the answer they are settling on is mandatory mask wearing in public. With rising coronavirus infections in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee this week mandated mask use statewide. Those refusing to wear masks in public could face a misdemeanor charge.

 

Officials say that as people return to more densely-packed places, social distancing and mask-wearing can help prevent the coronavirus’s spread. They point to studies indicating that widespread use of masks help keeps coronavirus cases at bay. While medical experts were mixed on the efficacy of masks early in the coronavirus crisis, most now embrace them as a useful way to be safe in public.

 

These mask mandates have met with opposition, however. Critics contend that it is government overreach to require masks. They say that people should be free to wear them, but not forced to do so by the government.

 

Some governors have considered a mask mandate but are so far refusing calls to impose one. Idaho has a lower coronavirus rate than many states, but with the relaxation of a shutdown imposed by Gov. Brad Little, cases are rising. Gov. Little is urging state residents to wear masks, but told reporters that he is unlikely to require their use.

 

Do you think wearing face masks in public should be mandatory?

Trump Administration Reverses Obama-Era Gender Identity Rule

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rewrote an Obama-era regulation that expanded the definition of “sex” under federal anti-discrimination law. The effect of this rule change is to remove protections for transgender individuals in health insurance purchases, but the Trump Administration says this is just a return to the original meaning of the law.

 

The regulation affects nondiscrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. This law prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against individuals on the basis of, among other things, “sex.” This language is similar to language in other federal anti-discrimination laws. In 2016, the Obama Administration issued a rule that expanded the protections under that law to include gender identity.

 

At the time, this move was controversial. Those opposed to it argued that it reversed the meaning of federal anti-discrimination rules. These critics pointed out that the protection of sex under federal law never protected individuals who went through a gender transition. However, the Obama Administration said that gender identity was an integral part of someone’s sex, so their expanded interpretation was legally valid.

 

The Trump Administration re-wrote the 2016 regulation to return its definition of “sex” to the earlier understanding of what the law meant. HHS officials argued that this was necessary to reverse the Obama Administration’s overreach. They argue that if Congress wants to protect transgender individuals from discrimination, Congress should write the law to reflect this, not use executive branch authority to change the law.

 

HHS action has come under fire from many people, however. They say the Trump Administration of reversing important protections for transgender individuals. They accuse the administration of anti-transgender bias, and have vowed to fight the rule change in court.

 

Do you think that federal laws banning sex discrimination also ban discrimination against transgender individuals?

High Court Considers Birth Control Mandate

The legal fight over the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate continues at the Supreme Court today.

 

When enacted, the ACA included a mandate that insurance companies offer no-cost birth control. Some employers objected to this mandate, arguing that they had religious objections to some forms of birth control. They said that they should not have to pay for insurance that then provides a service they find morally objectionable.

 

There were various legal cases filed about this mandate, culminating in a 2014 Supreme Court decision affirming that some companies did not have to provide such insurance. In 2017, the Trump Administration went further, expanding this exception to include more companies. This administrative change is what is at issue in today’s Supreme Court arguments.

 

Pennsylvania is suing the Trump Administration, alleging that it exceeded its authority in granting more businesses an exception to the law. The state also alleges that the administration did not follow federal law in promulgating the rule.

 

At the heart of the argument is the idea, embodied in the ACA, that birth control should be widely available to individuals at no cost. Supporters say this is a good way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and it an essential part of women’s health care. Opponents to this idea have a variety of arguments. Some people point to their religious objection to providing birth control to others, especially types of birth control that they see as being no different than abortion. Others argue that if people want to use birth control, they should pay for it themselves, especially since it is widely available and not very expensive.

 

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments and ask questions remotely over video conference.

 

Do you think that the government should mandate that businesses provide no-cost birth control to their employees through insurance?

President Trump Declares Coronavirus Emergency

Today President Trump declared a national emergency to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.

 

In a news conference, President Trump said he had signed an emergency declaration that is aimed at allowing better coordination to combat the coronavirus. Doing this allows the federal government to distribute up to $50 billion in emergency funding to state and local governments. The president has also allowed a relaxation of federal rules regarding health care workers in an attempt to provide them with more flexibility.

 

This emergency declaration follows criticism from Democrats in Congress and in state offices that the president had downplayed the risk of the coronavirus. They have urged the federal government to do more to combat the crisis. The president has pushed back, saying he is taking steps that are appropriate for the level of the pandemic.

 

Congress is also working on legislation to address the economic fallout from the virus’s spread. States have begun shutting down school systems and taking other steps to restrict public gatherings. Many businesses are closing, too. There is bipartisan agreement that something needs to be done to help the economy, but there is still disagreement on what the details should be.

 

Do you support declaring a national emergency over the coronavirus?

Republicans, Democrats Fight over Coronavirus Legislation

House Democrats have unveiled a coronavirus aid bill and are pushing for a quick vote. Republicans, however, disagree that the measures in this bill are the best way to deal with the pandemic’s effects.

 

The House Democrats are proposing a variety of initiatives to deal with the coronavirus fallout. These include:

  • $2 billion for state unemployment programs
  • $1 billion in spending on nutrition
  • Medicaid expansion
  • A federal sick-leave program for those affected by business closures

 

Republicans in the House said that they would not vote to support such measures. They want to see relief legislation more along the lines of what President Trump proposed, which included payroll tax cuts.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is negotiating with White House officials on a bipartisan relief package. Their hope is that they can come up with legislation that is acceptable to both sides. If this occurs, it would likely include both spending increases as favored by the Democrats and tax cuts as favored by the Republicans.

 

The House is scheduled to vote Friday on whatever relief legislation emerges.


What do you think should be in coronavirus relief legislation?

Congress Passes $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Bill

Acting quickly and in a bipartisan manner, both houses of Congress passed legislation this week to provide money aimed at combatting the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

With the House of Representatives voting 415-2 and the Senate voting 96-1, members of Congress sent a $8.3 billion spending bill to President Trump. The money in this legislation will be used for vaccine development and use, prevention activities, preparedness for the virus, and for federal response if the virus spreads widely.

 

There was little opposition to this legislation in either the House or the Senate. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) offered an amendment to cut funding from international programs to offset the new spending in this bill. By a vote of 81-15, senators tabled, or killed, the amendment. Sen. Paul was the only senator to vote against the final version of the bill.

 

President Trump had requested $2.5 billion in emergency spending for the Coronavirus. Members of Congress in both parties said this amount was too low, and they worked together to craft a much larger spending bill. The president has indicated that even though he did not initially propose as much money, he would sign this higher funding amount.

 

Do you support spending $8.3 billion to combat the Coronavirus? Should funding for international programs have been cut to pay for this new spending?

House to Vote on Flavored Tobacco Ban

Vaping has been under attack in Washington, D.C., and state capitals recently. This week, the House of Representatives will take another shot at vaping and the tobacco industry when it considers a bill that would ban flavored tobacco products.

 

This is how VoteSpotter describes HR 2339, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ):

 

To ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including vaping products and chewing tobacco. The bill also bans the sale over the Internet of tobacco and vaping products and mandates graphic warnings on cigarettes, among other things.

 

Those who support this bill contend that flavored vaping liquid is used to hook children on tobacco, leading to health problems. They say that the tobacco industry uses flavored tobacco products as a way to lure kids into an addictive habit. They argue that banning these products will reduce youth smoking.

 

Opponents, however, point to studies that indicate that adults use flavored vaping products as a way to quit smoking. They say that this ban will harm efforts to move people from cigarettes to vaping. They point out that vaping is far less harmful to one’s health than smoking, so this bill will actually hurt public health.

 

Over the past year, states have enacted bans on vaping products in response to concerns over the health effects of this practice. Congress also inserted a provision into the annual spending bill that increases the smoking age from 18 to 21. This legislation is a continuation of those efforts.

 

Do you think that the federal government should ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, such as flavored vaping liquid?

House Voices its Disapproval of Trump Medicaid Policy

House Democrats do not like what the changes being made to Medicaid by Trump Administration. They approved a resolution this week to disapprove of Trump’s Medicaid policy, but it does not have any force in law.

 

House Resolution 826 claims that “the President has waged an unrelenting war on Medicaid, making it easier for States to take coverage away and create barriers for re-enrollment.” The resolution cites different actions taken by the Trump Administration which are aimed at reshaping Medicaid. These include a proposal to block grant Medicaid for states, which would give them more flexibility in return for a capped amount of funding; allowing states to impose new requirements on enrollment; and proposing cuts to the program in the president’s annual budget.

 

Medicaid is a federal program that provides health care for low-income individuals. States can decide to participate in the program. To do so, states must share in the Medicaid’s costs and adhere to federal rules in how the program is administered.

 

President Trump and supporters of these proposals say they want to allow states to innovate in Medicaid delivery. They argue that federal flexibility will help states improve the program while also targeting it to those who truly need health care. Opponents say that these proposals are ways to cut the safety net for Americans who need health care. They say the Trump Administration is simply trying to reduce the use of Medicaid.

 

This resolution passed the House by a vote of 223-190. No Republicans voted in favor of it, while one Democrat voted against it.

 

Do you support block granting Medicaid? Should states be able to place work requirements and other restrictions on Medicaid recipients?

Colorado Looks to Tighten Vaccine Exemptions

Colorado legislators are considering making it a little more difficult for parents to opt their children out of vaccinations required to attend public school.

 

Current Colorado law does not mandate that children be vaccinated in order to attend school. Children who have medical conditions can opt out of vaccines, and parents who have religious or personal objections to vaccines can also refuse vaccination for their children. In order to do so, they must file forms that attest to this.


The legislative proposal being considered would standardize these forms and tighten the requirements for exemption. They would also improve data collection on exemption rates. Legislators defeated a similar bill last year.

 

Sponsors of the legislation say this is necessary to ensure that as many children as possible are vaccinated. They argue that vaccinations are a vital way to protect public health. Opponents, however, say that mandatory vaccination is government overreach. Parents, they contend, should be free to decide whether or not to give their children vaccinations.

 

Another Colorado legislator has introduced a bill that would require health care providers to give parents information about what he terms “vaccine injuries” and would prevent the state and local governments from taking adverse actions against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.


Do you think that government should make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children who attend public school?

Flavored Vaping Pods Targeted by Trump Administration

The sale of most flavored e-cigarette pods will soon be illegal.

 

The Trump Administration has announced a ban on pods that contain flavored juices for e-cigarettes, except for tobacco and menthol flavors. Citing concerns with these pods being popular with teenage vapers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says this ban is necessary to protect public health.

 

In September, President Trump announced that his administration would ban all flavored vaping juice. The actual policy falls short of this sweeping ban, only covering closed pods. Flavored vaping juices sold at vape stores would still be permitted to be sold. Some presidential advisers argued that a widespread ban would lead to job loss in the vaping industry.

 

Supporters of this ban contend that flavored vaping juices are attractive to teenagers. They argue that these flavors get teenagers hooked on an unhealthy habit. Many public health advocates are upset that the Trump Administration did not go further and ban all vaping juices.

 

Opponents of this action point out that vaping is far less dangerous than smoking. They say that by making it less attractive to vape, it will prevent efforts to move people from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes. They argue that the federal government should not target vaping, but welcome it as a public health victory.

 

Sales of these flavored e-cigarette pods will end after 30 days.

 

Do you support the Trump Administration ban on flavored vaping pods?

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