Category: Federal


Despite Shutdown, USDA Authorizes SNAP Funding through February

Despite the ongoing partial government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday announced that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would be funded through February. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue indicated that USDA will be working with states to issue February benefits earlier than usual. States have until January 20 to request and receive…

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HHS Seeks Comments on Healthy People 2030 Objectives

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently soliciting written comments on proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. Healthy People focuses on health promotion and disease prevention topics and sets forth critical public health priorities by addressing leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthy People 2030 has three types of objectives: Core,…

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CDC Designates 2019 as Year of Tobacco Cessation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) has designated 2019 as the Year of Cessation. The Year of Cessation is intended to call attention to opportunities to promote and coordinate key activities related to tobacco cessation. Each quarter throughout the year will feature various themes related to…

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Federal Judge in Texas Rules ACA Unconstitutional, Setting up Extended Legal Battles

Last Friday, Texas Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the grounds that the individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional and the remaining ACA provisions cannot stand without the individual mandate. The issue at hand was whether the ACA’s individual mandate still required Americans to obtain health insurance…

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Trump Administration Announces Intent to Require Additional Work Requirements for SNAP Benefits

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced, at the request of President Donald Trump, an intent to impose additional work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Under current law, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) are individuals 18 to 49 who is not elderly, a woman who is pregnant, or someone with…

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National Study Finds Record Increase in Electronic Cigarette Use Among Teens, Surgeon General Declares Epidemic

On Monday, findings from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, indicated a sharp increase in electronic cigarette use, or vaping, among U.S. teens over the past year. The study, conducted annually, surveys eighth, 10th, and 12th graders about their attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol and other drugs….

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HHS Issues Guidelines on Naloxone Prescribing, FDA Advisory Boards Recommend Increased Naloxone Access

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance for health care providers and patients detailing how naloxone should be prescribed to all patients at risk for opioid-related complications, including overdose. HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy Adm. Brett Giroir announced the updated guidance that reinforces…

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USDA Announces Changes to School Meals Requirements

On Thursday, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced changes to school meals standards to allow additional flexibilities related to milk, whole grains, and sodium. Under the new final rule, previous sodium level reduction timelines will be slowed, whole grain-rich requirements will be lessened, and flavored, low-fat milk will be able to be served. According…

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