Healthcare Roundup—Medical advances are reshaping the Supreme Court

Wooden gavel and gold legal scale that appear to have sunlight falling on them
Modern medicine is giving the Supreme Court a new face, plus more healthcare headlines. (Getty Images/William_Potter)

Advances in medical care are reshaping the Supreme Court 

Advances in medicine are changing the face of the Supreme Court, as people live longer and are less likely to die from infectious disease, according to a New York Times analysis. 

The average lifespan of justices confirmed between 1950 and 1974 is 81.7, while the average for justices nominated between 1789 and 1799 was 67. All of the justices nominated since 1975 are still living, with the exception of Antonin Scalia, who died at 79. 

Justices are also being confirmed at a slightly younger age than in the past, according to NYT. Between 1900 and 1949, the average age at confirmation was 55.4, while since 2000 the average age has decreased to 52.2. 


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As a result of both trends, the length of tenure on the court is significantly longer today, the newspaper said. Justices confirmed between 1850 and 1874 served for an average of 16.2 years, while those confirmed between 1975 and 1999 serve for an average of 26. (The New York Times

American Academy of Pediatrics updates car seat guidelines 

The American Academy of Pediatricians has updated its car seat recommendations, saying that infants should ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach the height and weight limits for such seats. 

Before, the academy recommended that children ride in rear-facing seats until age two. The guidelines were updated as car seat manufacturers now make rear-facing seats for kids who weigh up to 40 pounds. 

“It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible,” Benjamin Hoffman, M.D., chairman of the academy’s Council on Injury, Violence and Prevention, said. “This is still the safest way for children to ride.” (CNN

Where Sen. John McCain’s potential replacements stand on the ACA 

Arizona Gov. Doug Doucey is reportedly considering eight candidates to replace the late John McCain in the Senate, and most are hostile to the Affordable Care Act—as would be expected from a GOP selection. 

One contender may be an exception, however. Eileen Klein, current state treasurer, served under former Gov. Jan Brewer, who expanded Medicaid in the state despite running a Republican administration. If Klein is also sympathetic to the law’s Medicaid expansions, she could be another unlikely ally within the GOP. 

Klein also has roots in healthcare—she was CEO of UnitedHealthcare Physicians IPA, a Medicaid managed care plan and also previously served as UHC’s vice president of state affairs. (FierceHealthcare

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