Physician Practice Roundup—Justice Department urges appeals court to affirm ruling striking down ACA

Medical justice
The Trump administration is backing a full repeal of the ACA. (Getty/yavdat)

Justice Department urges appeals court to affirm ruling striking down ACA

The Trump administration is calling for a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act.

The Department of Justice sent a letter to the 5th Circuit Court on Monday, saying it has "determined the district court's judgment should be affirmed."

In the letter, DOJ said it is "not urging that any portion of the district court's decision be reversed."

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The legal question at the heart of the case is whether the ACA can stand on its own now that Congress has repealed one of its key elements: the individual mandate. A district court judge ruled in December that the mandate's repeal rendered the entire law unconstitutional. (FierceHealthcare)

Pediatricians’ group, heart association urge action to reduce kids’ consumption of sugary drinks

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association on Monday endorsed a number of public health measures, including taxes, warning labels and limits on marketing to children, to help reduce kids’ consumption of sugary beverages.

The two health groups issued a joint policy statement, which was published online and will appear in the April issue of Pediatrics. They cited strong evidence of the association between added sugars and increased risk of heart disease and other health problems, such as tooth decay, diabetes and obesity.

Children and teens consume gallons of sugary drinks each year, including sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and sodas, the groups said. "For children, the biggest source of added sugars often is not what they eat, it's what they drink," pediatrician Natalie D. Muth, M.D., lead author of the policy statement, said in an AAP announcement. (AAP announcement | Pediatrics article)

New Jersey governor says he will sign law to allow medical aid-in-dying

New Jersey will become the latest state to allow medical aid-in-dying, as Gov. Phil Murphy said he will sign a bill to allow terminally ill patients to seek life-ending medication.

In a statement Monday, Murphy said he will sign the legislation. “Allowing terminally ill and dying residents the dignity to make end-of-life decisions according to their own consciences is the right thing to do,” he said.

Once the bill is signed, New Jersey will join the District of Columbia and seven other states that have similar laws. The state’s Assembly and Senate passed the measure in close votes that will allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live to have the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take to end their lives. (Statement)

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