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Kaiser Health News Original Stories

4. A Practical To-Do List For Family Caregivers

In order to maximize the important role they play, family caregivers must be proactive in speaking up, planning and documenting their ability to meet their loved one’s health care needs. (Judith Graham, 9/29)

6. Political Cartoon: 'One And The Same?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'One And The Same?'" by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch.

Here's today's health policy haiku:

CONGRESS APPROVES PUBLIC HEALTH FUNDING TO COMBAT THE ZIKA VIRUS

Lawmakers OK
Zika funding, finally …
But is it too late?

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Summaries Of The News:

Capitol Hill Watch

7. Zika Battle Finally Funded As Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Bill

After House leaders reach an agreement over the Flint water crisis funds, Congress averts a government shutdown by passing a bill that includes $1.1 billion for the fight against Zika.

The Washington Post: Congress Acts To Avert Government Shutdown After Striking Deal On Flint Aid
Congress staved off an Oct. 1 government shutdown Wednesday, passing a stopgap spending measure after House Republicans agreed to address the drinking-water crisis in Flint, Mich., removing a major obstacle in negotiations. The bill extends current government funding levels until early December, giving appropriators time to negotiate 2017 spending measures. It also provides year-long funding for veterans programs, $1.1 billion to address the Zika virus and $500 million in emergency flood relief for Louisiana and other states. (DeBonis, 9/28)

The Wall Street Journal: Congress Passes Spending Bill To Keep Government Running Through Dec. 9 
Congress avoided a partial government shutdown at week’s end after both chambers passed a short-term spending bill that would keep the government running through early December. A weekslong partisan impasse over the bill broke when lawmakers agreed to provide federal assistance for residents of Flint, Mich., in separate legislation this year. That deal quickly paved the way for the Senate to pass a short-term spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution, that would keep the government funded through Dec. 9. (son and Hughes, 9/28)

Politico: Congress Clears Bill To Prevent Shutdown
The biggest hurdle to a quick getaway was Democrats’ demand that money be added to the CR to help the 100,000 people in Flint who faced lead-contaminated drinking water. But Republicans wouldn’t budge, and said Flint should be dealt with in a water infrastructure bill moving through Congress. Ryan and Pelosi worked out an agreement Tuesday evening to allow a floor vote on an amendment to authorize $170 million for Flint in the water bill. (Bade, Kim and Weyl, 9/29)

NPR: Congress Stops Bickering And Approves $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika
It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency. The delay came out because of disagreement over side issues like funding for Planned Parenthood and whether the money should be considered "emergency" spending. Wednesday's deal drops language barring the money from going to Planned Parenthood clinics. The Senate passed the measure Wednesday; it is pending in the House. (Kodjak, 9/28)

The Hill: Congress Approves $1.1B In Zika Funds
House passage of a government funding bill late Wednesday night means that funding for the Zika virus has finally been approved. The measure included $1.1 billion in funding to fight the virus, capping a fierce months-long debate over the money that dismayed public health experts who called for speedily approving funding. (Sullivan, 9/28)

In other news from Capitol Hill —

The Hill: Top Dem: Cures Bill Funding Cut To $4B 
A top Democratic negotiator said Wednesday that new funding in a major medical cures bill has been cut significantly as lawmakers look for a path for passage. Rep. Gene Green, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, told The Hill that a new version of the 21st Century Cures bill will allocate about $4 billion over five years for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), down from the original $8.75 billion. (Sullivan, 9/28)

Morning Consult: Johnson’s Right To Try Legislation Fails In Senate
Sen. Ron Johnson tried, but failed, to have the Senate approve Right to Try legislation by unanimous consent Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected to S. 2912, legislation from the Wisconsin Republican that would provide experimental drugs to terminally ill patients. The bill would increase access to drugs that have cleared initial safety tests but are not approved by the FDA. (McIntire, 9/28)

8. Researchers: Zika Can Be Passed Through Sweat, Tears

The son of a man who died of the virus contracted it after sitting by his father's bedside, touching his skin and wiping his eyes. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responds to a whistleblower's claims that it is not using the most effective test for Zika.

The Washington Post: Mystery Zika Case In Utah Was Likely Spread Through Sweat Or Tears
New details are emerging about the mysterious Zika case in Utah where a son caring for his sick father became infected with the virus. The father's death in June was the first related to Zika in the continental United States. His son's infection was unusual because, unlike all other known adult cases, he had not traveled to a Zika-infected region or had sex with a partner who had done so. Instead, he had remained at his father's side in the hospital. (Sun, 9/28)

The Hill: CDC Dismisses Whistleblower Claims On Zika Test
A leading official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is rejecting claims that the agency has been knowingly promoting a less effective test for the Zika virus. The public health agency has been hit with criticism this week after one of its own top scientists alleged that CDC officials ha
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