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Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood



a large white building: Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood


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Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the South Carolina Department of Health from cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The high court’s rejection means that last year’s ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will remain in effect, prohibiting the state from terminating Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider.

While it takes four justices to approve a petition, the court doesn’t publish the vote totals and it declined to hear the case without comment.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an executive order in 2018 prohibiting abortion clinics from participating in Medicaid.

Video: ACA unlikely to be struck down; Roberts and Kavanaugh are expected to support severability: Turley (FOX News)

ACA unlikely to be struck down; Roberts and Kavanaugh are expected to support severability: Turley

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Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, generally doesn’t pay for abortions, but conservatives have longed pushed to cut any state and federal funding flowing to the Planned Parenthood, which also provides an array of other health care services.

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Under the order, South Carolina’s two Planned Parenthood Centers, which provide family planning and preventive care services, cancer screenings, and other health care, were terminated as Medicaid providers.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, representing one of its patients, filed suit, arguing the order is a violation of federal law that says Medicaid beneficiaries may get care from any qualified provider, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

South Carolina appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the state has the right to determine what providers are “qualified” to participate in the Medicaid program.

The Supreme Court has in recent years declined to hear similar appeals from Louisiana and Kansas.

The decision Tuesday came during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she repeatedly declined to offer her views on landmark cases establishing a woman’s right to an abortion.

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Caliber, with $2.2 million in seed funding, launches a fitness coaching platform

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the fitness space for a loop. Caliber, a startup that focuses on one-to-one personal training, is today launching a brand new digital coaching platform on the heels of a $2.2 million seed round led by Trinity Ventures .

Caliber launched in 2018 with a content model, offering an email newsletter and a library of instructional fitness content.

“My cofounders started testing the idea of coaching people individually and that’s where the light bulb really went off,” said cofounder and CEO Jared Cluff. “They saw that more than anything, people need expert guidance and a really genuinely personalized plan for their fitness routine.”

That was the origin of Caliber as it is known today.

When users join the platform they are matched with a Caliber coach. The company says that it brings on about five of every 100 applications for coaches on the platform, accepting only the very best trainers.

These coaches then take into account the goals of users and build out a personalized fitness plan in conjunction with the user, which begins with a video or phone consultation. Once the plan, which is comprised of strength training, cardio and nutrition, is finalized, the coach loads it into the app.

Users then follow the instructions from their instructor via the app and log their progress. Interestingly, these aren’t live video appointments with a trainer, but rather an asynchronous ongoing conversation with a coach that is facilitated by the app.

Users can also integrate their Apple Health app with Caliber to track nutrition and cardio, giving the coach a full 360-degree view of their progress.

Alongside providing feedback and encouragement, the coach ultimately provides a layer of accountability.

This combination of real human coaching in a less synchronous, time intensive manner has allowed for Caliber to charge at a higher price than your standard workout generator apps but come in much lower than the average cost of an actual, in-person personal trainer.

Most Caliber users will pay between $200 and $400 per month to use the platform. Coaches, which are 1099 workers on Caliber, take home 60 percent of the revenue generated from users.

Pre-launch, Caliber has more than tripled its membership across the last six months and increased the number of workouts per member by 150 percent, according to the company. Cluff says the startup is doing north of $1 million in annual recurring revenue.

Of the 41 trainers on the platform, 37 percent are female and about a quarter are non-white. On the HQ team, which totals seven people, one is female and two-thirds of the founding team are LGBTQ.

“The biggest challenge is not dissimilar to the challenge we faced at Blue Apron, where I was most recently, in that we wanted to create the category around mealkits,” said Cluff. “We want to build a category around fitness training in a space that is super fragmented with no branded leader.”

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JAXJOX, the Leading Fitness Technology Company, Raises $10M in Series A Funding

SEATTLE, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — JAXJOX, the global fitness technology company known for its innovative workout equipment and platform, today announced a $10M series A round of funding with investors including Dowgate Capital Ltd. and entrepreneur Nigel Wray, bringing total funding raised to date $17M. The funding assisted in the research and development of the highly anticipated JAXJOX InteractiveStudio, which will ship to customers later this year, as well as global retail expansion. The InteractiveStudio is the first fitness platform to combine connected strength-training equipment with live and on-demand content, enabling users to track their own performance in real time during classes.

“With so much activity in the connected fitness space, we’re both delighted and excited to be part of JAXJOX’s movement to bring fitness and health together using data science. This is the future of wellness,” said James Sergeant of Dowgate Capital.

The InteractiveStudio is the first home gym that includes connected free-weight equipment with AI-enabled performance tracking and interactive live and on-demand coaching for a personalized workout experience. Four connected, IP-protected products with automatic adjustability use AI powered real-time performance tracking, including the groundbreaking KettlebellConnect 2.0 and DumbbellConnect. Compared to other products in the space, the InteractiveStudio provides a substantially richer training experience with personalized, real-time data including repetitions, total volume, power and a proprietary Fitness IQ score.

“When developing the InteractiveStudio it was important for us to think about all the friction points a user experiences with home gym equipment. A few years ago, there were no in-home fitness solutions that fit into every lifestyle. There were in-home solutions for cardio and strength but nothing that combined the two in one compact unit. We spent 2 years creating the ultimate community-centric home fitness solution that combines adjustable free-weight equipment, AI-powered performance tracking, and content for a wide variety of workouts,” said Founder and CEO Stephen Owusu.

Unlike other home fitness systems that require users to stand a certain distance from their screen to track form and motion, JAXJOX’s connected technology is built into the products, providing the most versatile experience for training. Users can remove any connected product from the studio and workout in a different location, while still accessing the live coaching and performance tracking on their mobile app.

JAXJOX uses a proprietary machine learning algorithm to calculate the user’s Fitness IQ score. The score keeps them informed on overall progress toward fitness goals and can also provide personal workout recommendations. JAXJOX uses peak and average power, heart rate, workout consistency, steps, body weight, and your chosen fitness level in the calculation.

“Beyond fitness-tech products, our vision is to close the gap between fitness and health. By monitoring performance metrics and using AI, we can give users a more holistic view of their health and provide recommendations on improving their wellbeing. We know working out is only one aspect of wellness and

Aboriginal leaders criticise $39m budget funding to non-Indigenous program for boys

Video: Budget a comprehensive range of programs not to be taken in isolation: Treasurer (Sky News Australia)

Budget a comprehensive range of programs not to be taken in isolation: Treasurer

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Indigenous groups and Labor have criticised the Coalition for allocating more than $39m of extra funding to a non-Indigenous sport-based initiative for boys, but failing to adequately fund Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to meet the new Closing the Gap targets in its budget.



a close up of a flag: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


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Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The government has set aside only $46.5m over four years to support capacity-building in Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to meet targets set out in the new Closing the Gap agreement.

But a decision to allocate $39.8m of extra funding to a non-Indigenous sports-based initiative for boys has drawn the ire of Labor.

The Clontarf Foundation has been awarded the sum over four years from 2020 to expand and extend its program, “which supports the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men”, according to last night’s budget papers.



a close up of a flag: Labor’s Tanya Plibersek has criticised the Morrison government for not providing funding for Indigenous girls after the Clontarf Foundation received $39.8m for boys.


© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Labor’s Tanya Plibersek has criticised the Morrison government for not providing funding for Indigenous girls after the Clontarf Foundation received $39.8m for boys.

Related: High-income earners to reap 88% of Coalition’s tax cuts by 2021-22

Labor’s education spokesperson, Tanya Plibersek, criticised the Coalition for not including funding for Indigenous girls.

“Why do Indigenous girls miss out? There are many groups doing terrific work with Indigenous girls that would love extra funding so they can help extra people. I’ve seen this work firsthand and it’s changing lives – more girls finishing year 12, and more going on to Tafe and university,” Plibersek said.

“Given the trillion dollars of debt, I think Australians would have expected the Liberals to do much more to support Indigenous kids – both boys and girls.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Education pointed to lower retention rates for Indigenous boys in years 10 to 12 than Indigenous girls, saying that “additional support from the Australian government for the Clontarf Foundation will help to enhance the school education experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys and young men, which will contribute positively to engagement and retention to the end of year 12.”

The Clontarf Foundation, launched in 2000, operates 119 academies nationally, using a mix of state and federal government funds, philanthropic donations and powerful corporate partnerships – including Fortescue Metals Group, Wesfarmers, Glencore, AMP, and the Ramsay Foundation.

Clontarf plans camps, excursions and other activities with a focus on wellbeing, life skills and sport. In order to remain in the program, students must stay at school and “embrace the objectives of the foundation”, according to its website.

But questions have arisen over the years about its effectiveness.

A 2016 New South Wales Department of Education evaluation of Clontarf’s performance in the state found the program was having a “modest” impact.

The study found that it had a “positive attendance effect for

Trump Administration Will Cease Federal Funding to Hospitals That Do Not Report COVID-19 Data | Top News

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will halt some federal funding to hospitals that do not comply with its requirements for reporting data on COVID-19, senior administration officials told reporters on a Tuesday call.

Starting Wednesday, hospitals will be given 14 weeks to provide daily reporting to HHS on COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as other information such as influenza cases and use of personal protective equipment, the officials said.

Hospitals that fail to comply will lose access to reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, federal insurance programs for seniors, the disabled, and people with low incomes, they said.

The data will help coordinate the federal government’s response to COVID-19, including helping allocate supplies of antiviral drug remdesivir, and distribute its stockpile of personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, said Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator.

HHS is requiring that hospitals provide daily influenza case reporting because of the likelihood flu season will intersect with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the officials said.

“It is not certain what will happen this fall and winter, however the CDC is preparing for there to be COVID-19 and seasonal flu activity at the same time,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield.

Earlier this year, the U.S. government struggled to provide sufficient personal protective equipment to hospitals inundated with COVID-19 patients. It has also played a role in allocating Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir to hospitals after U.S. regulators approved the antiviral drug in May for emergency use in some COVID-19 patients.

HHS took over responsibility for collecting hospitals’ COVID-19 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July. News reports suggested the Trump administration move was aimed at bypassing the CDC, speculation the CDC director has rejected.

(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by David Gregorio)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Morrison government to spend $1.6bn funding at-home care for older Australians

Video: Public sector workers ‘very frustrated’ over 0.3 per cent pay increase: Unions NSW (Sky News Australia)

Public sector workers ‘very frustrated’ over 0.3 per cent pay increase: Unions NSW

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The Morrison government says it will fund 23,000 new packages for older Australians waiting to receive at home care, at a cost of $1.6bn.



a person sitting on a bed: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


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Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Tuesday’s budget increases the number of approved home care packages available over the next four years in response to both the aged care royal commission and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The interim report of the royal commission found the government needed to act urgently to reduce waiting times for older Australians seeking in-home support.

For the past two years, more than 100,000 Australians have been on wait lists for approved home care packages, with tens of thousands entering residential care prematurely as a result.

Related: How much will I get from the 2020 federal budget tax cuts? More if you earn over $100,000

The government has been under pressure over its aged care response during the pandemic. There have been more than 670 deaths nationally in aged care facilities, more than 640 of those in Victoria, and older Australians have been left to languish in soiled beds and clothes without proper food and hydration.



The Australian government has announced additional funding for aged care after criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.


© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The Australian government has announced additional funding for aged care after criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, said on Tuesday there would be an extra $81m for additional staff and training, on top of $101.2m the government announced for this purpose in March.

The health budget comprises $467bn in overall spending over four years, $16.5bn of that makes up the emergency response to the pandemic.

The government says it will increase funding for hospitals by $33.6bn over the new five-year national health reform agreement and provide $5.7bn for mental health, including already announced funding to double the number if Medicare-funded psychology sessions from 10 to 20.

Related: Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s 2020 budget speech – in full

Hunt said the budget would fund the government’s ongoing response to the pandemic and “helps chart the road out”, with aged care “a particular focus”.

Total funding in aged care will be $23.9bn over the forward estimates – an increase of $2.2bn Hunt said – including the $1.6bn for home care packages.

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said on Tuesday night that aged care was “one of the greatest challenges we face in delivering essential services to Australians”.

He said additional responses and funding would be informed by the final report from the royal commission.

“The government will provide a comprehensive response to the final recommendations following receipt of that report,” he said. “This will involve significant additional investment.”

Tuesday’s budget includes $2.3bn in announced funding for investment in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and funding for the listing of new drugs on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, including Lynparza for women diagnosed with ovarian