Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!

Biden Administration Signals Healthcare Priorities for 2022

The annual budget request was sent to Congress last week. Seen as a wish-list of priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, President Biden has outlined additional funding for fighting the opioid epidemic, bolstering the public health infrastructure, and developing a federal research agency which would focus on cancer and other diseases. The programs would increase investments in minority and underserved communities, better fund the CDC, and prepare officials for future global health emergencies.

Youth Sports, Covid Increases Linked

The CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, says spikes in Covid infections in Michigan and Minnesota are linked to the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant virus and school/youth sports. The governor of Michigan has called on schools and sports clubs to pause in-person practice, and asked schools to go virtual for a two-week interval in an effort to curb the spread. Covid cases across the country are rising in adults under 40, while case rates for 19 and under have quadrupled from a month ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Data Suggests More Women are Getting Covid Shots

While men have a higher death rate from Covid, more women than men are getting vaccinated against the virus, according to a study by KHN. Several factors can contribute to this, including longer life spans for women (more women in the first rounds of eligibility for a vaccine) and more women working in health care and education, who were again more likely to get early vaccinations. However, in some states the gap has widened even with eligibility expanding, to 57% women versus 43% men receiving Covid vaccines in Kentucky. Typically, women are more likely to take precautions against disease and to seek healthcare than men. Read more at KHN.