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Covid ‘Long Haulers’ Ask Who Pays When Sickness Just Won’t End

Oct. 5, 2020, 5:51 PM

Here are the day’s top coronavirus stories from the team at Bloomberg Law:

  • LONG HAULERS: Millions of people will live with coronavirus’s effects long after the pandemic subsides. Even mild cases have caused lung, heart and kidney damage in otherwise healthy people. It’s unclear what their future health-care needs will be, or how much their care will cost. As with HIV and the opioid addiction crisis, the scope and newness of the pandemic presents many new questions about what treatments insurers will cover.
  • COVID ORDERS: The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 shutdown rules, rebuffing businesses and a political campaign that said their constitutional rights were being violated. It also won’t review Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order. The court Oct. 5 denied an appeal questioning whether the quarantine restrictions were legal.
  • MICHIGAN RULING: Dozens of Michigan executive orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to fight the pandemic are unconstitutional, the state’s high court ruled Friday in a split decision. Four of the seven justices ruled that the 1945 statute giving Whitmer (D) unilateral power to issue orders addressing the pandemic violated the state constitution because the law delegated too much power to the governor’s office.
  • HOSPITAL STAY: Donald Trump’s condition remains clouded by confusion over his treatment for Covid-19, with the president’s effort to show strength contradicted by conflicting accounts from his doctors that raise doubts about how soon he’ll be able return to work and his re-election campaign.

What to Watch

We explore the looming health insurance crisis for the millions of Americans who have contracted Covid-19.

Editor’s Top Picks

Regeneron Antibody Cocktail Used by Trump Faces Patent Suit
The Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. “antibody cocktail” given to President Donald Trump to treat his symptoms was developed with the unauthorized use of a fluorescent protein, according to a lawsuit by a California company that patented the technology.

Senate’s Supreme Court Timeline Faces Scrutiny on Virus Fear
Donald Trump’s fast-track timetable for confirming his Supreme Court nominee is under new pressure after the president’s diagnosis, particularly amid questions about whether the confirmation process might have helped spread the virus.

Construction Company Must Face ERISA Suit Over Covid-19 Downturn
A Rhode Island construction company must defend an unusual lawsuit claiming it violated ERISA by adopting a “special valuation” date for its 401(k) plan that allegedly forced employees to lock in losses from the Covid-19 market downturn, a federal judge held in a ruling docketed Monday.

Business Pleas Fail to Delay Virus-Era Minimum Wage Increases
Covid-19 hasn’t slowed the march toward a $15 an hour minimum wage in several states and cities, as business groups mostly strike out at persuading public officials to postpone scheduled increases.

Hartford, Travelers Won’t Face Combined Virus-Loss Claims
Hartford Financial Services Group, The Travelers Cos. Inc. and other insurers won’t have to face a consolidation of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of business-interruption claims tied to the outbreak, a group of judges concluded.

Employer Respiratory Hazards Top OSHA Pandemic Citations
Alleged employer violations of respiratory protection regulations are the most common problems OSHA inspectors cited six months into the coronavirus pandemic.

OSHA Issues Interim Guidance for Fit-Testing Powered Respirators
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is making it easier for health-care providers and other employers where exposure to the coronavirus is a high risk to use tight-fitting powered air-purifying respirators.

New York Localities Told to Enforce Virus Laws or Face Fines
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a warning Friday to the state’s mayors and local governments: enforce coronavirus-related mask and social gathering laws, or your community could be fined as much as $10,000 for each day of noncompliance.

Click here for updates on how federal courts are operating during the pandemic.

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Editor’s Note: The Bloomberg Law news team has been closely covering the legal, regulatory, business, and tax implications of the coronavirus pandemic. This daily email highlights the top stories of the day, across practice areas. To unsubscribe, please adjust your Bloomberg Law newsletter settings. For assistance, contact our help desk at 888-560-2529 or help@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Ward in Washington at mward@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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