Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Nevada Current. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

At-home COVID tests to be covered by insurance—but details still to come

By: - December 2, 2021

WASHINGTON–State health officials on Thursday welcomed the Biden administration’s plan to require private health insurers to reimburse Americans for the cost of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests—though the officials also raised questions about whether the process will be burdensome. Making those tests more accessible will allow Americans to get results quickly and in the privacy of […]

Biden to unveil plan to blunt potential COVID surge this winter

By: - December 2, 2021

WASHINGTON–Reimbursements for at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. Tougher testing requirements for international travelers. More emergency response teams to aid states combating infection spikes. And another big push to get Americans vaccinated. Those are the latest steps to fight COVID-19 that President Joe Biden will be announcing Thursday, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters Wednesday […]

U.S. Supreme Court considers new limits on abortions in Mississippi case

By: and - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON–The Supreme Court is weighing potentially sweeping changes to the right to an abortion, after two hours of arguments Wednesday morning on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court’s conservatives, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared through their questions to be sympathetic to Mississippi’s arguments that its law […]

Vaccine mandate for health care workers halted nationwide by Louisiana judge

By: and - November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON–A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday issued a ruling blocking nationwide the Biden administration mandate requiring millions of health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. A suit challenging the mandate was led on behalf of multiple states by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, and U.S. Judge Terry Doughty granted the states’ request […]

Federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states blocked by judge

By: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON–Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the Republican-controlled states involved in the lawsuit: Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, […]

How paid leave, immigration could get left behind in Biden’s social policy bill

By: and - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON-Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill. But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better measure […]

Finally – Democrats get Build Back Better bill through the House

By: , and - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Lower prescription drug costs. Expansion of the child tax credit through 2022. Access to affordable child care. Universal preschool for every three- and four-year old. Tax cuts for low-income workers, and tax hikes for corporations and billionaires. The largest federal ever single investment to confront the impacts of climate change. Those were just […]

Biden signs bipartisan infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 […]

Federal vaccine rule for private businesses to kick in on Jan. 4

By: - November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON-Many private employers beginning in January will have to ensure their workers either are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they will undergo weekly testing and wear a face covering, under a new federal rule announced Thursday by the White House. The policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to affect 84 […]

COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5 to 11 get final endorsement by CDC

By: - November 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has signed off on giving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to all kids ages 5 to 11, a final decision that means those children can begin receiving shots as soon as Wednesday. Vials of the pediatric version of the vaccine have already been shipped to states, so they are […]

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What’s in—and out—of Biden’s social spending and climate bill

By: and - October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate package has been slimmed down to a $1.75 trillion plan over ten years that he and top congressional Democrats are attempting to wrestle through after months of negotiations. Snipped from that proposal are a number of key priorities for Democrats, including an attempt to create the […]

COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 could be ready as soon as next week

By: - October 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The next wave of the massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign could begin as soon as next week, after federal regulators decide if elementary school students across the U.S. should begin rolling up their tiny sleeves. That multistep approval process kicks off Tuesday, when the Food & Drug Administration’s panel of vaccine experts will vote […]