Headlines for January 02, 2024

Nearly 10 million low-wage workers received raises on January 1, when the minimum wage increased in 22 states across the country. The biggest increase came in Hawaii, where the minimum wage jumped from $12 to $14 an hour. In Washington state, the minimum wage increased to $16.28 — the highest rate of any state. The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour — the same level it has been for 15 years.

A slew of other new state laws went into effect on January 1. New laws banning gender-affirming healthcare treatments for transgender youth have gone into effect in Louisiana and Idaho. But a number of states are pushing back against the wave of anti-trans laws. In Maryland, the Trans Health Equity Act went into effect, ensuring the state’s Medicaid program covers gender-affirming healthcare. In California, a new state law offers new legal protections for people who travel to the state for abortion and gender-affirming care.

In other health news, the price of insulin has gone down for millions of Americans. As of January 1, the out-of-pocket cost of insulin has been capped at $35 a month by three of the nation’s largest insulin manufacturers.

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