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Healthcare

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden is considering executive orders and other measures to increase access and funding for women if the U.S. Supreme Court votes to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, officials and sources with knowledge of the matter said.

An unprecedented leak of an initial draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court, published by Politico last week, showed the court is set to overturn the Roe decision that said the Constitution protects a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.

The president has asked the White House Gender Policy Council, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House Counsel's Office to put together a plan to protect women's rights, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.

A source advising the White House on how it can address the issue told Reuters many steps being considered are tied to asking federal agencies to do more.

For example, the White House is considering pushing the Food & Drug Administration, which controls prescription drug access, to increase access to the drugs used in medical abortions, the person said. Medical abortions account for about half of overall abortions in the United States and must be dispensed by physician in many states.

The White House is also discussing making abortion pills available online from interstate and foreign providers for personal use and asking the FDA to publish a list of authorized reputable providers, the source said.

A third option is asking Health & Human Services Administration (HHS) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow Medicaid funds to be used to pay for travel expenses for lower-income women who travel out of state for abortion procedures, the source said.

The discussions involve preparing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend doctors, pharmacists, institutions that perform abortions and dispense abortion medication, along with women who choose to get an abortion, from criminal cases and lawsuits.

"It may not all be executive orders ... a lot of this is ensuring that we have increased access and funding so that women who are living in the states, if Roe were to be overturned, would be able to have expanded access and capabilities and some of that could be from the Department of Justice," Psaki said, without offering details.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Surgeon General's Office could also be tapped to put out a report on the "profound physical, mental, and emotional impact on women from not having access to reproductive health services," the source said.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters President Biden was meeting a group of people to discuss executive actions. "If he can find executive actions that work and are legal, I would certainly welcome them," Schumer said.

Psaki said she was not aware of a Tuesday meeting but these issues had been discussed in meetings with the president over several days.

She said the White House will not disclose specific steps until the Supreme Court issues a final opinion.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington, additional reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Robert Birsel)

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There's a lot to look forward to in life as you get older. But the older we get, the more we start to wonder how much longer we're going to live. In order to live longer, it's important to lead a healthy lifestyle and there are many everyday things you can do to benefit your health. Here are six things you can do to imiprove your life.

Move Around

As we get older, our arms and legs don't work as well as they did in our younger years. In fact, there are at least two million new wheelchair users in the United States every year, which means there are two million people who aren't able to get up and move.

One of the best things you can do for yourself to live longer is to keep moving. Even if you're not a gym fanatic, there's plenty you can do to stay active. Aim for at least half an hour of activity every day. You can break it up by taking short walks, lifting some hand weights, playing sports, or walking on a treadmill.

Eat Healthy

It's not always easy, but eating healthy and making good food choices is important the older you get. That doesn't mean giviing up your favorite foods cold turkey, but enjoying foods in moderation and following a diet will help keep you healthy. Studies have found that the Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts, is a good one to follow.

Maintain A Good Weight

Along with eating well and staying active, you can live longer by maintaining a healthy weight. That's especially true of senior citizens. The CDC finds that men and women who reach the age of 80 are likely to live another eight to 10 years. Take time to take note of your weight. If you're unsure what a healthy weight should be, consult your doctor.

Don't Smoke

Of all the things you can do to help yourself live longer, this one might be the most important. Smoking affects the lungs and coronary arteries and the older you get, the more risk you have of a stroke or cancer. Whether you're a casual or longtime smoker, take steps to quit; your body will thank you.

Get Some Sleep

We all have reactions to not getting enough sleep and generally none of them are ever good. A lack of sleep makes it hard to focus, makes you irritable, and perhaps unable to put forth your best effort at work. To help yourself live longer, sleep is paramount. Make sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour and turn off electronic devices so you're only focused on sleeping. Don't be afraid to nap either. A mid-day snooze can be just the thing you need to recharge yourself to focus on the rest of your day.

Make Friends

It's estimated that about one million Americans currently live in senior communities and by 2030 that number is expected to double. In senior living communities, you're surrounded by people who can be your friends. Studies have shown that an active social life can also help you live longer, so don't be afraid to make some new pals.

By taking steps to live a healthier life, you'll give yourself every chance to live longer. You'll also lead a more fulfilling life because you're actively taking care of yourself and doing the things you love doing. So if you're concerned about your health as you get older, take steps to change right away. Even small steps can have a big impact and you may just surprise yourself with how those changes have positive benefits for your health and your life.