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Prayers to Majority Whip Steve Scalise and other shooting victims: Every now and then an event happens that upends the daily routine of politics, and sadly, today is one of those days as the majority whip, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, and two Capitol Police officers were shot during practice for the annual bipartisan tradition of the congressional baseball game. As more details emerge about the shooting, no doubt, the event itself will be subject to a heated political debate. But for now, Daily on Healthcare wanted to offer its thoughts and prayers for a swift recovery to all those who were shot and to strength to their families during this time.
Following shooting, markups on House healthcare bills postponed: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, released an announcement saying that meetings on several bills would be postponed until Thursday, including on the Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act and the Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act.
Trump says House healthcare bill is ‘mean:’ The president had praised the House-passed bill in a Rose Garden ceremony, but during lunch Tuesday with key senators on healthcare, the president called for them to improve the legislation so that it is more generous, a source familiar with Tuesday's White House meeting told the Washington Examiner. Trump met Tuesday with 13 Republicans, including some who are on a working group trying to find consensus on a healthcare reform plan. Republicans praised the meeting upon returning to the Capitol, but most of them declined to talk in detail about what was discussed. Trump’s comments throw another complication as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tries to cobble together a fragile 50 votes to pass a healthcare bill. Politically, weeks removed from pushing House Republicans to take a tough vote on one of his priorities, is now trashing the legislation behind closed doors. Democrats can now campaign against Republicans in those districts by saying, “My opponent voted for a bill that was so bad even President Trump called it ‘mean.’” That could give pause to wobbly senators that the president will hang them out to dry after casting tough votes. At the same time, Trump urged senators to pump more money into the bill, but that creates problems because the law has to reduce deficits to be eligible for passage with a simple majority vote. Either Republicans would have to find spending cuts elsewhere or be less aggressive in repealing Obamacare’s taxes.
Welcome to Philip Klein’s Daily on Healthcare, compiled by Washington Examiner Managing Editor Philip Klein (@philipaklein), Senior Healthcare Writer Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and Healthcare Reporter Robert King (@rking_19). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list.
Houses passes Verify First Act: The legislation would verify someone’s eligibility before he or she can receive federal assistance to buy health insurance, whether through Obamacare’s tax subsidies or through the tax credits in the House healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act.
Trump tries to lead on Obamacare: For the second time in a week, President Trump met Tuesday with "Obamacare victims" to highlight the plights of those whose healthcare arrangements were worsened by the law Republicans have long vowed to repeal and replace. It's an example of Trump trying to take a leadership role on Obamacare as the rest of the Republican legislative agenda stalls despite unified GOP control of the federal government. But the Russia probe, with Trump's own unpredictability and low approval ratings, have complicated the president's use of the bully pulpit. Read more.
Trump criticizes Democrats on healthcare. "No matter how good it is, we will get no obstructionist Democrat votes," Trump said Tuesday in a speech, echoing his past criticism of Democratic resistance to Obamacare reform. "If it's the greatest healthcare plan ever devised, we will get zero votes by the obstructionists, the Democrats."
CMS projects 13 million more uninsured under GOP healthcare plan by 2026: Congressional Budget Office estimates pegged that number at 23 million. The CMS report from Tuesday also projects the House bill would reduce spending by $328 billion, mostly because of its wind-down of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. The two reports mainly differ in how strong they project the individual mandate is as an impetus to getting people to purchase health insurance. The CBO report from last month estimated that 14 million people would otherwise choose not to have health insurance in 2018, while the new CMS report estimates 4 million would make that choice. The individual mandate, an unpopular provision in Obamacare, obligates people to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. Under the CMS projections, the number of uninsured would rise to 13 million people because fewer people would be eligible for Medicaid and the subsidies to buy health insurance would be less generous for some. Premiums, the CMS report projects, would drop by 13 percent for people who do not qualify for subsidies under Obamacare, but would be 5 percent higher for those who do qualify. Out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as deductibles, are projected to rise by 61 percent.
Aetna considers participating in Nevada’s exchange: The health insurance giant had announced in May that it did not plan on participating in the program at all for 2018. "We've filed rates based on a contractual obligation with the state, but no final decision on our participation has been made," an Aetna spokesman told the Washington Examiner. Part of the reason Aetna is considering participating in Nevada is because in reviewing applications for Medicaid managed care participation, the state gives extra weight in the bidding process to those who are in the exchange. Nevada is one of a dozen states, including the District of Columbia, that runs its own exchange rather than rely on the federal healthcare.gov most states use. The Medicaid program’s enrollment may soon grow; a bill has reached Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's desk that would allow more people in the state to buy into it, in a move that would be similar to the offering of a public option.
Sandoval wants to keep Medicaid expansion: The position puts him at odds with the state's Republican senator, Dean Heller, who wants to gradually phase it out over seven years. Sandoval, who expanded Medicaid in 2013 under Obamacare, said he wants to try to keep Medicaid "the way it is because it's been beneficial to Nevada," according to a report in the Nevada Independent. "I think the House bill has a two-year ramp, I've heard seven, I've heard five," he said. "Obviously my preference is that it stay the way it is, that has always been something that I've spoken for and fought for on behalf of the newly eligibles."
House sends VA reform bill to Trump. The House voted 368-55 Tuesday to advance the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which would would ease worker protections at the agency. The legislation, written in response to recent scandals at the department over manipulation of waiting lists and poor conditions at hospitals, will make it easier to fire VA workers over such problems.
Nomination for a top mental health post: Trump has nominated Elinore McCance-Katz to serve as assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Department of Health and Human Services. McCance-Katz is chief medical officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and a psychiatry professor at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Previously, she served as the first chief medical officer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Washington Examiner Editorial: Republican healthcare reforms tiptoe timidly toward disaster. “Republicans' healthcare reform efforts are taking them down a perilous path. In control of Congress and the White House, they plan to pass a bill with zero Democratic support that pretends to repeal Obamacare and falsely claims to introduce market disciplines. President Trump on Tuesday told a small group of Republican senators that their bill was too ‘mean’ and needed to be more generous. Republican senators are privately saying there aren't 50 votes to repeal Obamacare regulations that drive up premium costs. This puts the party and president on course for disaster. If Obamacare's costly regulations are left in place, the bill cannot honestly be described as ‘repeal’ or ‘reform.’” Read more.
The Marshall Project For corrections officers and cops, a new emphasis on mental health
Kaiser Health News The Senate’s secret healthcare talks are the latest slide away from transparency. I’m a witness
Modern Healthcare How California made Obamacare work
theSkimm No excuses not to talk about healthcare
Des Moines Register Disabled Iowans, fed up with cuts under privatized Medicaid, sue Gov. Reynolds
NPR Could drones help save people in cardiac arrest?
Bloomberg Opioid costs push struggling states to dust off tobacco strategy
Washington Post Top Michigan health official charged with manslaughter in Flint water crisis
WEDNESDAY | JUNE 14
June 10-June 14. Hyatt Regency Chicago. American Medical Association Annual Meeting. Agenda.
June 14-16. Oregon Convention Center. Portland. Annual conference for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control. Details.
June 14-15. National Library of Medicine. Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications conference on "Consequential Research: Accelerating Continuous Improvement." Details.
2:30 p.m. Dirksen 106. Special Committee on Aging Hearing on “Military Caregivers: Families Serving for the Long Run.” Details.
6 p.m. Washington Hilton Hotel. 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW. National Partnership for Women & Families gala.
THURSDAY | JUNE 15
8:30 a.m. 1101 K St. NW. Bloomberg Law event on “Affordable Care Act repeal and replace: Now what?” Details.
10 a.m. Dirksen 138. Senate appropriations hearing on Department of Health and Human Services budget. Details.
SATURDAY | JUNE 17
The Children's March for Humanity will hold nationwide marches and rallies in more than 24 U.S. cities. Details.
MONDAY | JUNE 19
June 19-22. San Diego Convention Center. 111 W Harbor Dr. Biotechnology Innovation Organization annual convention. Details.
TUESDAY | JUNE 20
Noon. Rayburn 2103. Briefing on neuroscience research with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus.
6 p.m. Carnegie Library. 801 K St. NW. Bipartisan Policy Center panel discussion on documentary “Unseen Enemy” with Johnson & Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Study Panel. Details.