OVERNIGHT HEALTH: House passes late-term abortion ban

This changed Friday when GOP leadership quietly ordered the House Rules Committee to add rape and incest exceptions to the bill for victims that report the crimes against them. The measure's floor manager was also changed from Franks to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), perhaps in a nod to criticism that the bill's committee of jurisdiction includes no GOP women. 

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State fetal-pain measures have been challenged in court because they attempt to ban abortion prior to viability — the basic standard for U.S. abortion rights established by Roe v. Wade. Democrats have slammed Franks's bill as unconstitutional, morally presumptuous and part of a GOP-led "war on women" that Dems say will undercut Republican efforts to court female voters.

"We are inching back toward the truly dark ages" with this bill, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) said Tuesday. 

Here are a few more highlights from the bill's journey to passage:

—Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a former OB/GYN and member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, said Monday that the appearance of fetal masturbation at 15 weeks justifies the late-term ban because it suggests fetuses experience physical feeling in the second trimester.

—Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a physician, tried unsuccessfully on Monday to get his name removed as an original co-sponsor of the bill because he opposed the rape and incest exceptions added by the Rules Committee.

—Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), top Democrat on the Rules panel and co-chairwoman of the Pro-Choice Caucus, charged Tuesday that in the minds of Republicans, "rape is really not so bad and the likelihood of getting pregnant is small."

—Last week during markup, Franks defended his opposition to a rape exception by saying that the incidence of pregnancy caused by rape is "very low." This comment saw a massive backlash from Democrats, including White House press secretary Jay Carney, who said it showed an "alarming disregard for women."

Enrollment push kicks off: Enroll America, the nonprofit group encouraging people to enroll in new coverage options under ObamaCare, announced the opening phase of its big summer campaign Tuesday. 

The group said it's starting with roughly 50 grassroots events in 18 states, aiming to reach uninsured consumers through channels they already trust. That means focusing for now on community organizations and person-to-person contacts, then building to a paid media campaign closer to the actual enrollment window. The group is looking at partnerships with sports franchises and celebrities, but that sort of publicity would come later.

Healthwatch has all the details on Tuesday's announcement.

Enrollment playbook: Meanwhile, BuzzFeed snagged a copy of an internal administration document showing the plan to sell ObamaCare. Among the new tidbits of information: The administration has designated certain areas for "KGS Priority Travel" — a reference to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Her travel plans apparently include stops in Arizona, Texas, Florida, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Milwaukee.

BuzzFeed posted its copy of the full presentation here.

Obesity a disease? Obesity should be classified as a disease, the American Medical Association said Tuesday.

The AMA adopted a host of new policy positions during its annual meeting in Chicago. In addition to classifying obesity as a disease, the doctors' group called for a ban on selling energy drinks to children and said gay men should be allowed to donate blood.


Wednesday's schedule

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging will hold a hearing on the Older Americans Act. The event will focus on how the law helps reduce poverty and hunger among seniors.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will look at the federal government's approach to issuing biometric IDs in a hearing.


State by state

Chart: Abortion restrictions in states

Maine Democrats scramble after governor blocks Medicaid expansion

NH House proposes 3-year Medicaid expansion plan


Lobbying registrations

Faith and Public Policy Institute / self-registration

Crossroads Strategies / Genentech

Strategic Health Care / Continuing Care Hospital


Reading list

ObamaCare-like groups tied to lower costs

Feds pitch broad payment options for ObamaCare customers

Hospital prices inch higher after nose dive last month [free registration required]

Doctors call for halt to energy drinks ads to US youths


What you might have missed on Healthwatch


Senate passes bill to allow research on organ transplants for HIV patients

Dem says GOP cares more about fetuses than children

UN calls for limits on junk food ads for kids

House passes bill aimed at ensuring flu vaccine availability

Abortion bill advances in House after emotional debate

Study: Slow growth in health costs will continue


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Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523

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