OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Sebelius heads to Capitol Hill

The hearing begins at 9 a.m.

Progress report: There were no fireworks to speak of as Gary Cohen, one of Sebelius's top deputies, testified Thursday before the Senate Health Committee. Cohen said the federal exchange is moving ahead steadily — it began accepting applications from insurance plans on April 1, and that initial test of the technology infrastructure went well, Cohen said. He also said Republican states that have opposed exchanges recognize that the new marketplaces are coming, and want to see them succeed despite pushing the heavy lifting to the federal government.

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Healthwatch has more from the hearing.

Ryan on abortion: Thursday night will mark Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) most public remarks on abortion since the 2012 presidential campaign. In a speech to the Susan B. Anthony List gala, the onetime GOP vice presidential nominee will urge the right to double down on its "pro-life beliefs" as a political strategy but remain open to working with those who disagree.

"We understand the best way to advance a cause isn't to push our political adversaries away. It's to convince them," Ryan will say.

In the past, Ryan has supported abortion rights only when the woman's life is in danger. His addition to Mitt Romney's presidential ticket last year drew attention to the candidates' disagreement — Romney supported banning abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and the woman's life.

'Until 26': Young adults insured through a parent's plan because of ObamaCare are more likely to use that coverage for mental illness, substance abuse and pregnancy, new research found. The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute found that those conditions accounted for 60 percent of hospital claims for young adults enrolled in parents' plans in 2011 as a result of healthcare reform. Treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and pregnancy accounted for about one-third of claims in a comparison group of young people who were already enrolled in a parent's plan two years ago, the institute said.

Read more at Healthwatch.


Friday's agenda

The House Ways and Means Committee will host Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing on President Obama's budget.


State by state

Arkansas House OKs Medicaid 'private option' 62-37

Arizona legislature closing in on Medicaid vote

Proposed NY soda ban likely to backfire, study finds

Florida Gov. Rick Scott slams House Medicaid plan


Lobbying registrations

Holland & Knight / Community Care of North Carolina

Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Association / Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

Hogan Lovells / Sharp Corporation

Strategic Health Care / Presbyterian Health Plan

The Madison Group / Wills Eye Institute

Troutman Sanders Public Affairs Group / DermaTran Health Solutions


Reading list

Harkin accuses administration of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'

How Obama's tobacco tax would drive down smoking rates

Doctors use brain scans to 'see' and measure pain


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Employer-based health coverage on the decline, study finds

Lawmakers seek full list of federal mental health programs

Justice outlaws synthetic marijuana 

Coalition outlines 'consensus' healthcare reforms



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

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

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