OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Pelosi brushes off ObamaCare worries

"We're very pleased that we're coming to a place now where we're going into implementation," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "It's going to be something so remarkable in terms of prevention and wellness; it's going to be something so great in terms of technology and ... electronic medical records."

The Hill has more on Pelosi's remarks.

Abortion inquiries: House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRepublicans who vow to never back Trump NRCC upgrades 11 'Young Guns' candidates Cruz, Kasich join forces to stop Trump MORE (R-Va.) on Thursday threw his weight behind new GOP-led investigations into state abortion regulations. The inquiries were announced by the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary committees, both of which cited the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell as their impetus.

Gosnell is accused of killing a woman and several infants born alive after failed abortions in the squalid clinic he ran for decades. The jury is still deliberating his case.
"The fact that Gosnell evaded the law for so long has raised issues about whether these clinics are being adequately inspected, and when violations of the law are discovered, whether those are being prosecuted," Cantor said Thursday.

"I commend Chairmen [Bob] Goodlatte [(R-Va.)] and [Fred] Upton [(R-Mich.)] and their committee members for seeking answers to these questions in letters sent to attorneys general and state health officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia today."

Read more about the probes at Healthwatch.

HELP unveils compounding bill: Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a bipartisan draft bill to strengthen federal regulation of certain drug compounders following a deadly meningitis outbreak that has killed 55 and sickened more than 700 since last fall. The measure responds to requests from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clarify its authority over non-traditional compounders, which produce custom drugs on a large scale without individual prescriptions attached.

"This legislation is a significant step forward in protecting the public from unsafe compounded products," said HELP Committee Chairman Tom HarkinTom HarkinDo candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? The Hill's 12:30 Report Mark Mellman: Parsing the primary processes MORE (R-Iowa). "By clarifying FDA authority over high-risk compounding practices, this bill will enhance protections for patients taking compounded drugs and help prevent crises like last year’s tragic meningitis outbreak."

The spate of illnesses was linked to the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center (NECC), a non-traditional compounder that fell into a regulatory gray area because it produced custom drugs in massive quantities and shipped them across state lines. Senators praised the new bill on Thursday for empowering the FDA to oversee firms like the NECC while "preserving the states' primary role" in regulating traditional, small-scale compounders. Read a "Myth vs. Fact" document on the bill from Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsInvestments in research and development are investments in American jobs GOP senator blocks Obama Army nominee over Guantanamo Senators call on Obama administration to address steel industry issues MORE (R-Kan.) here

Kentucky signs on: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said Thursday that he plans to participate in the healthcare law's Medicaid expansion. With Beshear's support, every Democratic governor is now on board, as are several high-profile Republicans. The expansion will cover roughly half of the uninsured people in Kentucky, Beshear said. Healthwatch has the story.

Friday's agenda

Neurosurgeon Keith L. Black will address the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus on an experimental method of detecting Alzheimer's early.

State by state

First ObamaCare ad campaign doesn't mention ObamaCare

Medicaid decision looming for Michigan lawmakers

Calif. weighs expanded role for nurse practitioners

Reading list

Health perks for top workers could trigger ObamaCare penalties

Pediatricians: Give immigrants healthcare access

Drugmakers, health groups bring poor girls vaccine

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

GOP won't offer input on nominees to controversial ObamaCare panel

Paul RyanPaul RyanFormer GOP senator: I’d back Trump but not Cruz as nominee House GOP reignites push for budget plan GOP chairman: Our ObamaCare alternative coming before July MORE: ObamaCare will 'collapse'

HHS issues new funds for ObamaCare enrollment efforts

Rep. George Miller ‘doing great’ after surgery

Angus KingAngus KingCapitol Hill’s forest champions helped secure win for wood The Hill's 12:30 Report Merkley becomes first senator to back Sanders in White House bid MORE: Regulators could jeopardize ObamaCare

Democratic Rep. Hahn: Healthcare law will result in fewer ‘bad marriages’

Obama officials roll out climate and health data tool

GOP lawmaker: My stomach surgery could add 20 years to my life

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

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