OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: Obama touts health benefits of climate rule

President Obama touted the administration's new carbon pollution standards for existing power plants on a call with health groups Monday.

During the call hosted by the American Lung Association, Obama said that climate policies are crucial to ensure that "future generations are able to enjoy this beautiful blue ball in the middle of space that we're a part of."

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The administration is justifying the new rules to reduce power plant carbon emissions by pointing to the growing number of asthma attacks in children and families.

"Rising temperatures bring more smog, more asthma, and longer allergy seasons. If your kid doesn’t use an inhaler, consider yourself a lucky parent, because 1 in 10 children in the U.S. suffers from asthma," said Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy.

"Carbon pollution from power plants comes packaged with other dangerous pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, putting our families at even more risk," she added.

The message has resounded with a leading group of pediatricians who say the new climate regulations are a dramatic step forward in protecting children's lives and health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) came out strongly in favor of the power plant rules with a level of candor unusual for medical provider groups.

"As climate change accelerates, children will continue to suffer disproportionately," AAP President James M. Perrin said in a statement.

"In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more than 80 percent of the current health burden due to the changing climate occurs in children younger than five years old.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reopening its playbook in a new attack that accuses Republicans of voting to keep taxpayer-funded lifetime healthcare for themselves.

Born in the summer of 2012, the attack suggests that Republican opponents of ObamaCare are seeking to recapture a set of generous congressional healthcare benefits that were lost under the law.

The charge takes center stage in a new online ad campaign that also blames the GOP for last year's government shutdown. The effort is targeting 11 House Republicans.

Calling the attack false, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) pointed to language in the House GOP budget that bars retired members from receiving free healthcare for life.

GOP PUSHES ABORTION BILL: House Republicans are calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to hold a vote on legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks.

More than 100 House members urged Reid to bring up the bill from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a letter Monday.

Graham is facing a primary election next week and has touted his anti-abortion measure as a way to distinguish himself from six challengers.

INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE PLANS GROW: The number of people who bought health insurance on their own outside of the ObamaCare exchanges surged at the beginning of the year, according to a new report.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates between 3 million and 3.5 million new people signed up for health insurance either through insurance companies or brokers in March.

It estimates a total of 15 million people now have individual insurance through the private market.

STATE BY STATE:

‘Sense of urgency’ as Va. budget shortfall looms

Maine co-op to offer Affordable Care insurance in NH

Confusion likely as Nevada switches from state to federal health exchange

NC Medicaid budget changes watched closely in Charlotte

Five companies to offer health plans in New Hampshire

LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS:

Hogan Lovells US LLP/ Cherokee Nation Healthcare Services, LLC

Banner Public Affairs, LLC/ NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc.

READING LIST:

Doctors are donating less often to Republican candidates

Businesses may have to wait to offer choice of health plans

Medicare Advantage grows, defies forecasts

Pfizer to pay $325 million in Neurontin settlement

Apple, joining other tech giants, introduces healthcare app

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED AT THE HILL:

GAO report: Self-referring doctors may be driving up healthcare costs

Bill would exempt schools from employer mandate

Open FDA project releases millions of reports

Dem demands that VA release more information

Next step in mental health, gun violence?

Avalere Health announces international partnership

Doctors report new success against cervical cancer

Medicare charges vary by hospital, report finds