Overnight Healthcare: Clinton hits Sanders from the right on healthcare

Just when you'd written off ObamaCare as a Democratic campaign item, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump supporters call for Kaine's son and other protesters to be prosecuted Democrat in district won by Trump running for governor Combating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause MORE comes out swinging against Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders will 'absolutely' work with Trump to lower prescription drug costs Sanders says he will introduce 'Medicare for all' bill Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill MORE (I-Vt.) and his single-payer plan.

The Democratic front-runner's campaign is blasting her chief rival's failure to address how he'd pay for a single-payer healthcare system, arguing that he'd need to impose steep tax hikes.

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Clinton's senior policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on the call that Sanders is refusing to disclose his plan's price tag because the details are "politically difficult," with potentially trillions of dollars of new spending and hefty new tax hikes.

Sanders did not mention healthcare in a trillion-dollar tax outline released Wednesday, and his campaign has not said when those details will be released.

The Sanders campaign -- as well as some progressive allies -- have fought back with full force, accusing Clinton of using "Karl Rove tactics" that she once condemned as a presidential candidate in 2008. In that race, she said Democratic attacks on universal healthcare help Republicans while undermining "core Democratic values."

The candidates' tense back-and-forth on healthcare took off on Tuesday after Hillary Clinton's daughter Chelsea Clinton said Sanders was trying to "dismantle" ObamaCare and its programs. She didn't mention the single-payer system is intended to replace -- not simply eliminate -- ObamaCare and that it would also replace premiums.

Read today's story: http://bit.ly/1RmeIxW. Sanders's full response here. http://bit.ly/1KdTiLL

PELOSI DEFENDS 'ABORTION-ON-DEMAND' COMMENTS: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was caught in the unusual position of taking heat from abortion rights advocates on Wednesday.

Pelosi is now defending recent remarks to Roll Call this week, when she said she doesn't support "abortion on demand," which some have described as a substitute for birth control.

"We should all be working together to make sure that women have the right to make their own decisions in terms of the size and timing and of their families," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

Groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America and CREDO Action took offense to Pelosi's earlier comments, suggesting that, by adopting the language of anti-abortion groups, Pelosi risks muddling the message of those fighting to keep the procedure legal and accessible.

Less than two weeks ago, CREDO Action attacked another top Democrat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for comments on abortion. The Democratic National Committee chairwoman had suggested that millenial women had become complacent on abortion rights after Roe v. Wade. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1RNqHDi

SENATE FAULTS FDA RESPONSE TO 'SUPERBUG': A new report from Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayInspector general reviewing HHS decision to halt ObamaCare ads Dems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Wash.) is delivering bad news on the Food and Drug Administration's oversight of medical devices that may have contributed to a recent "superbug" outbreak in several U.S. hospitals.

A report requested by Murray blames the FDA's larger system responsible for ensuring medical device safety. It says the agency largely relies "almost exclusively on the self-reporting and self-regulation of manufacturers and hospitals."

Murray recommends an oversight system more similar to the one used for drugs, which relies on electronic health records and insurance claims to look for problems with a drug. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2015p8a  

BIDEN'S NEXT STEPS ON CANCER FIGHT: Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: I regret not being president Biden: 'McCain is right: Need select committee' for Russia With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE is heading to Philadelphia for a roundtable talk at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center at the school's Perelman School of Medicine. More from the Philly Inquirer: http://bit.ly/1JLdHwE

 

COMMITTEE UPDATES:

- Will Martin Shkreli give Oversight a look at his books (from prison?): House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzSecret Service agents set for discipline after fence-jumping incident: report Overnight Cybersecurity: House Intel chair says surveillance collected on Trump transition team House Oversight grills law enforcement on facial recognition tech MORE appears to have finally agreed to investigate Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Chaffetz, along with long-time Shrekli foe Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), have asked for all documents related to the pricing and profits of drugs sold by the company as it faces price-gouging claims. Read the letter here. http://1.usa.gov/1N8bKp3

- Did Homeland Security drop the ball on Ebola entry checks? An investigation released Wednesday by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security found major gaps in its response to the Ebola outbreak last year.

The department "did not ensure sufficient coordination, adequate training and consistent screening of people arriving at all U.S. ports of entry," according to the audit. Read the full report here: http://1.usa.gov/1mZXuKm  

- Are state exchanges sustainable? Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee are asking the Obama administration to explain how it's helping state marketplaces become completely self-sufficient after cutting off funds last year.

State exchanges, which have received billions of dollars in start-up grants, were required to be self-sustaining by January 2015. Some state exchanges are still struggling, however, and Republicans have repeatedly voiced concerns that those funds won't be recouped. Read the letter here: http://1.usa.gov/2304V4A

 

TOMORROW'S SCHEDULE:

Republicans continue their annual retreat in Baltimore.

 

WHAT WE'RE READING:

With healthcare switch, Kentucky ventures into the unknown (NYT)

Anthem, Aetna lead health insurer rally on 2016 forecasts (Bloomberg)

Pelosi: 'I'm not for abortion on demand' (Roll Call)

Doctors strike in England disrupts care for thousands (NYT)

 

IN THE STATES:

Alabama Medicaid agency asks for $157M increase (AL.com)

Heart doctors outraged Florida dumps hospital standards after big gifts to GOP (CNN)

AIDS-vaccine fraud sentence upheld for former scientist (Des Moines Register)

 

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

Republican: ObamaCare helped 'one or two people' nationally http://bit.ly/1KdVi6K

Aetna CEO: 'Too early' to give up on ObamaCare marketplaces http://bit.ly/20146pJ

 

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