Overnight Healthcare: Planned Parenthood takes group behind videos to court

Planned Parenthood on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the anti-abortion activists who have targeted the group with undercover videos for the last year.

The formal complaint marks the first time that Planned Parenthood has taken legal action against the group, the Center for Medical Progress, and what they call its "conspiracy" against abortion.

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The lawsuit has been long-awaited; the first video came out last July with others following through December. Since then, Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits in several states to protect its funding, but has refused to take action against the individuals behind the videos – or even name them.

The group said the Center for Medical Progress, and its organizer David Daleiden, violated the laws of three states as well as federal law – claims that have been repeated by congressional Democrats.

"The express aim of the enterprise -- which stretched over years and involved fake companies, fake identifications, and large-scale illegal taping -- was to demonize Planned Parenthood," the group wrote in a complaint filed in San Francisco. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1n3wWaX and read the complaint here http://bit.ly/1P3h5W7

OBAMA DARES GOP GOVERNORS TO TAKE MEDICAID $: The Obama administration has a new idea to entice Republican states to expand Medicaid, though it faces long odds in a GOP-controlled Congress still deeply opposed to ObamaCare.

Obama proposed Thursday that the federal government pick up the tab for all states' Medicaid expansion costs for three years, no matter when that state decides to accept. Under current law, states that expand Medicaid after this year have to pick up at least some of the costs.

About half of states have refused the expansion, including Nebraska, where Obama paid a visit on Thursday. Obama spokesman Josh Earnest trolled the state for its decision in a press briefing en route aboard Air Force One: "Most states have concluded it's a no-brainer for states to make this decision." Read our story here: http://bit.ly/1ZywpPl

CEMENTING THAT LEGACY: Six years later, President Obama says that his favorite moment in the White House was the night the Affordable Care Act passed.

Responding to a Twitter question about his "favorite memory" on Thursday, Obama said it was "the night aca passed; standing on truman balcony with all staff whod made it happen, knowing we'd helped millions." The law passed both chambers on March 21, 2010. He signed it into law on March 23. Tweet here: http://bit.ly/232O7d1 

AFRICA DECLARED EBOLA FREE (FOR NOW): The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the end of Ebola in West Africa, though it warned that more cases could still be recorded in the region.

Each of the three West African countries ravaged by Ebola no longer have any known cases, marking a key turning point in the nearly two-year-old epidemic.

"Today is a good day, it is an important day," Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization's director of emergency risk management, told reporters Thursday at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Still, global health officials are not ruling out more outbreaks in the three countries hardest hit by the disease: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1ORTxBE

MENTAL HEALTH BILL GETS JUDICIARY HEARING The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Jan. 26 on a mental health reform bill from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynPressure rising on GOP after Trump–DOJ fight’s latest turn Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure MORE (R-Texas), it announced Thursday, as activity mounts around mental health.

Mental health reform is seen as one of the few areas where there could be bipartisan action this year in Congress. Republicans have touted the measures as their response to mass shootings. Democrats are pushing for gun control measures instead, but say they support mental health reform for its own sake.

Cornyn said at the Republican retreat in Baltimore on Thursday that there is a "tremendous opportunity to make progress" on mental health, given his bill and the other measures moving through Congress. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1Kgcb0B

COMMITTEE UPDATES:

The co-ops are back under scrutiny: Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchCorker turns downs Trump's offer to be ambassador to Australia Democrats urge colleagues to oppose prison reform bill The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate MORE (R-Utah) announced Thursday that he will lead a hearing on the failed ObamaCare co-ops next Thursday, Jan. 21.

Expect fireworks – it will feature the yet-to-be-confirmed head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Andy Slavitt. So far, he's the only witness on the schedule.  

The IRS really is a bipartisan target: The Finance Committee's top Democrat, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Firm exposes cell phone location data on US customers Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE (D-Ore.) is calling out the Internal Revenue Service over complaints about its "deteriorating customer service," which were exposed in a government audit on Thursday.

A big part of the IRS's problem? It's overburdened – with new Affordable Care Act duties.

PERSONNEL MOVES: Katie Allen, a former health aide to Reps. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessOvernight Health Care: New allegations against VA nominee | Dems worry House moving too fast on opioid bills | HHS chief back in DC | FDA reexamines safety of controversial Parkinson's drug Top Dems on Energy and Commerce panel concerned House opioid push moving too quickly Maternal deaths keep rising in US, raising scrutiny MORE (R-Texas) and Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackGOP lawmaker introduces bill to crowdfund border wall Budget chairman Womack eyes appropriations switch Black: Corker should ‘just sit back and be quiet’ MORE (R-Tenn.), is joining Horizon Government Affairs as director, government affairs.

TOMORROW'S SCHEDULE:

Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden says 'enough is enough' after Santa Fe school shooting Zinke provided restricted site tours to friends: report Democrat wins Philadelphia-area state House seat for the first time in decades MORE will take part in a roundtable at 3:45 p.m. at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Final day to purchase coverage on HealthCare.gov.

Republicans return from their annual retreat in Baltimore.

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Critics say ACA risk strategies are having a reverse Robin Hood effect (Washington Post)

Chelsea Clinton on Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersClinton backs Georgia governor hopeful on eve of primary The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Frenzy over Kennedy retirement rumors | Trump challenges DOJ Bernie Sanders announces Senate reelection bid MORE' healthcare plan: Mostly false (Politifact)

HPV vaccine rates higher in poor and Latino communities, study finds (The Guardian)

IN THE STATES:

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHolder: DOJ, FBI should reject Trump's requests The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Frenzy over Kennedy retirement rumors | Trump challenges DOJ Asian American and Pacific Islander community will be critical to ensuring successful 2018 elections for Democrats MORE, John Bel Edwards talk Medicaid expansion in Louisiana (Nola.com)

Kansas medical board clears Planned Parenthood (Associated Press)

Georgia's Democratic caucus announces Medicaid expansion plan (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

Business leaders doubt trade vote happens before elections http://bit.ly/1P3hXtL

McConnell vows 'major effort' on budget http://bit.ly/1Q1dJA0

Taxpayer service deteriorating at IRS, investigation finds http://bit.ly/1PuJMpl

 

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