Overnight Healthcare: McConnell not backing off against Planned Parenthood

This week's indictment of two anti-abortion activists who targeted Planned Parenthood hasn't changed Republican minds in Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellReid defends embattled VA secretary GOP leaders rip VA chief over Disneyland comparison Reid knocks GOP over 'light' Senate schedule MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he has no regrets about relying on undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood to criticize the organization after the video-makers were indicted this week.

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Asked at a press conference whether he had "any regrets" about relying on the videos to level charges against Planned Parenthood, McConnell replied, "No."

Democrats have jumped on the indictments handed down in Texas on Monday. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt face charges of tampering with a government record for allegedly using a fake driver's license to access a Planned Parenthood center. The grand jury found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.

Republicans, however, have largely vowed to push on in their efforts against Planned Parenthood. The House committee will not be releasing the results of its investigation until December. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1PFATPx

DEMS WANT MORE PUBLIC NOTICE ON LEAD POISONING: Top Democrats from Michigan's congressional delegation have introduced a bill to expand lead poisoning notifications in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

The bill would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to notify the public and local health departments if the amount of lead found in public water systems warrants action, if the state hasn't already sent a notification. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1ROoc53

SENATE GOP SAYS OPIOID LEGISLATION COMING: Senate leadership is eyeing a path forward to tackle drug addiction as the issue comes under increasing scrutiny in the 2016 election.

"We had a significant discussion for quite a period of time in the Republican conference today on the opioid heroin epidemic that's sweeping the country," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.

McConnell added that senators are "anxious" to see what legislation comes out of the Judiciary Committee and that he's hopeful lawmakers will be able to get legislation passed this year despite a shortened schedule. Read more here. http://bit.ly/205VZvu

T MINUS FIVE DAYS UNTIL HEALTHCARE.GOV DEADLINE: President Obama hit the airwaves on Wednesday for interviews with TV stations from Richmond, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles, and Oakland to talk up the Jan. 31 deadline. Look for those embargoed interviews to come out later this evening. 

INFECTIOUS DISEASE UPDATES:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenSenate panel approves funding boost for TSA Dems: Warren ready to get off sidelines Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees MORE (D-N.H.) is urging action to prevent what she called a "major outbreak" of the Zika virus. Shaheen sent a letter to Secretaries John KerryJohn KerryEven in defeat, Trump could harm the country irreparably Obama tells Vietnam: Human rights are 'no threat to stability' Global Magnitsky's power to protect MORE, Sylvia Matthews Burwell and Jeh Johnson, calling for a coordinated federal response to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Read Shaheen's letter: http://bit.ly/2052KO4

TOMORROW'S SCHEDULE:

The World Health Organization will hold a briefing on the spread of the Zika virus at its Geneva headquarters.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) will discuss hospital price transparency at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Scientists move closer to understanding schizophrenia's cause (New York Times)  

Has ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion plan reached a tipping point? (CNBC.com)

Editorial: Planned Parenthood has been absolved, the GOP should give up its crusade (Washington Post)

Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanJuan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump McConnell touts 'Senate squad' in Wes Anderson-style video Liberal super-PAC hits Johnson for supporting Trump MORE (R-Ohio) touts anti-heroin measures even though he voted against their funding (Cleveland.com)

IN THE STATES:

Ohio Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood (Toledo Blade)

Oklahoma resists push for ObamaCare enrollment (New York Times)

Democratic leader in Georgia says time has come for Medicaid expansion (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Officials look to stem cyber attacks on New Jersey hospitals (NJ.com)

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

White House: Zika virus is not Ebola: http://bit.ly/1RO1hqw

Lawmakers press VA to allow medical marijuana for veterans http://bit.ly/1OQipbK

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