Overnight Healthcare: Obama hopes for 'sensible' health debate when he's gone

Overnight Healthcare: Obama hopes for 'sensible' health debate when he's gone
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President Obama gave a nod to the "toxic" debate around the Affordable Care Act when speaking before the nation's governors on Monday, saying he hopes things might get better when he's gone.

"Maybe once I'm gone we can go back to having a sensible conversation between Democrats and Republicans about how we should incentivize greater efficiency, better outcomes, higher quality for lower cost in our healthcare system, and if we do that, that's going to make the biggest difference," Obama said.

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He also took a jab at Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) over Medicaid expansion. "It's going to save you money over the long term, it's been done really well in Kentucky, but that's a whole 'nother question." Obama said. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1UiOMn5

CALIFF CLEARS SENATE HURDLE: The Senate is moving forward on Robert Califf's nomination to be FDA commissioner after an 80-6 procedural vote, despite the objections of a handful of Democrats.

MCCASKILL DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced on social media Monday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said that she expects to make a full recovery and will be in St. Louis for the next three weeks undergoing treatment. "It's a little scary, but my prognosis is good and I expect a full recovery," she wrote. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1oDRuI0

WHITE HOUSE DOUBLES DOWN ON ZIKA $$ REQUEST: The Obama administration on Monday redoubled its calls for nearly $2 billion in emergency funding for the Zika virus, rejecting the GOP's call for the government to use leftover Ebola money to fight the new virus.

Obama's budget chief Shaun DonovanShaun DonovanHouse Dems call on OMB to analyze Senate budget plan Overnight Finance: Dems turn up heat on Wells Fargo | New rules for prepaid cards | Justices dig into insider trading law GOP reps warn Obama against quickly finalizing tax rules MORE told House Republicans in a letter that federal health and security officials still have big plans for the millions of dollars slated to fight Ebola, which he said is "still a threat."

He warned that if Ebola funding is reshuffled into a new account to fight Zika, it would "put this nation at risk" for another public health crisis. And he said the existing Ebola fund was "always intended to be spent over multiple years."

House appropriators have rejected that request, though. Read our story here: http://bit.ly/1VAbaGV  And read the letter here: http://1.usa.gov/1QcKMmg

CDC ARRIVES IN BRAZIL TO STUDY ZIKA: Federal health officials are launching a large-scale study to determine whether the Zika virus is the cause of hundreds, and possibly thousands, of birth defects in Brazil.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will spend four months working with Brazilian health officials to study a potential link between the rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus and a birth defect called microcephaly. The rare condition causes infants to be born with abnormally small heads, which often drastically shortens their lifespans.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has requested more than $1 billion to fund research into the relatively unknown virus, as well as to boost diagnostic testing. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1KF3y5E

AGENCY + COMMITTEE UPDATES:

GAO says HHS can be doing more to help child migrants. 

Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Departments of Health are asking health officials in seven states for information about how they are working to preventing lead poisoning amid the Flint water crisis.

ON TAP TOMORROW:

The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on the opioid crisis at 10 a.m.

The Senate Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing on military healthcare reform at 2:30 p.m.

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Clinton revives support for public option (Politico

Dems, Drug Policy Groups Worried Schumer Is Politicizing Heroin (Huffington Post)

Valeant plunges on report of potential earnings reinstatement (Bloomberg)

States start to let pharmacists prescribe birth control pills (Pew Trusts Stateline)

IN THE STATES:

Idaho lawmakers stall on Medicaid alternative, but talk expansion (AP)

Coverage for autism varies by state (Stateline)

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

Democrats storm Flint amid water crisis http://bit.ly/1OqVXCk

Send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @thehill@sarahnferris@PeterSullivan4