Overnight Healthcare: Durbin hints Dems won't block drug abuse bill

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems rip Trump administration for revoking Obama's transgender directive A guide to the committees: Senate McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers' MORE (D-Ill.) indicated Tuesday that Democrats will not block a measure to combat opiod abuse even if they don't get extra funds they are seeking.

"Oh we're going to support it, but we want the Shaheen amendment to pay for it," the Senate's No. 2 Democrat told reporters, referring to an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDem senator asks for 'top to bottom' review of Syria policy A guide to the committees: Senate Mattis on rise in Trump administration MORE (D-N.H.). "I'm going to vote for the bill. I think most Democrats will, but we want it to be paid for."

Durbin's comments came despite White House backing for adding funding to the legislation.

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Top Democrats have demanded for weeks that hundreds of millions of dollars in supplemental spending be folded into the opioid abuse legislation from Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanConquering Trump returns to conservative summit ­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Ohio) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseA guide to the committees: Senate Pruitt confirmation sets stage for Trump EPA assault Senate Dems ask DHS inspector general for probe of Trump’s business arrangement MORE (D-R.I.).

Republicans argue that any funding should go through the appropriations process. Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn: Border wall 'makes absolutely no sense' in some areas Ryan on border: ‘We will get this done’ Ryan tours Mexican border on horseback MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday there is approximately $571 million in last year's omnibus bill that could be directed toward CARA.

CARA authorizes -- but doesn't appropriate -- funding for programs to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse, in addition to increasing the availability of naloxone, a drug to treat overdoses.

Democrats argue that the $600 million in emergency funding is needed to make sure communities who are fighting the overdose epidemic can get help quickly. Read more here. http://bit.ly/21GbOWY

CLINTON HITS 'PREDATORY' DRUG PRICING Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonMichael Moore touts Ellison for DNC chair: ‘We need fresh blood’ Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit How the candidates for DNC chair stack up ahead of Saturday's vote MORE has a new ad hitting drug prices, which have been a consistent theme of her campaign.

The new ad shows Clinton giving a campaign speech during which she reads a letter from a woman who says the price of one medication has gone from $180 in the early 1980s to $14,700 now.

"The company is called Valeant Pharmaceuticals," Clinton says. "I'm going after them. This is predatory pricing, and we're going to make sure it is stopped.

Valeant has been in the spotlight over its prices and is the subject of an investigation from the Senate Aging Committee, along with Turing Pharmaecuticals, the former firm of the now-infamous CEO Martin Shkreli. Valeant also confirmed Monday that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1LTlnc9

INDUSTRY MAKES PLEDGES ON ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS The Obama administration on Monday announced commitments from a range of healthcare companies aimed at improving the flow of electronic health records.

The commitments are part of the administration's efforts to modernize the healthcare system and make it easier for people to access and use their electronic health records, including with new mobile apps for patients.

The pledges come from health IT developers that provide 90 percent of electronic records used by hospitals, as well as the country's five largest healthcare provider systems. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1REGNy7

AGENCY UPDATES:

Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchThough flawed, complex Medicaid block grants have fighting chance A guide to the committees: Senate 7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight MORE (Utah) and John BarrassoJohn BarrassoBig Pharma must address high drug prices A guide to the committees: Senate Making transportation public-private partnerships available in rural America MORE (Wyo.) are pressing the administration for answers about ObamaCare's special enrollment periods, which HHS has recently tightened up in response to insurer complaints. The senators' letter: http://1.usa.gov/1Ux7tU1  

ON TAP TOMORROW:

It's argument time in the big Supreme Court abortion case, Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt

The House's Planned Parenthood committee holds its first hearing, with testimony from professors on "bioethics and fetal tissue."

House Appropriations hearing on substance abuse and mental health budget

House Energy and Commerce hearing on Zika virus

Senate Appropriations hearing on FDA budget

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Aetna CEO says he supports ObamaCare despite losses (CNN Money)

Noravax exploring options with Zika virus vaccine (Washington Business Journal)

Zika virus tied to rare disorder that can cause paralysis (Philly.com)

IN THE STATES:

State legislative primaries could impact Medicaid expansion (Modern Healthcare

States Give Women Misleading Abortion Information, Study Finds (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Kentucky bills aim to save Kynect, Medicaid program (Courier-Journal)  

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

Senate panel advances bill blocking state GMO labeling rules

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