OPIOID SERIES:

Overnight Healthcare: GOP healthcare talks stall | Ryan takes backset to Pence in new repeal effort | FDA nominee grilled over industry ties

Overnight Healthcare: GOP healthcare talks stall | Ryan takes backset to Pence in new repeal effort | FDA nominee grilled over industry ties
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Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a member of House GOP leadership, said Wednesday that conservatives' proposals to reach a compromise on healthcare are a "bridge too far" to win support from colleagues. 

McHenry, the chief deputy whip, told reporters that calls from the conservative House Freedom Caucus to allow states to apply for waivers to repeal ObamaCare protections for people with pre-existing conditions can't get enough votes to pass.

The comments come after a late-night meeting among House GOP groups on Tuesday fell flat, and lawmakers appear to be heading home at the end of the week for a recess without any tangible progress toward a deal to revive their healthcare bill. 

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McHenry said lawmakers need a "cooling off period" over the two-week break.

"We need people to stop, take a deep breath, and think through the way to yes," he said. 

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2oCQ9EY

 

Heritage Action blames GOP moderates for collapse of new deal 

The leader of the conservative group Heritage Action on Wednesday accused moderate House Republicans of blocking a deal on a new ObamaCare replacement bill.

Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said in a call with reporters that prospects for a deal this week have fallen apart and proposed that lawmakers go back to their districts over the recess to regroup.

He blamed the moderate Tuesday Group for standing in the way of a deal.

"I think the Tuesday Group clearly wants to keep ObamaCare in place," Needham said, adding that "pressure needs to be put on the Tuesday Group to get to yes."

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2nFa8hi

 

In case you missed it last night -- Late-night ObamaCare meeting leaves no signs of progress

House Republicans left a meeting with Vice President Pence in the Capitol on Tuesday night without any apparent progress toward a deal to try to revive their ObamaCare replacement bill. 

There was not legislative text presented at the meeting as lawmakers continued to debate what changes would be made, despite hopes by the conservative House Freedom Caucus that the text would be made available for them to review.

Conservatives are facing pushback from other lawmakers as they seek to allow states to apply for waivers to repeal ObamaCare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which they argue are driving up premiums.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2nDge1H

 

Ryan takes backseat to Pence in latest repeal effort

Two weeks ago, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) left it all on the field in trying to pass his ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill.

Now, Ryan's taking a more hands-off approach.

The Speaker has taken a backseat to Vice President Pence when it comes to this week's efforts to revive the American Health Care Act, which collapsed last month after Ryan and President Trump failed to cobble together the necessary votes to pass the bill out of the House.

Pence, who spent a dozen years in the House, has been shuttling from meeting to meeting on Capitol Hill -- his sizable entourage in tow.

But now, with talks between Pence and centrist and conservative wings of the GOP stalled once again, it is the vice president, not Ryan, who is quickly becoming the face of the failed healthcare push.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2oEhFBT

 

Senators battle over FDA nominee's financial ties

President Trump's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration faced repeated questions Wednesday over possible conflicts of interest related to his financial ties to an industry he would be tasked with regulating.

Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee peppered Scott Gottlieb with questions about whether he would be unable to separate himself from the interests of more than two-dozen drug and medical device companies he's either invested in or consulted for.

Gottlieb promised in an ethics agreement last month to recuse himself for one year from FDA matters that directly impact the more than two dozen companies he's tied to and divest his financial interests, but he would not commit to Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDuckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd Maternal deaths keep rising in US, raising scrutiny Senators press administration on mental health parity MORE's (D-Wash.) request Wednesday to recuse himself for two years.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2o4yvZn

 

What we're reading 

High-cost Alaska sits in the eye of health reform storm (Kaiser Health News

Cancer docs oppose 'right to try laws' over concerns about unintended harms (Stat News

 

State by state 

Wisconsin governor wants drug test for Medicaid users (Washington Post)

Medicaid smokers cost Indiana $540 million a year (Indianapolis Star)