Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump to sign 'right to try' drug bill next week

Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump to sign 'right to try' drug bill next week

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.


Happy Friday! Congress is gone for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, leaving D.C. a much quieter city, politics-wise. We hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Looking ahead, there is one big health care event next week...


President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE will sign legislation next week allowing terminally ill patients to access experimental drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

White House officials shared the announcement on the "right to try" bill in a call with reporters Friday.

The controversial bill, which cleared Congress on Tuesday, has been a priority for Trump and Vice President Pence all year and has been pushed by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch.

A win for Trump: Passage of the bill is a victory for Trump, who personally called on lawmakers to send the measure to his desk, including an unexpected endorsement in his State of the Union address this year.

On the other side: But the bill drew backlash from House Democrats and patient safety organizations, who worry sidelining the FDA puts patients in danger. Advocacy groups such as the American Cancer Society also opposed the bill.

Read more here.



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Ohio Democrats want the state to drop its request for Medicaid work requirements. 

In a letter sent to Republican Gov. John Kasich, the state's Democratic House members said the proposed requirements will disproportionately impact African American-majority communities.

"By pushing through a waiver that will have a detrimental impact to majority African American populations, this policy will exacerbate already existing economic and health disadvantages," the Democrats wrote.

Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky have come under fire in recent days for crafting policies that would exempt many rural white communities from strict work requirements. If residents don't meet the requirements for working or volunteering or going to school for a certain number of hours a week, they would lose Medicaid benefits.

Background: Kasich is one of the few Republican governors who opted to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare. But now that the Trump administration has made it a priority to approve state waivers imposing work requirements, Kasich wants to take advantage.

Key quote: "As any steward of taxpayer dollars, we want to retain Medicaid funds for all beneficiaries who truly need the program but this waiver would create needless administrative bureaucracy and red tape that will almost certainly end up accidentally kicking off men and women who truly need and deserve this program."

We've got the letter here.



House and Senate Democrats introduced resolutions opposing the Trump administration's proposed changes to a federal family planning program.

The changes would ban Title X providers from referring for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers, and are geared at defunding Planned Parenthood.

The names: In the upper chamber, Dem Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate Dems press Sessions for records on racial discrimination complaints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Overnight Health Care: Drug price fight heats up | Skepticism over drug companies' pledges | Ads target HHS secretary over child separations | Senate confirms VA pick MORE (Wash.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocrats embracing socialism is dangerous for America Border patrol chief: Calls to abolish ICE impact the morale of my team Kamala Harris tied with Bernie Sanders as betting favorite for 2020 Dems MORE (N.Y.), and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary Live results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut hold primaries MORE. In the House, Dem Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Bipartisan leaders of House panel press drug companies on opioid crisis Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization MORE (Colo.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeMichigan lawmaker wants seat for Midwest at Dem leadership table Dem lawmakers, activists get #PayBlackWomen trending Rep. Katherine Clark seeks Dem leadership spot MORE (Calif.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuOvernight Health Care: Drug price fight heats up | Skepticism over drug companies' pledges | Ads target HHS secretary over child separations | Senate confirms VA pick Pelosi: Pruitt's successor even more focused on advancing 'the toxic Trump agenda' House Dems ask Ross to address 'glaring contradictions' in rationale for citizenship question MORE (Calif.) and Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Trump faces long odds in avoiding big spending bill House panel advances homeland security bill with billion in border wall funding MORE (N.Y.).

Read the House resolution here and the Senate resolution here.


Looking back on the week.

Trump's health chief found himself on the defensive and struggling to show that the administration is serious about its plan for reducing drug prices.

Red states learned that the Trump administration isn't going to give them a free pass on proposals to reform Medicaid.

The Trump administration moved to bar federal funding for family planning clinics that refer patients for abortions. Planned Parenthood is already weighing a lawsuit.

Trump also urged anti-abortion advocates in a speech to turn out to the polls in November.

A Senate panel unveiled 22 opioid bills it will begin moving in the coming weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of uninsured Americans has barely changed over the last three years.

And abroad, Congo began a massive vaccination campaign to stem a growing outbreak of the Ebola virus. The U.S. is also contributing $7 million to the fight.



Sponsored content - Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have outlined several policy solutions to ensure patients receive opioid prescriptions when safe and medically appropriate. One important solution would be requiring e-prescribing of controlled substances in Medicare (S. 2460 / H.R. 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act). A new study by the Opioid Safety Alliance finds this could save taxpayers $13 billion over 10 years.



What we're reading:

Why your health insurer doesn't care about your big bills (ProPublica)

Senior advocates say new draft guide to Medicare distorts facts. Here's what you need to know. (PBS Newshour)

New push to topple Affordable Care Act looms (The Wall Street Journal)


State by state:

Amid opioid epidemic, Minnesota seeks expanded Medicaid dollars to treat drug addiction (Star Tribune)

South Dakota wants city dwellers, Native Americans to work for Medicaid (Talking Points Memo)