OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Dems continue assault on GOP budget

Shutdown countdown: As the 2012 budget debate is just getting fired up, the 2011 fight still needs a resolution. The House will likely vote Thursday on another stop-gap measure, and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNevada congressman admits to affair after relationship divulged on podcast Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPelosi, Trump slide further into the muck The partisan divide on crisis aid Congress must continue to move online MORE (R-Ohio) are headed to the White House on Wednesday night for budget talks. The Hill's Russell Berman has the story.

King sees lost leverage: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told reporters Wednesday that the continuing resolution is Republicans' last chance this year to block significant funding for healthcare reform. He had previously said the debt limit would offer another opportunity, but he thinks lawmakers will have their own separate wish lists for that vote. Healthwatch's Jason Millman has the story

Helping small biz: Three Republican senators Wednesday asked the Small Business Administration how the agency "is protecting small businesses from the onslaught of new regulations that are being implemented as part of the healthcare reform." Republican Sens. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziHouse GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought The Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE (Wyo.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (Utah) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) noted that almost 6,600 pages of federal regulations have been published on healthcare reform during the past year. Check out the letter.


State lawmakers urge against federal tort reform: The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging House Republicans to abandon efforts to dramatically reshape federal medical liability laws. The bipartisan group of state lawmakers say those decisions should be left up to the individual states. Meanwhile, Republicans have been pitching tort reform as a major piece of their efforts to "replace" healthcare reform, pointing to a projected $40 billion in deficit reduction cited by the CBO. Read the Healthwatch story

Hospital Compare launches: Medicare on Wednesday launched a new website that allows consumers to check out hospital-acquired condition (HAC) rates at nearly 4,700 hospitals. Hospital groups, who aren't huge fans of how Medicare calculates HACs, are unhappy that Medicare has made the information easily accessible. Read the Healthwatch post.

Another repeal bill: The latest bill to eliminate a healthcare reform provision comes from Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyLobbying world March tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says Bottom Line MORE (R-La.). H.R. 1370 would repeal an annual tax on health insurers that starts in 2014. 

Bipartisan group looks to improve Alzheimer's care: House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to provide Medicare coverage for comprehensive diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease. Reps. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: New documents show EPA rolled back mileage standards despite staff, WH concerns | Land management bureau grants 75 royalty rate cuts for oil and gas | EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey EPA's Wheeler grilled by Democrats over environmental rollbacks amid COVID-19 Markey says EPA administrator should apologize to minorities for coronavirus response MORE (D-Mass.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition and Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don't work for Main Street; Burr to step aside The Hill's 12:30 Report: House returns to DC for coronavirus relief House leaders enact new safety precautions for votes MORE (R-Texas) and Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert McDermottSondland has 'no intention of resigning,' associate says Three women accuse Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct Portland hotel chain founded by Trump ambassador says boycott is attack on employees MORE (D-Wash.) are spearheading a House bill, while Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowBipartisan senators introduce bill to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program Democrats press USDA on worker safety at meat processing plants Michigan Republican Senate candidate notes places 'I disagree with' Trump MORE (D-Mich.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day MORE (R-Maine) introduced a Senate bill.

Dialysis Patient Citizens announced that Hrant Jamgochian, former director of health policy for United Way Worldwide, is joining the group as its new executive director.


Thursday's agenda:

Abortion bill gains momentum: The Rules Committee will debate H.R. 3, which would ban tax breaks for health insurance plans that offer abortion services.

Abortion-rights rally: Abortion-rights group, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, rally on the Capitol to blast a slew of bills that would place new restrictions on access to abortion. The groups will get some star power, with Ed Harris and other actors scheduled to make speeches.

Focus on TBI: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) advocates meet Thursday in the Capitol to highlight the "treatment gap" for individuals they represent. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-Ariz.) health staffer and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) are scheduled to speak.

Bad report: Docs4PatientCare, which opposes healthcare reform, will issue a paper that gives a negative review of the law. The group will unveil the paper in the Budget Committee hearing room in a panel discussion with Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and the Galen Institute.

Reading list:


A new survey finds 72 percent of American adults think the healthcare system needs a major overhaul, U.S. News & World Report writes

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive bloggers that Ryan's Medicare proposal "has to be snuffed out," the Huffington Post writes

Democrats are planning to use Ryan's Medicare and Medicaid overhauls to their advantage in Senate races, The Washington Post writes.

A New Hampshire executive council agrees to take federal money to study how the state can establish a health insurance exchange, the Concord Monitor reports.

The price of healthcare in Canada is set to spike dramatically during the next 20 years, The National Post reports.

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Jason Millman: jmillman@thehill.com / 202-628-8351