OVERNIGHT HEALTH: States struggling with Medicaid choice

Some are wary that, if they accept the expansion but face a fiscal crisis later, they'll lose the federal matching funds for the program if they choose to cut the rolls. This is a concern for Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D), according to a report, who appears to be leaning toward the expansion but has contacted the Obama administration with his own questions. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusSpecial counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius gives Trump administration a D in handling pandemic; Oxford, AstraZeneca report positive dual immunity results from early vaccine trial MORE has been in touch with state leaders, but with few specifics, promising instead to answer questions at scheduled in-person meetings.

Read more on the trend from The Washington Post.

DCCC claims victory: House Democrats’ campaign arm said Thursday that Republicans picked a losing fight with their latest repeal vote.


“Republicans are losing ground and on defense in the health care battle after voting for the 33rd time yesterday to protect their own taxpayer-funded health care and the profits of their insurance company campaign donors instead of protecting patients and creating middle class jobs,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said. “Every part of the health care repeal debate — from polling to fundraising to message — is fundamentally different from 2010 as Democrats are on offense and Republicans are explaining their wrong priorities to the American people.”

The DCCC noted that it raised $2.3 million in the three days following the Supreme Court’s healthcare decision.

Lucky 13: Kentucky is the latest state to say it will implement the core feature of the Affordable Care Act — an insurance exchange. Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said stakeholders including insurers, providers and employers have urged him to establish a state-based exchange, rather than relying on a federally administered fallback. He told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he’ll sign an executive order creating an exchange and will have the marketplace ready to meet HHS’s certification deadline. Healthwatch has the details.

Gestapo gaffe, round 2: Maine Gov. Paul LePage made a lot of people mad this past weekend by referring to the IRS as “the new Gestapo” because of its role in enforcing the healthcare law. On Thursday, LePage said the Holocaust was “probably a bad example” — and, in nearly the same breath, used the example again.

“What I’m trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and frankly I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet,” LePage said.

Asked by a reporter whether that means the IRS is moving in the same direction as the Nazi secret police, LePage said yes. Read the Healthwatch post.

Supreme distrust: Republican voters pulled an about-face on the Supreme Court in the wake of its healthcare ruling, according to the latest poll from the Pew Center for People & the Press. In April, 56 percent of Republicans reported a “favorable” view of the court. Now, that number is down to 38 percent.

Disapproval of the court doubled among GOP voters — from 25 percent in April to 51 percent after the healthcare decision. Healthwatch has the full breakdown of the latest poll.

Obama still leads on health:
An important note from the same poll: Although the ACA hasn’t made big gains in popularity, Obama held an eight-point advantage over Mitt Romney when respondents were asked which candidate would do a better job on health care. Forty-nine percent said Obama would do a better job, compared with 41 percent who chose Romney.

Surprise consensus: A new analysis finds that healthcare stakeholders have tacitly or explicitly rallied around the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, even as partisan debate over the law remains fierce. The report from HealthAffairs concludes that consensus has emerged because the law "fundamentally serves" the interests of many healthcare stakeholders.The report concludes that the emerging status quo could make repeal "more daunting than expected" — and that the prospect of returning to circumstances pre-ObamaCare would be a "nightmare" for the healthcare sector.

"The assumption that repeal is a simple and straightforward option glosses over the reality that any moves to 'repeal and replace' the law may be as difficult to accomplish as passage of the original statute," the authors write. HealthAffairs has the complete report.

State by state

Missouri Gov. Nixon vetoes contraception bill

US judge again stalls Miss. abortion law

States panned for family leave protections

Proposed Alaska rule on abortion certification causes confusion

Lobbying registrations

Capitol Hill Partners / North Sunflower Medical Center

Liberty Square Group / DDC Advocacy (on behalf of PhRMA / We Work for Health)

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld / Cleveland HeartLabs

Medline Industries / self-registration

Tauzin Consultants / Invacare Corporation

Steptoe & Johnson / Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico

The Glover Park Group / Sucampo Pharmaceuticals

Trimpa Group /  Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Reading list

Rockefeller asks HHS to overhaul dual-eligibles demo

German circumcision ruling called threat to religion

Truvada pill urged for AIDS prevention after promising studies

Interactive health records may boost preventive care 

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

House Dem: Refusing Medicaid dollars a 'historic mistake'

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523

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