OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Private Medicaid expansion suffers setback

The Arkansas Times has more from Monday's vote.

Gene patents on thin ice: The Supreme Court on Monday appeared likely to strike down patents on human genes, according to SCOTUSBlog.


The justices heard oral arguments in a case involving two patents on genes that help measure women's risk of developing breast cancer. The company that owns the patents, Myriad Genetics, doesn't do anything to the genes in the process of analyzing them, and the justices seemed inclined to rule that the company therefore shouldn't be able to patent genes that occur naturally within the human body.

SCOTUSBlog's report is here. And in case you missed it, we previewed this case over the weekend.

Menthol under fire: The American Lung Association and other health groups are asking federal regulators to ban menthol in cigarettes. Congress exempted menthol when it banned other flavored cigarettes in 2009, as part of a wide-ranging tobacco bill. The menthol exemption never sat well with the bill's opponents, and now some of the groups that supported it are also calling for a crackdown on the mint flavoring.

The Hill has the story.

Meningitis hearing: Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee took a few opening shots at the Food and Drug Administration on Monday, ahead of an oversight hearing with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about the agency's response to last year's meningitis outbreak.

The FDA had received a "litany" of complaints about the companies that made the steroid drugs linked to the outbreak, Republicans said, and did not share those complaints with state regulators. Fifty-three people have died so far from contaminated steroid injections.

Healthwatch has details on the documents Energy and Commerce Republicans have uncovered. The panel's oversight subcommittee will start its hearing with Hamburg at 10 a.m.

Tuesday's agenda

The National Food Policy Conference will continue at the Capital Hilton. Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) will deliver a speech.

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE will discuss President Obama's 2014 budget in the House and Senate Budget Committees.

State by state

— Medicaid expansion advances in Colorado

— Beshear says Kentucky hospitals pushing for Medicaid expansion

— Texas Senate passes Medicaid fraud prevention bill

Lobbying registrations

East End Group / Forest Laboratories

East End Group / Astellas Pharma US

Denny Miller Associates / National Children's Center Foundation

Holland & Knight / Temple University

Holland & Knight / Pit River Tribe

Reading list

— Five ways the president's budget would change Medicare

— Suicide survivors help to shape prevention efforts

— High court declines to hear Glaxo appeal [free registration required]

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Week ahead: Health officials prepare budget defenses

Report: States ramping up push to restrict abortion

FDA tries to quell public uproar over new milk labels

White House: Trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor 'unsettling'

Lawmakers: FDA received complaints about firms tied to meningitis outbreak

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

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

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

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch