OVERNIGHT HEALTH: White House expects GOP to deliver Ebola funds

The White House is predicting that Republicans will back President Obama’s massive $6.2 billion funding request to keep Ebola out of the U.S. and stop its spread across West Africa.

“We’ve already seen expression of bipartisan support for this proposal, and I would expect that that bipartisan support will endure,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.


Obama will again make his case for the funding request Tuesday at the National Institutes of Health, where leading scientists have made progress on an Ebola vaccine.

Earnest said the White House hopes the speech “will serve as an effective catalyst” for the funding as members of Congress look to complete next year's appropriations bill before Dec. 11. He added that “even top national security priorities ... need a little pushing and prodding to get through in timely fashion.”

But with lawmakers from both parties still picking apart the funding request, the $6 billion is still uncertain, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing told The Hill. She added that it is “part of the scope of the negotiations on the Omnibus,” and no final decisions have been made.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) has said he believes Congress would allocate the full amount, though at least one GOP member of the Senate Appropriations committee, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), has said the request seemed too much.

Sen. Tom Carper (Del.), the Democratic chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, also said last month that he still had questions about the funding. Read more here.

Monopolies under ObamaCare: Health insurance giants are eating up a bigger slice of the marketplace in most states, despite intense efforts under ObamaCare to increase competition.

The three largest insurance companies held an average of 86 percent of customers in the individual market last year, up from 83 percent in 2010, when the healthcare reform act was passed, according to a Monday report from the Government Accountability Office.

The marketplace remained highly concentrated from 2010-2013, showing the nation’s slow progress to dislodge long-standing insurance monopolies under the Affordable Care Act. Read more here

An end to AIDS?: President Obama said Monday that the end of AIDS is “finally within reach” and could happen within his lifetime if the U.S. steps up its fight against the deadly disease.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been to achieving the extraordinary: an AIDS-free generation,” Obama said in a video released Monday to mark World AIDS Day. “But we’ve got to keep fighting, all of us.”

In a speech at the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry also announced a major investment in training doctors and nurses to help treat and prevent AIDS, coupled with a commitment to double the number of children receiving life-saving treatments over the next two years in some of the worst-affected areas of Africa. Read more here

Abortion rate at all-time low: The rate of abortions in the U.S. has reached “historic lows” after dropping by double-digits over the last decade, according to a new government report.

The number of women having abortions dropped 13 percent between 2002 and 2011, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show.

The report also shed light on the number of abortions performed after the politically charged timeframe of 20 weeks of gestation — just 1.4 percent of all abortions. The data indicates that very few women would be affected by the controversial GOP proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Read more here.


Tuesday’s schedule:

President Obama will give remarks at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, touting the progress of a potential Ebola vaccine, and make the case for his $6.2 billion funding request. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will announce new data on the quality of healthcare at a CMS Healthcare Quality Conference in Baltimore. Later, Burwell will continue her nationwide campaign for open enrollment during a speech in Newark, N.J.

The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Heart Association and other groups will hold a press conference calling for the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general.

An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration will meet in Silver Spring to reconsider the ban on blood donations from gay men.


State by state:

In Arizona, swings in Medicaid access show program’s impact

Pennsylvania Medicaid expansion kickoff starts off with logjam

New NC abortion clinic regulations proposed

Louisiana still in limbo on Medicaid claims process after Jindal cancels $200M contract

Health officials release modified Wyoming Medicaid expansion proposal


Reading list:

New ACO rules would delay penalties an extra three years

Experts: No easy options if court strikes down ObamaCare

HIV's ability to cause AIDS is weakening over time, study finds

U.S. CEOs threaten to pull tacit ObamaCare support after ‘wellness’ spat

HealthCare.gov’s insurance marketplace for small businesses gets off to a slow start


What you might have missed at The Hill:

Ebola on the run in West Africa?

Dark days ahead for ObamaCare

Obama to tout progress on Ebola vaccine at NIH

FDA weighs lifting ban on blood donations from gay men


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