Overnight Healthcare: House Dems defend Medicare drug pricing plan

A number of Democrats are publicly showing support for the administration's Medicare Part B drug pricing proposal, even as it sparks concerns among many lawmakers in their party.

A group of 20 House Democrats sent a letter of support for the proposal on Monday. The letter is led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and signed by several of the most liberal members of the House, including Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

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"We believe this proposal will not only help to fix the flawed status quo but will also help combat the increasingly unaffordable prices that drug companies are charging for their products," they write.

Meanwhile, every Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee has expressed serious concerns about the proposal.

In the face of strong resistance, Dr. Patrick Conway, a top administration health official, said last week that the administration would consider making changes, such as narrowing it to a smaller geographic area or slowing down the timeline for implementation. Read more here. http://bit.ly/21PWsim

STUDY: SANDERS HEALTH PLAN $17 TRILLION SHORT That's according to a new study from the Urban Institute, which found that taxes would have to be much higher to cover the costs of Sanders's single-payer healthcare plan.

However, Sanders's proposals have a net benefit for most people, the studies found. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1Wk1N1J

STATES UNITED ON ZIKA $$:  The nation's governors are pressing Congress for "swift" action to approve new funding to fight the Zika virus.

"As Congress returns from recess today, the nation's governors urge the Administration and Congress to work together to reach agreement on the appropriate funding levels needed to prepare for and combat the Zika virus," the National Governors Association (NGA) said in a statement.  

"We also ask they act as expeditiously as possible to ensure those funds are available to states, territories and the public at large," the NGA adds.

Public health experts have been warning that the virus will ramp up in the continental United States as the weather gets warmer. Read more here. http://bit.ly/1TypTPY

FEDS TO SHOWCASE INSURER 'SUCCESS STORIES': Federal health officials have invited a half dozen major plans to share their strategies at a forum on June 9. The companies invited to speak include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1OkMzS9

ON TAP TOMORROW

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Trump may intervene in Pentagon cloud-computing contract: report Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (R-Wis.) holds a press briefing on a bill to help expand "Right To Try" laws across the country for terminally ill patients.

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) will speak about dormant therapies at an event hosted by the ALS Association and National Health Council.

The Mercatus Center holds a congressional briefing on healthcare policy reform at 10:30 a.m. at the Cannon Caucus Room.

Politico Pro holds an event on protecting medical patient data from cyber attacks at 5:30 p.m.

WHAT WE'RE READING

Even Republicans from states at the greatest risk of Zika, such as Texas and Louisiana, have been slow to endorse the president's funding request. (Washington Post)

An increase in organ donations has become the unexpected side effect of the nation's drug overdose epidemic (Washington Post).

IN THE STATES

A Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Monday that the Federal Trade Commission could not block the merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System (Law 360).

The number of crisis intervention teams in Kansas City has more than doubled to respond to people with mental illnesses (Kansas City Star)

A 17-year-old pregnant woman in Connecticut said she was shocked to learn she had Zika virus after traveling to Honduras (Associated Press)

ICYMI FROM THE HILL:

HHS launches contest to make bills simpler

 

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