Overnight Healthcare: New momentum to lift ban on gay men donating blood

Congressional Democrats – as well as six Republicans – are applying new pressure to the FDA to reexamine its decades-old policy that keeps gay men from donating blood.

Twenty-four senators and 118 House lawmakers signed letters to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf on Monday, calling for another review of the policy.


The senators, led by Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenLet's stop treating student borrowers like second-class citizens Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — Momentum builds for federal laws enshrining abortion rights | Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks | Warren unveils plan to protect abortion rights 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans MORE and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinThis week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Pentagon approves transfer of .5B to border wall | Dems blast move | House Dem pushes Pelosi to sue over Trump's Yemen veto Pentagon approves transfer of .5B to Trump border wall from Afghan forces, other accounts MORE, also wanted an update about the latest tweak to the FDA's policy, which allows gay men to donate if they've been celibate for one year. Not all blood banks – including one in Orlando that took donations after last week's attack – have moved to immediately implement that policy, which means all gay men are kept from donating.  

The five GOP lawmakers signing onto the letter are Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkEx-GOP Sen. Kirk registers to lobby The global reality behind 'local' problems Dems vow swift action on gun reform next year MORE (Ill.) and Reps. Charlie Dent (Pa.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Bob Dold (Ill.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.). It's the largest number of Republicans to date to support the change. http://bit.ly/28LH4iu

The Dems' longest-running joke, on the longest day of the year

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee pretended to leak text of the GOP's ObamaCare replacement plan, two days ahead of its official release by Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDebate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 Liz Cheney faces a big decision on her future MORE's task force.

The legislation – which has a clear "THIS IS NOT A REAL BILL!" header – then tells readers, "Just kidding!" You can read it (er, look at it) here: http://1.usa.gov/28JlgCl

Fewer people having trouble affording healthcare

The percentage of Americans having trouble paying for healthcare or medicine has fallen to a new low, according to a Gallup survey.

The survey finds that 15.5 percent of the public said that in the last 12 months they have not had enough money to afford needed healthcare.

That is the lowest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2008.

The percentage had stayed fairly steady, around 19 percent, until 2013, when it began to drop.

That drop coincides with the beginning of ObamaCare's expansion of health insurance coverage, which Gallup points to as a major factor, though not the only one. Read more here. http://bit.ly/28JITzG

Obama really wants a fully funded opioids bill

In a blog posted Friday afternoon, Obama's drug czar Michael Botticelli joined budget director Shaun Donovan in making a last-ditch appeal to Congress to put more money behind its major opioids bill before sending it to the president's desk this summer.

A fully funded opioids bill appears to be gaining momentum, though it still remains an uphill battle as the House and Senate begin talks to merge their respective bills.  Nearly 70 senators voted last week to support going to conference on an opioids bill that would include funding. http://bit.ly/28K1dJG

Conservatives to push Trump on abortion stance

Trump will meet with conservatives in New York on Tuesday with hopes of securing new endorsements that could boost his campaign at a key time.

On the agenda? Hopefully abortion, according to Americans United for Life Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe. In an op-ed for the National Review, Forsythe challenged those in the meeting to bring up a range of issues related to abortion, including ending what they describe as taxpayer funding for abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood – a group that Trump has said does "very good work" for women. Read the op-ed here. http://bit.ly/28JAwAE


The House Rules Committee will hold a markup on a GOP-led bill that would tweak ObamaCare rules to allow over-the-counter drug purchases to qualify under health savings accounts.

A subpanel of the Senate Judiciary Committee considers a bipartisan bill that would require pharmaceutical companies to make samples of branded drugs available to generic manufacturers.

For your calendar this week. The Hill will be hosting Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoCongressional Women's Softball team releases roster Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race Kushner, Miller talk immigration at Senate GOP lunch MORE (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyTrump faces criticism for hosting Hungary's leader Bill Nye tees off on climate change skeptics: 'The planet is on f---ing fire!' Sanders to join Ocasio-Cortez in headlining Green New Deal rally Monday MORE (D-Mass.) at an event on Alzheimer's disease research and treatments Thursday, June 23. RSVP here.


Sanders and Clinton could find common ground by creating a "public option" that allows interested states to set up their own insurance plans that compete against private industry. (Associated Press)

A new study found that doctors who received even one free meal from a pharmaceutical salesperson were more likely than others to prescribe the drug being promoted, even if a generic equivalent was available. (Reuters)

New birth control apps and websites are helping women get contraception without an in-person doctor's visit. (New York Times)


Few contraceptives donated in Puerto Rico to prevent Zika-related birth defects are expected to get to the women who need them this month. (Reuters)

Georgia caps the number of opioid treatment centers amid an overdose epidemic. (NPR)

Small-scale health insurers are still struggling to find successful business models under ObamaCare. One example – for every dollar of premium the health insurer Oscar collects in New York, the company is losing 15 cents. (New York Times)

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's (R) office needs to convince 54 legislators -- 36 in the House and 18 in the Senate -- to back his plan to expand Medicaid. To win, he's eying the "maybe" column. (Argus-Leader)

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