Overnight Healthcare: Zika fight stalls government funding talks | Census finds big drop in uninsured | Mental health bill faces wait

Negotiations over a stopgap measure funding government until Dec. 9 have stalled amid squabbling among Senate Republicans over controversial riders affecting Zika funding and the Export-Import Bank. 

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday criticized the internal GOP discord for holding up negotiations on the funding stopgap -- the only must-past legislation on the agenda before Congress can recess for the November election.

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Republicans still reject assertions that they have purposefully targeted funds for Planned Parenthood as a "poison pill" rider.

"What riders?" House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Tuesday, when asked about the fate of the Zika funding bill. 

One proposal floated would empower the Centers for Disease Control to disseminate Zika money in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory hit especially hard by the epidemic. 

But conservative Republicans balked at the proposal, saying it lacked safeguards to stop taxpayer money from going to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Puerto Rico, Profamilias.

Many House Republicans are still playing hardball, saying they won't back down because the women's health provider should not receive any federal dollars in the Zika response.

"I think we're going to hold our ground. If we don't, I mean, it all gets blamed on [Speaker] Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' MORE. I don't think he wants to do that as we go into the fall," Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told The Hill. "I don't think the CR gets passed if it funds Planned Parenthood." http://bit.ly/2cXJDmL 

Mental health bill looks like it will have to wait

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCOVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday that a Senate vote on mental health legislation will likely have to wait until after the election, despite progress on a dispute over guns. 

Asked if he thought a vote was more likely after the election, Cornyn said, "I do."

"I think we've made a lot of progress," Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, told The Hill. "[I] know that what the leader would want to see would be some agreement to pass the bill with a time agreement, with a limitation on amendments and the like. I don't know whether that's going to be possible before the election, but it gives me some hope it might be something we could do after the election." Read more here. http://bit.ly/2cq76tN 

Census finds big drop in uninsured 

The uninsured rate fell to 9.1 percent in 2015, according to new data from the Census Bureau. 

The Census Bureau has found a significant drop in the uninsured rate since 2013, before ObamaCare's coverage expansion went into effect. 

In 2013, the uninsured rate was 13.3 percent. The difference between then and 2015 translates to roughly 13 million people gaining insurance, as the number of uninsured people fell from about 42 million to about 29 million. 

"In 2015, the share of people without health insurance declined in almost every State, and all States have seen gains since 2013, reflecting continued progress under the Affordable Care Act," Jason FurmanJason FurmanIn surprise, unemployment rate falls, economy adds jobs Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims The Memo: Scale of economic crisis sends shudders through nation MORE, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a statement. Read more here. http://bit.ly/2cuhX7H 

GOP thinks ObamaCare state exchanges headed for collapse

The dozen ObamaCare exchanges run by the states are struggling financially and could be headed toward collapse over the next several years, according to a new report released Tuesday by House Republicans.

All of the active state-run exchanges are still relying on federal dollars, nearly two years after they were supposed to be self-sustaining under law, according to a lengthy report by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Investigators blasted the Obama administration's oversight and management of the state exchanges as "a costly mess."

States have received a total of $4.6 billion in federal grants to launch their own exchanges, according to the report. Read more here. http://bit.ly/2cuisik 

ObamaCare 'sleeping giant' on campaign trail?

Eight of the states that will determine the Senate majority in November are likely to see significant reductions in the number of insurers participating in ObamaCare marketplaces.

The likely departures of insurers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and Missouri are pushing the healthcare law toward the center of some of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

GOP strategists say Obama-Care's troubles this year are morphing into a perfect storm for their candidates, providing a boost in a year when the party is defending 24 Senate seats.

"It feels like there's a sleeping giant that's about to awaken on the campaign trail," veteran Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said. "It really does seem like an easy target, an easy layup for Republicans to score points." Read more here.http://bit.ly/2cCpFNJ 

Personnel moves:

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is stepping down as president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation after 14 years. She was the first woman and the first African American to lead the $10 billion foundation, which is the largest philanthropy devoted to health in the U.S.

PhRMA announced Tuesday it has tapped Scott Olsen as head of federal lobbying. Olsen, who once served as the top health adviser for former Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Bottom line The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE (D-Mont.), comes with deep experience in Medicaid and Medicare policy.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the outlook and oversight of ObamaCare at 10 a.m.

House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on ObamaCare premium increases at 9 a.m.

House Ways and Means holds a subcommittee hearing on health technology. 

NARAL Pro-Choice America holds a press briefing to announce polling on the Zika virus at 10:30 a.m. 

 

QUICK HITS FROM THE HILL.COM

Dr. Oz won't ask Trump questions he doesn't want answered http://bit.ly/2clvr2N 

Trump to call for six weeks paid maternity leave http://bit.ly/2c78wap 

Trump campaign chief: Candidates have right to privacy on health records http://bit.ly/2cVLoxQ 

GOP super-PAC hits Evan Bayh with $4M in ObamaCare attack ads http://bit.ly/2cpwbpy 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING

Hundreds of pregnant women in Florida are waiting weeks for state laboratories to report whether the virus has passed to their fetuses. (New York Times)

Clinton's newest radio ad in Florida puts a focus on healthcare while touting her ability to reach across the aisle. (Tampa Bay Times)

Insurance companies are spending more on opioid addiction treatments and diagnoses. (NPR

 

IN THE STATES

ConnectiCare reverses course, decides to stay in ObamaCare. (Hartford Courant

The striking difference between states that expanded Medicaid and the ones that didn't. (Washington Post)

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejects abortion-as-murder ballot issue. (Columbus Dispatch

 

Send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @thehill, @sarahnferris, @PeterSullivan4

Join The Hill on Tuesday, September 20 for "Access to Care: A Discussion on Health Disparities & Innovation," featuring Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Director, Office of Minority Health at HHS. Topics of discussion include policy reforms to minimize disparities in healthcare delivery and improve access to innovative new treatments. RSVP here.

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