Overnight Health Care: Dems look to turn ObamaCare tables on GOP in 2018 | Heritage to 'key vote' 20-week abortion bill | How ObamaCare repeal failed | Aetna offers help to HIV disclosure victims

Overnight Health Care: Dems look to turn ObamaCare tables on GOP in 2018 | Heritage to 'key vote' 20-week abortion bill | How ObamaCare repeal failed | Aetna offers help to HIV disclosure victims
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How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed

When Republicans unexpectedly captured the White House and retained the Senate in November, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay House Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea MORE (R-Wis.) wanted to capitalize on the GOP's political momentum right away by quickly passing a straight ObamaCare repeal bill similar to the one that passed both chambers of Congress at the end of 2015.

Option B was legislation that repealed and replaced the landmark health-care law.

Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE (R-Ky.) preferred option A because they knew it would be a tough battle to unify the party behind a plan that would keep some of ObamaCare's insurance subsidies and regulatory reforms in place.


They also thought it wise to set up a two-year transition period to come up with a replacement.

A source familiar with discussions between the White House and GOP congressional leaders said that President Trump initially sided with Ryan and McConnell, believing this would allow him to sign a repeal bill on Inauguration Day.

But Trump's advisers worried that repealing ObamaCare without a replacement might backfire politically, according to the source.

Read more here on the nine-month odyssey that followed.


Dems look to turn ObamaCare tables on GOP in '18

Republicans have hammered Democrats over ObamaCare for the better half of a decade, riding promises to repeal the law into majorities in both the House and Senate.

But now Democrats plan to turn the tables on Republicans, using the GOP's failed attempts to repeal ObamaCare as a cudgel in the 2018 midterm elections.

"I think the message is really simple here: As long as Republicans control Congress, your health care is on the chopping block," said Tyler Law, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats' campaign arm.

Democrats want to put that issue front and center, arguing that the GOP effort would cause millions more people to lose insurance and hurt sick Americans.
"The Republicans' toxic health-care agenda that spikes costs, strips coverage for pre-existing conditions and imposes an age tax on older Americans will be the defining issue of the midterms," said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

"It will drag down Republican Senate candidates in every state," Bergstein added.

Read more here.


Heritage to 'key vote' 20-week abortion bill

An influential conservative group is pushing House Republicans to vote in favor of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Heritage Action for America said it will "key vote" the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which comes up for a vote in the House Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.), would make it a crime to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Penalties would include a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

"Our representatives have a responsibility to push this debate into the political forefront," Heritage Action said in a statement.

"By refusing to shy away from tough votes and embracing the pro-life principles on which many were elected, members can save thousands of innocent lives."

Read more here.


NIH to study babies affected by opioids

The National Institutes of Health is funding a new study on babies born with opioid withdrawal syndrome, a side effect of the nation's epidemic of prescription painkillers and heroin.

The number of newborns with this syndrome has increased in recent years, yet there's a lack of standard, evidence-based treatments for providers, according to an NIH press release announcing the new study on Monday.

"Public health and research communities cannot overlook the opioid epidemic's effects on pregnant women and their infants," Diana W. Bianchi, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said in the release.

Read more here.


Aetna offers emergency compensation for HIV disclosure victims

Health insurance giant Aetna is offering cash reimbursements to some of the people who were affected when the company accidentally disclosed the HIV statuses of some of its customers.

The "emergency relief" program will offer reimbursement and payments to individuals who say they have incurred financial hardship as a direct result of the privacy breach.

A financial hardship could be people forced to move, or forced to incur other out-of-pocket expenses as a result of others learning that they are taking HIV/AIDS medication.

Aetna will also provide access to counseling services for affected individuals and their families.

Read more here.


What we're reading

How doctors save lives after a mass shooting (Vox)

Replacing faulty heart devices costs Medicare $1.5 billion in 10 years (The New York Times)

Three scientists win Nobel Prize in medicine (The New York Times)


State by state

Iowa Supreme Court rules against Planned Parenthood (WOI-TV)

The wind shifts on abortion: A Republican governor leads the way (Salon)

Which states are hardest hit by children's health program expiring (TPM)