Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump to sign 'right to try' drug bill next week

Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump to sign 'right to try' drug bill next week

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.


Happy Friday! Congress is gone for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, leaving D.C. a much quieter city, politics-wise. We hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend.


Looking ahead, there is one big health care event next week...


President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE will sign legislation next week allowing terminally ill patients to access experimental drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

White House officials shared the announcement on the "right to try" bill in a call with reporters Friday.

The controversial bill, which cleared Congress on Tuesday, has been a priority for Trump and Vice President Pence all year and has been pushed by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch.

A win for Trump: Passage of the bill is a victory for Trump, who personally called on lawmakers to send the measure to his desk, including an unexpected endorsement in his State of the Union address this year.

On the other side: But the bill drew backlash from House Democrats and patient safety organizations, who worry sidelining the FDA puts patients in danger. Advocacy groups such as the American Cancer Society also opposed the bill.


Read more here.



Sponsored content - Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

Where PBM tools are used, a new report shows net spending – including the combined impact of drug prices, generic vs. brand drug use, and the overall number of prescriptions – declined by 2.1% last year. Spending increased in 2017 through channels not managed by PBMs. Learn how PBMs are part of the solution to reducing Rx costs at DrugBenefitSolutions.com.



Ohio Democrats want the state to drop its request for Medicaid work requirements. 

In a letter sent to Republican Gov. John Kasich, the state's Democratic House members said the proposed requirements will disproportionately impact African American-majority communities.

"By pushing through a waiver that will have a detrimental impact to majority African American populations, this policy will exacerbate already existing economic and health disadvantages," the Democrats wrote.

Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky have come under fire in recent days for crafting policies that would exempt many rural white communities from strict work requirements. If residents don't meet the requirements for working or volunteering or going to school for a certain number of hours a week, they would lose Medicaid benefits.

Background: Kasich is one of the few Republican governors who opted to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare. But now that the Trump administration has made it a priority to approve state waivers imposing work requirements, Kasich wants to take advantage.

Key quote: "As any steward of taxpayer dollars, we want to retain Medicaid funds for all beneficiaries who truly need the program but this waiver would create needless administrative bureaucracy and red tape that will almost certainly end up accidentally kicking off men and women who truly need and deserve this program."

We've got the letter here.




House and Senate Democrats introduced resolutions opposing the Trump administration's proposed changes to a federal family planning program.

The changes would ban Title X providers from referring for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers, and are geared at defunding Planned Parenthood.

The names: In the upper chamber, Dem Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Democrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Democrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin MORE (Wash.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (N.Y.), and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing Trump's China deal is a gift to Wall Street and Beijing MORE. In the House, Dem Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteOvernight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying Vaping company executives set to testify in House investigation Lawmaker calls for hearing into MLB cheating scandal MORE (Colo.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm Steyer calls for cuts to defense spending MORE (Calif.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuHillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes Dems call out Oracle for lack of diversity on its board Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers MORE (Calif.) and Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyMixed feelings on war power limits: Lawmakers and vet candidates US officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  House revives agenda after impeachment storm MORE (N.Y.).

Read the House resolution here and the Senate resolution here.



Looking back on the week.

Trump's health chief found himself on the defensive and struggling to show that the administration is serious about its plan for reducing drug prices.

Red states learned that the Trump administration isn't going to give them a free pass on proposals to reform Medicaid.

The Trump administration moved to bar federal funding for family planning clinics that refer patients for abortions. Planned Parenthood is already weighing a lawsuit.

Trump also urged anti-abortion advocates in a speech to turn out to the polls in November.

A Senate panel unveiled 22 opioid bills it will begin moving in the coming weeks.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of uninsured Americans has barely changed over the last three years.

And abroad, Congo began a massive vaccination campaign to stem a growing outbreak of the Ebola virus. The U.S. is also contributing $7 million to the fight.



Sponsored content - Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have outlined several policy solutions to ensure patients receive opioid prescriptions when safe and medically appropriate. One important solution would be requiring e-prescribing of controlled substances in Medicare (S. 2460 / H.R. 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act). A new study by the Opioid Safety Alliance finds this could save taxpayers $13 billion over 10 years.



What we're reading:

Why your health insurer doesn't care about your big bills (ProPublica)

Senior advocates say new draft guide to Medicare distorts facts. Here's what you need to know. (PBS Newshour)

New push to topple Affordable Care Act looms (The Wall Street Journal)


State by state:

Amid opioid epidemic, Minnesota seeks expanded Medicaid dollars to treat drug addiction (Star Tribune)

South Dakota wants city dwellers, Native Americans to work for Medicaid (Talking Points Memo)