Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — New White House ad campaign targets opioid addiction

Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — New White House ad campaign targets opioid addiction
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Welcome to Overnight Health Care, sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.


Today was Seersucker Day in the Senate. Sadly, we did not participate.


White House launches opioid awareness ad campaign

The White House is moving forward with part of the plan to fight opioid addiction that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE announced in March.

The administration is launching four ads telling the true stories of people who went to extreme lengths to fuel their addiction, including someone who purposely broke their arm so they could get more painkillers.

"This is our first step in publicly engaging with youth," said White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayWhite House interns forced to sign non-disclosure agreements: report George Conway tweets poll asking if Trump or NYT is more credible Sean Spicer joins 'Extra' as 'special DC correspondent' MORE, who has taken on a leading role on opioid issues.

Big number: The ad space is being donated, but it will likely be worth more than $30 million, said Lisa Sherman, president of the Ad Council.

Watch the ads here.

And we've got more on the ad blitz here here.



Sponsored content - Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are hired by employers, unions, and government programs to negotiate aggressive discounts from drug companies and drugstores.  PBMs continue to keep overall spending and out-of-pocket costs down despite massive price hikes by drugmakers. Learn how PBMs are part of the solution to reducing Rx costs at DrugBenefitSolutions.com.



Virginia governor signs Medicaid expansion

Virginia is now the 33rd state to expand Medicaid after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a measure on Thursday. 

The signing caps a years-long battle in the state over Medicaid expansion, which Democrats have pushed for but Republicans long resisted. After Democratic gains in the state legislature and Northam's victory last year, enough Republicans got on board with Medicaid expansion for it to pass the General Assembly.

The expansion is estimated to provide health insurance for up to 400,000 people.

"As a doctor and a public servant, I believe making sure all Virginians have the access to the care they need to be healthy and productive is both a moral and economic imperative," Northam said in a statement. "This budget will empower nearly 400,000 Virginians with access to health insurance by expanding Medicaid, without crowding out other general fund spending priorities."

Next states to watch: Idaho and Utah, where the question will be on the ballot in November. 

More on Virginia's move here


Pelosi: 'Medicare for All' should be 'evaluated' if Dems win House

House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Coast Guard lieutenant accused of planning domestic terrorism denied bail Inviting Kim Jong Un to Washington MORE (Calif.) is sounding a somewhat more open note towards Medicare for All than she has in the past as the issue gains steam among Democrats.

"I've always been for a public option so I'm always eager to talk about that," Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday when asked if Democrats would advance a public option or Medicare for All legislation if they win the House.

"Some of the other issues that have been proposed have to be evaluated in terms of the access that they give, the affordability of it and how we would pay for it, but again it's all on the table," she added.

That's a change from last year, when Pelosi said: "the comfort level with a broader base of the American people is not there yet."

Electoral angle: Many Democratic House candidates in battleground districts support the idea as well, which Republicans think will be a liability for them.

Read more here.



Staying on the midterms, another poll finds health care is a big issue

More than 1 in 5 voters, 22 percent, said in a new NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll that health care is their top issue in the November midterm elections.

The economy and jobs followed at 19 percent, with guns at 13 percent, taxes and spending at 11 percent and immigration at 10 percent.

The poll found Democrats are more likely to consider health care a top issue.

The implications: The poll is good news for Democrats, who plan to hit Republicans on their health-care record ahead of the midterms.

Democrats plan to highlight the GOP's multiple failed attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare and blame them for "sabotaging" the law and higher premiums.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday Congress should dedicate the month of August to health care.

More on the poll here.


CDC: Suicide rates on the rise in almost every state

Suicide rates are on the rise in almost every state, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is one of three leading causes that are on the rise, the CDC said.

From 1999 to 2016, rates increased in nearly all states, ranging from a 6 percent increase in Delaware to a 57 percent increase in North Dakota.

Twenty-five states had increases of more than 30 percent.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans -- and it's a tragedy for families and communities across the country," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

We have more on the CDC numbers here.


Opioid crisis fuels influx of children into foster care

An event at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday focused on the influx of children into the foster care system due to the opioid crisis.

Key quote: "Addiction affects foster care," Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) told The Hill. "Up to 80 percent of parents deemed unfit to care for their children are addicted to some type of substance."

The numbers: Robin Ghertner, the Director of Division of Data and Technical Analysis at HHS, highlighted a recent agency study that found that a 10 percent increase in overdose death rates correlates to a 4.4 percent increase in foster-care entry rates.

What states can do about it: Child welfare experts at the event disagreed on one major issue: whether the priority should be on reuniting families or removing children from addicted parents.

Ducey touted Arizona's Substance-Exposed Newborn Safe Environment (SENSE) program as an example of how to help addicted mothers keep their children while getting treatment. SENSE assigns child services specialists, a counselor, a treatment provider and a home nurse to mothers with substance-exposed children.

The Trump administration's efforts: The Family First Prevention Services Act signed into law earlier this year seeks to prevent children from entering foster care and keep families together.

But Elizabeth Bartholet, professor of law at Harvard Law School and faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program, questioned that approach, noting that "between half and one-third of those kids [in families with substance abuse issues] will be re-abused and neglected."



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 study by the Opioid Safety Alliance finds this could save taxpayers $13 billion over 10 years.



What we're reading

As opioids legislation gains steam, efforts to address crisis collide with moneyed interests (Stat News)

Trump moves pushing up ObamaCare premiums for 2019 (CNN.com)

Alex Azar, health secretary, denies sabotaging insurance markets (The New York Times)


State by state

Californians face 'real choice' on health care in November (Kaiser Health News)

Medicaid work requirement bill sent to Michigan governor (Associated Press)