Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements | Trump officials consider cuts to ObamaCare outreach | House probes HHS office in charge of migrant children

Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements | Trump officials consider cuts to ObamaCare outreach | House probes HHS office in charge of migrant children
© Greg Nash

Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care, where we have some big news.

 

Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements

A federal judge has blocked a controversial Medicaid waiver in Kentucky that was set to go into effect Sunday and would have imposed work requirements on beneficiaries.

It's a big loss for the Trump administration and their effort to overhaul Medicaid to make it more conservative.

Key quote: "The Secretary never adequately considered whether Kentucky HEALTH would in fact help the state furnish medical assistance to its citizens, a central objective of Medicaid. This signal omission renders his determination arbitrary and capricious," the court states.

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has repeatedly said the state's Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare is not fiscally sustainable, and that the waiver is needed to bring down the costs of covering so many new individuals.

Bevin had threatened to discontinue Medicaid expansion in the state, which covers more than 500,000 people, if the requirements were struck down.

What to watch now: The decision throws doubt onto Medicaid work requirements in other states.

But: The ruling can be appealed, which means the road is not over.

Read more here.

Read the full opinion here.

 

Trump officials considering cuts to ObamaCare outreach groups

Democrats could be getting new fuel for their argument that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE is "sabotaging" ObamaCare.

The Trump administration is considering cutting funding for ObamaCare outreach groups that help people enroll in coverage, sources say.

An initial proposal by the administration would have cut the funding for the groups, known as "navigators," from $36 million last year to $10 million this year.

But: Sources say that proposal now could be walked back, and it is possible funding could remain the same as last year. It is unclear where the final number will end up.

What to watch: Democrats are sure to seize on any cuts. They have already made GOP "sabotage" a main theme of the midterm election campaign.

"It's clear the Trump-GOP sabotage of our health care system shows no bounds, with each action a massive betrayal to the president's own supporters and middle-class families who will see higher costs because of the president's actions," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Dems push to delay Kavanaugh vote for investigation Democrats should end their hypocrisy when it comes to Kavanaugh and the judiciary Celebrities back both Cuomo and Nixon as New Yorkers head to primary vote MORE (N.Y.) said earlier this month.

Read more here.

 

Poll: Majority of public doesn't want Roe v. Wade overturned

The majority of the U.S. public does not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, according to a poll released Friday.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they don't want the court to overturn the 1973 decision, while 29 percent said they do, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The breakdown:

  • Among Republicans, 53 percent of poll respondents said they would like to see the decision overturned.
  • 81 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents said they wouldn't.
  • Sixty-eight percent of women and 65 percent of men said they want the decision to remain the law of the land.

We have the rest of the results here.

 

Obama: I told Trump 'just change the name' of ObamaCare and take credit

President Obama had some branding advice for President Trump at a fundraiser on Thursday night.

He said he told Trump just to rename ObamaCare and take credit for it, instead of repealing it.

"I said to the incoming president, 'Just change the name and claim that you made these wonderful changes and I would be like, 'You go,' " Obama said while speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Los Angeles, according to CNN.

"Because I didn't have pride of authorship, I just wanted people to have health care," the former president added.

Trump and Republicans attempted to repeal ObamaCare last year but failed to win enough votes in the Senate, which Obama noted in his speech.

Obama said Republicans "couldn't do it despite controlling all branches of government in Washington."

"They couldn't do it because we had actually thought it through and it's a hard thing to do," he said.

Read more here

 

House Republicans probe HHS office in charge of migrant children

Republicans on the House Energy & Commerce Committee are probing the Department of Health and Human Services on its treatment of migrant children in its care.

Key quote: "We support strong enforcement of our nation's borders. We also support keeping families together, and believe that children should not be separated from their parents," the members wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

"We also seek to ensure that children who are within the custody of ORR -- whether because they crossed the border as an unaccompanied minor or because they crossed the border with a family member and were subsequently separated -- are properly cared for while within the custody of [the Office of Refugee Resettlement.]"

What lawmakers want: The members asked questions about children in ORR custody, including: how many are in ORR custody as a result of being separated from their parents or families; does ORR have the resources to properly care for the high number of children being transferred to their custody; what steps is ORR taking to track and address issues of abuse within HHS funded facilities and what medications is ORR authorized to administer.

Read more here.

 

Top House Dems want investigation into Trump's immigration policy

Democrats are continuing to hammer the Department of Health and Human Services on immigration. While HHS didn't write the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, they are responsible for the most controversial part; housing the children who are separated from their parents at the southern border.

The HHS inspector general has already opened an investigation into the treatment of children at these shelters, but the ranking members of top House committees want more.

On Friday, they called for the inspectors general of HHS, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to launch broad investigations into how the administration planned and executed the "zero tolerance" policy. They also want an investigation into the executive order that is intended to roll back much of the administration's own policy.

Who signed it? The letter was signed by Reps. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGraham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests House Dems blast GOP for FBI, DOJ 'conspiracy theories' aimed to protect Trump MORE (Md.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonTrump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash Washington to finally focus on threat to supply-chain risk management Mississippi to test limits of Medicaid work requirements MORE (Miss.), Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHealthy business vs healthy people — how will this administration address the two? Washington turns focus to child nutrition The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — McConnell warns of GOP `knife fight’ to keep Senate control MORE (Va.) and Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneNew Trump rule would weaken Obama methane pollution standards FCC watchdog clears chairman of 'favoritism' allegations over Sinclair deal GAO report blasts Trump's handling of ObamaCare MORE (N.J.) -- the ranking members on the committees for Oversight and Government Reform, the Judiciary, Homeland Security, Education and the Workforce, and Energy and Commerce, respectively.

Key excerpt: "The administration still has not provided consistent information on a family reunification plan, whether children are still being separated at the border, or whether your agencies have accurate information about whether detained children entered the United States as unaccompanied minors or were separated from their parents upon entry."

We have more coverage here.

 

What we're reading

Anatomy of a 97,000% drug price hike: One family's fight to save their son (CNN.com)

Rachel Maddow is right. There was no plan for reuniting families split at border. (PolitiFact)

What an Amazon pharmacy could solve, and what it won't (Bloomberg)

 

State by state

As other Republican states pass Medicaid expansion, a question remains: Why not Tennessee? (Tennessean)

Idaho Republicans push Medicaid expansion opposition (Associated Press)